Texas A&M Football: Don’t blame Zach Calzada for Aggies’ shortcomings

Zach Calzada, Texas A&M Football Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Calzada, Texas A&M Football Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
Texas A&M Football
Zach Calzada, Texas A&M football Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Texas A&M football team has seen this season’s worst-case scenario come to fruition in just five games in 2021. By this point, many fans were hoping that the Aggies would be gearing up to defeat Alabama and gain control of the SEC West. Instead, they’re 3-2 with losses to Mississippi State and Arkansas.

They still want to defeat Alabama, but with two conference losses already, first place seems like a pipe dream.

And at the center of the criticism surrounding this team, you’ll find Jimbo Fisher’s backup quarterback in Zach Calzada, who has underperformed in place of Haynes King. That said, none of this is his fault.

Don’t blame Texas A&M football QB Zach Calzada for the Aggies’ shortcomings

It’s easy to use Zach Calzada as the scapegoat for this team’s rough start. As soon as he came around, the going got tough. Fortunately for Calzada, it’s not that simple.

Blaming Calzada is the lazy route. The guy is putting his heart into every game. Look at this video of him after the home loss against MSU.

We’re talking about a guy who lost the quarterback competition to a younger player in Haynes King. A guy in Calzada who, despite rushing for a 25-yard touchdown against Mississippi State, is not a mobile quarterback. With a banged-up offensive line, this was the worst-case scenario for any quarterback.

It would also be premature to say that Haynes King would have made too much of a difference for this team.

As the starter, King was decent but underwhelming. Against a stingy, but generally weak Kent State offense, he tossed three interceptions. Still, he managed to throw for nearly 300 yards through the air while completing 63.6% of his passes.

Against Colorado, the offense was struggling — even with King on the field.

I’m not saying Calzada was better than King, but we need to be realistic about what the original quarterback was doing. Context matters.

Heck, Calzada has been undeniably worse, passing for five touchdowns and four interceptions on the year. He’s not immune to criticism — there are a few things which you can blame directly on him. His 60% completion against Mississippi State was a season-high, which is not good.

Jimbo Fisher still believes in him, saying that Calzada has been improving. By saying that Calzada should be benched, you’d essentially be saying that you know more about football than one of the best coaches in the game. If you are on the “bench Calzada” bandwagon, the post linked below might be a good one for you.

Next. How many bad games is Calzada away from being benched?. dark

But before you throw the Aggie backup quarterback under the bus, consider the circumstances. Heck, if nothing else, the third-year quarterback is improving and putting his all into each game.