Texas A&M Football Head Man Speaks with Media
Ahead of Texas A&M football facing off with South Carolina this weekend, head coach Jimbo Fisher met with the media for his weekly press conference. You can view the full thing at this link or below:
Notes from Texas A&M Football Press Conference
Jimbo began by saying that Texas A&M football had really good practices last week where they had good execution. He added that they worked on schemes of upcoming opponents for the rest of the five weeks, introducing concepts that those teams run so the Aggies would be familiar when they officially start prep. He repeated that the Aggies had three high energy, high intensity practices over the past week, signaling confidence in how the team will come out against the Gamecocks.
Moving on to this weekend’s opponent, Jimbo said that South Carolina is a good team that has lost a couple of tight games. He praised QB Spencer Rattler, RB Mario Anderson, and TE Trey Knox. WR Xavier Legette Jimbo called a probable first rounder—with good reason, as Legette is one of the premier receiving talents in the nation. Jimbo also highlighted Gamecock punter Kai Kroeger, talking about how huge a factor he was in the game last year. Legette was a big factor as well, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Defensively, Jimbo said the Gamecocks are long and fast, with linebackers that make a lot of tackles and a lot of plays. He pointed out that SC played UGA well earlier in the season to show how talented they are.
Asked about offensive line issues, Jimbo mentioned that the protection issues came late against Tennessee—the pocket was only muddy four times before the last drive. As far as how to fix it, Fisher mentioned that there have been several factors over recent weeks: they’ve faced some great DL recently and have been behind the chains too often: depending on the situation it could be better protection needed up front or quicker decisions by the quarterback. On the subject of the players’ response to this stretch, Fisher said that the guys have been wonderful in their response to the losses, with an even greater leadership group than they’ve had in years past.
Thankfully, Jimbo mentioned that most everyone is back from injury, with presumably one or two that they’ll find out about when they practice today. He said that the week was really good for Texas A&M football with some guys healing up. On the subject of the team’s goals, he mentioned that they can still have a successful season, even if their ultimate goal is no longer within reach. Asked about the emergence of his all-American linebacker, Jimbo said that Edgerrin’s biggest improvement has been with his eyes—he’s seeing the right things and reading the right keys. He’s staying disciplined and seeing the play, allowing him to trigger, and he’s playing with more consistency. Fisher added that both Cooper and York have helped each other, as York makes the calls, and the two have complemented each other well.
On the subject of the punting issues the Aggies have had, Jimbo said plainly that the punter has to hit it right with the correct technique, and that Nik had a good week this week. When facing a dominant receiver like Legette, Jimbo said, you have to know where he is at when it comes to coverage; you have to mix up looks and affect the QB to make sure a guy like that is not in a one on one situation. Jimbo then made an interesting comment that seems to line up with my overall evaluation of the offense, saying that the Aggies have had things there on offense, it’s a matter of having the poise and presence to execute them, and that it’s been shocking that they haven’t been able to make those plays, given how they started.
Asked about the improved linebacker play under Durkin’s direct supervision, Jimbo commented that DJ has done a great job coaching the linebackers, before remarking that most coaches that are coordinators can probably coach every position on that side of the ball. He mentioned that Durkin has been a secondary coach as well. Jimbo gushed about Noah Thomas is back, calling him a difference maker. He closed by speaking about the short yardage issues the Ags have had, saying that those situations entail the hardest yards to get. In the NFL, he said that they throw the ball more often than not in those situations, and remarked that before Alabama, Texas A&M football was really good on that front.