Jimbo Fisher brought his pro style offense and physicality to Texas A&M football, and his new tight ends coach is embracing that 100 percent.
Texas A&M football underwent an overhaul on offense after Jimbo Fisher took over as head coach. He was mostly known as a quarterback whisperer who had worked magic with multiple college quarterbacks over the years, but he was also known for employing a physical pro style offense (with some spread concepts).
There are many differences between Fisher’s offense and the air raid offense Kevin Sumlin ran. Perhaps the most notable is the formations and Fisher’s actual use of the tight end position. Everyone knew the position would be utilized more when Fisher took over, but I don’t think anyone could have predicted the difference that materialized.
Jace Sternberger came out like a bat out of hell. He signed as a JUCO recruit in Fisher’s first class and had some hype going into the spring game, but it became clear pretty quick how important he would be for the offense after posting eight catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the Maroon And White Game.
Tim Brewster had a lot to do with Sternberger’s recruitment and development. He is now with Mack Brown at North Carolina. Fisher brought in Joe Jon Finley to replace him and it doesn’t feel like the Aggies will have much of a drop off, if any at all from the position.
Finley played for Oklahoma and then for a few years in the NFL. He coached Albert Okwuegbunam at Missouri and turned him into a John Mackey finalist in 2018. He has the pedigree, and he wants the tight ends he coaches to embrace the physical nature Fisher’s offense lends itself to.
"A lot of tight ends these days, the fun thing to do is to split out and catch footballs but I know all three of the guys that we have on campus and both guys coming in can do that. I’m looking for the one or two or hopefully all of them that can do it all, that can protect against the defensive end in the SEC, lead up on a linebacker, split out and create a mismatch on a linebacker as well.When you go to a place, it’s usually an offensive line coach that’s coaching the tight ends or receivers’ coach” he said. “It’s one or the other. Here, I have had the opportunity to play it at college and in the NFL and got a chance to be coached by one of the best tight ends’ coaches in the NFL. I use those experiences every day with our guys and I think that they understand that."
Baylor Cupp is an elite prospect coming in that will no doubt benefit from Finley’s experience and coaching. Kellen Mond leaned on Jace as a security blanket and will do the same with whoever steps up at the position in the 2019 season.
Losing a coach like Brewster is never fun, but rest assured, Aggies, Fisher found a helluva replacement.