Coach Sumlin took the podium at SEC Media Days this morning and discussed everything from the expectations for this season to the budding rivalry between A&M and LSU. However, he continually stressed a singular theme throughout – A&M will be more physical. It is what they focused on this offseason, and it is being coached up by new coordinators John Chavis and Dave Christenson.
On the new and improved defense…
Last year, the Aggies were simply awful at defense. There’s no sugar coating it. Julien Obioha said he couldn’t even pinpoint the problem the last couple of years since it was so “bad at a lot of things”. But with the arrival of John Chavis, many expect that to change.
His imprint has been very noticeable. Daeshon Hall now lines up opposite of Myles Garrett, Julien Obioha moved to the inside, and running back Brandon Williams is getting worked at cornerback. And by at least one account, Williams expects to play.
These personnel changes are a small sample of the complete reboot A&M’s defense is undergoing. But more than shifting people around, Chavis is bringing his fiery attitude and aggressive scheme to Kyle Field.
There are high expectations for this team and this defense. And if anyone can deliver, it’s The Chief.
On A&M’s rivalry with LSU…
The Aggies have one SEC West team that they have not yet beat in conference play – LSU. John Chavis was able to shut down Johnny Manziel in consecutive years and he masterfully executed the no-call offsides play to ice the 2014 matchup. Sumlin had had enough.
But the rivalry has extended well past the gridiron. Both schools aggressively recruit their counterparts turf. This has led to Texas standout safety Jamal Adams finding his way to LSU and 5-star wideout Speedy Noil choosing A&M.
One thing is for certain, don’t expect Sumlin to receive a warm welcome in Tiger stadium when the Aggies travel there this November.
On A&M’s wealth at the QB position…
The Aggies enter the 2015 season with two very capable quarterbacks in Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray. While they will both compete for the starting spot, Kyle Allen’s experience and time in A&M’s system should prove to be the deciding factor. Nevertheless, the Aggies are very lucky to have two quarterbacks of this caliber.
On what the new OC Dave Christenson brings to the table…
As mentioned before, the reoccurring theme was that the 2015 team needed to be physical, something that had slipped away the past two seasons. Sumlin truly believes that the hiring of Dave Christensen has addressed that.
The offensive line, the position group Christensen handles, has moved towards more GAP scheme with an emphasis in the run game.
At the end of the day, Sumlin saw an offensive line that was getting pushed around and he addressed it with the most underrated hire of the offseason. Christensen is already addressing the mental makeup of this team and it all starts with the maroon goons in the trenches.
On the expectations for this upcoming season…
Both coach Sumlin and the players got a chance to address last year’s average season and some of the problems the team faced.
But the bowl game against West Virginia served as a spring board into the high expectations for this upcoming season.
And as the season 2015 nears, people are starting to wonder “why not A&M”. Shoot, Auburn is picked to win the SEC while A&M is picked by many to finish last. That just shows you how razor thin the SEC West is.
“I think we’re sleeping a little on Texas A&M. A&M is primed for a major run in the future.” – @finebaum