Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Texas A&M QB Kenny Hill
The race to replace quarterback Johnny Manziel is on, as veteran Matt Joeckel, sophomore Kenny Hill and freshman Kyle Allen are all in camp this spring looking to replace the Aggies legend.
All three have desirable attributes that head coach Kevin Sumlin can build upon. Joeckel, a senior, started for Manziel in the opener versus Rice last season while Manziel served his half-game suspension; Hill has the dual-threat capabilities that can keep the offense similar to the one Manziel succeeded with; and Allen is the gunslinger with the big arm, similar to former Houston quarterback and Sumlin protege Case Keenum.
But it isn't just about the quarterback.
In College Station, the most critical question is whether or not the Aggies can field a competitive—or even functional—defense.
The dismissal of former hot shot safety recruit Kameron Miles won't help, but he was just a small piece to a very large—and clearly complicated—puzzle for defensive coordinator Mark Snyder. The Aggies need pressure up front and consistency from the linebackers and secondary, all of which were more myth than reality in 2013.
Defense doesn't win championships anymore, "just enough" defense does. That's a moving target for each team depending on what type of offense they employ. With a brilliant offensive mind like Sumlin at the helm, finding "just enough" defense should be overly challenging. It was while Manziel was there, and it will be even more difficult now that he's gone.