Olin Buchannan, Texags.com– “After two years, how would you evaluate the performance of John Chavis, since you’ve brought him in?”
"Sumlin – “Well, I think without a doubt over the things that we talked about and I was just talking about on television [during his interview with the SEC Network analysts right before his press conference] we have got to be a better run defense. We have to. And, I don’t think there’s any secret to that. I think that our ability to be multiple and change things up with things that we’ve worked on a little bit, I think we were a pretty good defense early in the year. We lost some critical pieces, I think over the course of the year we lost a couple corners and did some things… Priest Willis was playing pretty well early in the year and Nick Harvey got a little dinged up. We had a situation where we were putting pressure on some younger guys who gave up some big plays later on in the year but we’ve got to be a better run defense and I think the things that we’ve talked about, the things that we’ve sat down and discussed are things … that we’ve implemented throughout the spring. And do we have to get better? It’s not just John Chavis, it’s across the board, it’s everybody, and as I’ve told you before Olin, we’ve got the biggest sign in our building that says ‘No Excuses’ and we’re not giving any excuses and that starts with me. Everything that has to happen, everything that we want to do, we want to be a top tier football team. We want to be a championship football team. So the things that we’ve done, or we keep putting in place are things that, as we adapt to this league, to figure out how we can get to that next level, we’re doing. That’s not just him, that’s across the board.”"
We need to be a better run defense is a massive understatement. Everyone remembers the goal line stand against Arkansas, but everyone also remembers the backbreaking drives where opposing offenses were able to jam the ball down the defense’s throat. The departure of Garrett and Hall will hurt the pass rush, but with the ends getting less upfield, there may be room to improve the run defense. The linebackers have gotten older, and better, with little loss to the interior line. The run defense should improve this year, and A&M will be more competitive in the West.