Strong addresses job rumors, injuries at bye week press conference

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Head coach Charlie Strong said Wednesday that he’s not considering leaving Texas despite various reports linking him to the Miami coaching vacancy.

“It’s all a rumor,” Strong said. “We’re here to build a program. That’s why I came here. We still have a ways to go. … Everyone’s on board and we know that we have to get things done here.”

Strong said he tries to tune out the noise, but he is frustrated with the rumors. He emphasized that he has an “unbelievable” job at Texas, and he said he doesn’t know the rumor’s source. Additionally, he said he still feels wanted at Texas despite two six-loss seasons in his first two years.

“Our president [and] our [athletic director] have been very supportive of this program,” Strong said. “I feel like [I’m supported.]”

Strong also discussed the injuries the Longhorns are dealing with. Texas is using its bye week to get healthy after suffering several injuries during its 38-20 loss at West Virginia. Strong said senior running back Johnathan Gray and freshman guard Patrick Vahe are day-to-day, while sophomore running back D’Onta Foreman is out after finger surgery.

“Those three guys are the major concerns right now,” Strong said. “Everyone else — we have a few bumps and bruises — but everyone else is out there practicing.”

All three injured players are key pieces for the Longhorns’ stout running game. Vahe has excelled as a run blocker, while Foreman and Gray have accounted for 55 percent of the team’s rushing yards. Strong said he wasn’t sure whether those players will play against Texas Tech. However, he’s confident in the team’s depth to fill in.

“We still have 25, [freshman running back] Chris Warren, and then [freshman running back] Kirk Johnson is still there,” Strong said. “We have options there at that position.”