The Texas A&M football fans are going to have to be patient with Kevin Sumlin in 2012. The team has a completely new coaching staff and is entering a new league. A&M has played LSU and Arkansas during the past two years, but the fans should expect some growing pains as the team adjusts to the new conference.
Sumlin is an excellent coach, and he will build a consistent winner at A&M that should compete for national titles. Aggies fans should expect success, but they need to temper their expectations. If A&M wins seven or eight games in 2012, then that is a very solid season.
This is a look at why Aggies fans need to be patent with Sumlin in 2012.
It does not matter if Jameill Showers or Johny Manziel take the first snap from center in 2012. The Aggies will have a new quarterback who is devoid of experience. That lack of experience will likely lead to mistakes, which result in turnovers and losses.
A&M fans will have to be patient with the Ags' new quarterback as he adjusts to playing in the best defensive conference in the country in a new offensive system. Sumlin will mold the offense to Showers' and Manziel's strengths, but fans should not expect too much too soon from the young signal-callers.
The first five games of the season will be an adjustment period for the players and the coaches. The fans will need to be patient while the Ags quarterback gets accustomed to making plays at this level.
The SEC is a league defined by its great defensive lines. Everyone talks about the speed of the SEC, but what sets the conference apart from all others is the speed and depth of the defensive lines.
The Aggies defensive line is solid when you look at the starters. There is a severe lack of depth behind the first team, though. When 270-pound Ivan Robinson is your second-team defensive tackle, you have some issues as a program.
It is not realistic to expect a defensive line to go injury-free through and entire season in the SEC. Any injuries to the Ags' first team defensive line could be catastrophic because of this lack of depth. Aggies fans need to understand that there will be injuries on the defense, and because of that, there are going to be games that the defense looks bad.
The fans need to be patient while Sumlin and the defensive staff build depth on defense through recruiting.
Other than Terry Price, all of the Aggie coaches are new to the SEC. It will take a while for the coaches to get used to the nuances of each individual staff they face in 2012.
Kliff Kingsbury will have to learn how the tendencies of the defensive coordinators in the SEC, while Mark Snyder will have to learn the tendencies of the offensive coordinators in the league.
Each conference has their own personality on the field. The Aggies coaches will have a better understanding of that personality in 2013 than they did in 2012.
The Aggies have to replace three starters from their secondary from 2011. Sophomore Deshazor Everett and Floyd Raven will likely start at the corner positions. There is a possibility that Everett will play free safety, while Otis Jacobs will take the other corner spot next to Raven.
De'Vante Harris will likely see playing time as a true freshman.
With all of the youth in the secondary, Aggies fans should expect to see a few busted coverages. A busted coverage in an SEC game can be the difference between a win and a loss. Aggies fans need to be patient with the secondary as the younger players learn what it takes to succeed at this level.
The Texas A&M offensive line will be one of the best in the country as long as the starters stay healthy. From tackle to tackle, the Aggies have an O-line that can compete with anyone.
Much like the defensive line, if any of the starters are injured then the Aggies will have issues. The Ags have three legitimate tackles in Luke Joeckel, Jake Matthews and Cedric Ogbuehi. With Ogbuehi starting at guard, the depth issues are more pronounced.
If Ogbuehi gets injured, then there will be no one to step in if Joeckel and Matthews gets injured.
The Ags' passing offense depends on the offensive line to give the quarterbacks times to execute the offense.
The Aggies fans need to be patient with the A&M coaches when the offensive line suffers some injuries.