Texas A&M Football: Best Quotes and Key Takeaways from SEC Media Days
SEC media days are now completed. The annual event did offer some interesting insight into some of the developments around the Texas A&M football program and how the program is perceived.
Typically head coaches attend media day without having seen their team since spring practice. This is the first year that coaches can participate in the summer workouts, so they have a better grasp of where their team stands.
It also allows them to get an early look at the incoming freshman class and how ready they are to contribute in the upcoming season. This means that the coaches have more to share than simply a rehashing of what happened during spring practice.
This is a look at some interesting quotes and takeaways from the 2014 SEC media days.
Daeshon Hall Is Developing Physically
Daeshon Hall is a sophomore weak-side defensive end from Lancaster, Texas. He played as a true freshman in 2013 and showed some natural ability to rush the passer.
Hall had offseason surgery on both of his shoulders but according to head coach Kevin Sumlin, he has added some good weight and is ready to go.
Very, very athletic pass‑rusher. One of the few guys we had that could do that. He's around 260 now. He's a guy that came in around 225, 228. Another guy that shouldn't have played last year. Put him on the field. He's 260, ready to go. We'll have some guys which we didn't have last year that can get their own pass‑rush instead of trying to create pressure with blitzes and different situations.
That is great news for Aggie fans. The Texas A&M defense struggled in 2013 to get pressure on the opposing quarterback with their front four. Hall struggled because he was simply not big and strong enough to hold up against SEC offensive linemen.
If Hall can give the Aggies some consistent pressure from the defensive end spot, then it will take a lot of pressure off of the A&M secondary. The fact that Hall was able to add good weight after going through two surgeries bodes well for the 2014 defense.
The Rivalry with Texas Is Still Misunderstood
You know more about it than I do. I’m not from Texas. …I think it’s a shame that Texas and Texas A&M don’t play each other, though. I don’t mind saying that. Two schools that have been playing for over a hundred years, just because one of them joins another conference, get mad at each other, we’re not playing you anymore. …I think it is sad.
Spurrier and a lot of college football fans and pundits in general do not understand the dynamic between the two programs. Texas was not a good actor when the two schools were conference-mates.
Texas A&M has experienced a lot of success since it branched out on its own and joined the SEC. Its brand has expanded exponentially with its affiliation with the conference. The Aggies play on a national stage almost every week for the football season.
Playing Texas would not benefit Texas A&M in any form or fashion right now. All it would do is add a marquee opponent to Texas' schedule. Bad behavior should not be rewarded, so A&M should not play Texas again.
A National Reporter Got Sumlin'd
Anyone who has covered Texas A&M since Kevin Sumlin took over as head coach knows that if you ask him a dumb question, he will call you out on it. One unfortunate member of the media learned this hard truth during the question and answer portion of the press conference with Sumlin.
He asked a question about Johnny Manziel's active nightlife since he joined the Cleveland Browns. Sumlin responded in his typical fashion.
Is this the SEC Media Days? No, that's a great question about the Cleveland Browns. Anybody else got something?
The mainstream media will continue to associate A&M with Manziel until the Aggies prove they can have success in the SEC without him. Sumlin continues to focus on the players who are wearing Texas A&M uniforms.
2014 Is Not a "Rebuilding" Year
The general consensus of an AL.com poll of the league's information directors (h/t SaturdayDownSouth.com) is that Texas A&M is going to have a down year in 2014 without Johnny Manziel carrying the offense. Head coach Kevin Sumlin made it clear that he does not believe in rebuilding years.
We're going to try to go out there, win every game, put our guys in a position to do so, with the mentality that we are here to win. Just to say, you know, this is just one of those years, I don't think I've ever done that as a coach, as a head coach or as an assistant.
Sumlin and his staff have been continuously adding talent to the program since they took over in 2012. They are building a program with the goal of competing for championships year after year.
The expectations are that some young players will step in for the departed players and make their own mark on the program.