Zac Al-Khateeb, Sporting News– “Coach, you mentioned your teams struggles in finishing as an area of emphasis. Do you feel any additional pressure this year to show your team can go out and sustain that early success throughout an entire season?”
"Sumlin – “Listen, the pressure I feel is the same pressure I feel all the time. Nobody puts more pressure on me than me. My job is, every year, I look at what we do and what we do well, you want to stay ahead of the curve. What we’re not doing well, it’s my job to analyze it and try to fix it. And so looking at where we are and being open and honest about that with our team and with our guys who are here- I think that’s what I was getting at by talking about it. We’ve got guys who have gone through that a couple times, and Armani has been through it, and to sit openly and talk about it, ‘here’s what we’re going to do guys, here’s our plan in the weight room. Here’s what we’re doing in recovery. Here’s what we’re doing in nutrition. Here’s what we’re going to do from a toughness and finishing standpoint in practice.’ This is a point of emphasis, instead of trying to point fingers and do this and that, we’re not doing that. That pressure never changes. It never changed from the first day I got here, when we opened with Florida, when we lost. And then went on to win, however many games we won or whatever happens. So, we’re here to compete for championships. How we do that, when we do that, basically the why what and how, that remains internal but that’s my job. The pressure for that never changes.”"
Coach Sumlin is taking ownership of the past few years and the collapses therein. There is a lot that can be changed from a coaching perspective, but it is my opinion that the coaches can only do so much. His main job is to put the players in a position to succeed. The last step has to be taken by them. If he can get the players to buy in to the philosophy, and change what hasn’t been working, the late season collapses we’ve seen could be history.