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Texas A&M Football Weekly Press Conference

October 02, 2012
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

College Station, Texas - Coach Sumlin and members of the Texas A&M football team & staff met with the media today in the Bright Complex to talk about this week's game against Ole Miss at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss.

Video from today's press conference is available in the links to the right. Audio in mp3 format and quotes are available below.

Download audio of today's press conference here:

 

 

TEXAS A&M FOOTBALL WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 - College Station, Texas

Selected Quotes


HEAD COACH KEVIN SUMLIN

On difference in penalties...

"If you're conscious of what you're doing and you realize that the consequences hurt the team, it will put us in a core position. An NFL study found that, over time, 10 yards of penalties equal one point. All you have to do is look at the Florida game. If that's the case, that was about eight or nine points. That's the difference in a football game. When you start talking to people in terms of what it actually costs, I think the guys understand it and it's not okay. There are always situations where a guy may be aggressive, but the five-yard penalties are controlled by the players, not the coaches. Coaches coach and players play, but you have a responsibility to everybody to do your job. That's it. You hold people accountable."

On progress of team...

"I think we're right about where we thought we would be. I think we've been preaching and we're trying to be consistent in what we do. It's hard to say that we are progressing because we are only four games in, but I've been pleased. I think we've improved every week.  Everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop around here but I think we've gotten better every week. Everything we've talked about, reducing penalties and higher turnover margins, our guys are listening. Those are the two biggest things we came into this year trying to accomplish. Also, we are working on keeping the effort and intensity up. Generally speaking, those three areas are probably our biggest improvements. The key to college football and being a championship-level football team is consistency. There are a lot of teams that can play well for three hours one week. Yet, what about the three hours the week after that? That's the hard part, particularly with young guys that are going to class and have midterms. The ability to keep focus and maintain a certain level of play takes maturity."

On interchangeable players...

"I think our staff is doing a good job with the pieces we have. We have some quality pieces; we just don't have a lot of them. I think Coach Snyder, Marcel Yates and our defensive staff, from the front end to the back end, have moved some guys around and made things work. You're playing against different styles of offenses. Certain offenses are going to try to block everybody and make your corners tackle. Other offenses are going to run right at us and make other people tackle. The more that you can play with interchangeable parts, the harder it is for the offense to see what's going on. The more interchangeable parts we have, the better off our defense will be."

On freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel...

"Based on results, he's been pretty good. You see him getting better. That's all part of it. As a young guy, you have to handle success at all positions, more so at quarterback. Like me, you get too much credit when you win and all the blame when you lose. You figure out how to deal with that as a quarterback. It's important and that comes through experience. I think he wants to be really, really good. Not just a guy that's playing and doing some things. He wants to develop into a complete quarterback. In order to do that, you've got to be very honest and critical with yourself about your limitations and your strengths. That takes time, a long time. You've got to realize that small steps are important. Not going backwards is important. At this juncture, and for the rest of his life, to improve is a daily routine."

On Ole Miss...

"Bo Wallace is a tough guy and he's a bigger guy than I thought. He's a guy that won't hesitate to run it and he's taken some shots. I've been impressed with this team's speed. Look at what they do offensively, 23rd in the country in rushing the football. They've played two top-10 teams. They've been able to move the football on everybody. I think they've done a nice job. Jeff Scott is fast. Anyone who can run away from Texas and Alabama is pretty fast. They do a great job offensively in their schemes to get you spread out and to split you. They've got some weapons and they are tough to defend. We've got our work cut out for us. The combination of their scheme with their team's speed is what separates them."

 

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR MARK SNYDER

 

On SEC defense reputation...

"We still have a lot of work to do. I think the kids are buying in. We asked them to create turnovers. We asked them to play great in the red zone, some of those kinds of things. Don't give up the deep ball. The kids are doing that week in and week out. The glaring thing for me Saturday was simply our tackling ability. We played some real cats out there Saturday and we need to tackle better. We have to tackle. In this league, they are going to make corners tackle. You will have to be able to cover and tackle."

On junior defensive end Damontre Moore...

"He's playing really well right now and playing hard. Coach Sumlin makes an effort tape and he's on it every week and that's the end of the game that he's on that tape. He's really enjoying himself right now. He's loving to play of the game. The good thing is that we got to play our two's the whole fourth quarter. Damontre and Spencer [Nealy] were mad. They wanted to keep playing and that's a good sign. There are a lot of guys playing hard. Damontre is just using his talents right now. He's come light-years from when I first met him."

On the reduction in penalties...

"You've got to tip your hat to the head football coach. That's a point of emphasis and I think this team has bought in on what he's selling. I see it on our side as well. We've asked for the four keys for victory and the last several weeks, our guys have delivered all four on our side of the ball. It sounds like, as an overall picture, the penalties have come down because on our side there is the mentality of "If in doubt, don't."

On Ole Miss...

"This is a very good offense. They are very talented. We are getting into the part of the season where we are going to play one good offense after another. The difference with this offense is that they can run the ball in the red zone. They know how to run the ball because they run their quarterback.  We're going to see both quarterbacks. I don't think there's any question about that. We'll get our fair share of that Saturday."

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR KLIFF KINGSBURY

 

On freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel...

"He's done well. He's a football player and he knows it's his number one priority. He shows up every week eager to learn and get better and I've been really excited about that. He did a good job on Saturday."

On the large score against Arkansas...

"I look at it as an improvement from each week. I think with a young quarterback and a group still trying to learn the offense, that's a big step. We felt like we still left a bunch of points out there, attempting to kick five field goals. We've got to get better in the red zone. There's a lot of room for improvement which is good."

On wide receivers Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu ...

"Knowing what Ryan's done here in the past and knowing what type of player he is, we wanted to give him a shot at that position and he's done a great job with it. We'd like to give him the ball more and more as Johnny gets more comfortable with the offense. I think Ryan and Uzoma are constant team players, hard workers and leaders on this team. You never heard them say one foul word about anybody. They just kept working hard and knew what was going to come. It's been awesome as a coach to have two guys that have had that kind of success. They kept working hard and said, 'Hey, we're not going to worry about it. Our time will come.' "

SENIOR WIDE RECEIVER RYAN SWOPE

 

On what the team has to do to move up in the rankings...

"There's not much you can do except just go out and play and execute. As long as we do those things the rest will take care of itself. As long as we keep working hard and having good weeks of practice the respect will come. I use it for motivation and inspiration. It's one of those things that if you just keep working it will come."

On blocking as a wide receiver...

"It's something I take pride in, that all the receivers take pride in. Coach Beatty really emphasizes to go out and play the best game possible. I really enjoy blocking. It's one of those things you have to take pride in doing. It's always good to go out there and set the tone of the football game by getting a good block."

On traveling to Oxford...

"I expect Ole Miss to be a crazy atmosphere, real loud. This is going to be special for us and is what I came back for to play, to go out and experience all those SEC schools. Going on the road to all those SEC schools, seeing how loud these stadiums are. It's going to be cool to see everything these teams have to offer. I'm really excited about it."

On limiting the number of penalties...

"We really emphasize that in practice. We've got to be a smarter football team. We realize we have to go out and play Texas A&M football and play smart. We've worked on cutting back on penalties in practice which translates to cutting back on the field."

SENIOR LINEBACKER JONATHAN STEWART

On not being ranked...

"It's not important. If we were ranked 23 we would be the same exact team. It's not very important to us right now. We're just trying to focus on Ole Miss. We know how much talent we have on this team. We know what we're capable of doing. It's not a big-time priority for us right now. There's still a lot of season to play."

On Ole Miss' offense...

"We watched a little bit of film on them yesterday. They have a very good offense. They like to spread it out and try to run the ball like our offense does. A lot of their offense is the zone read. We're going to have to be prepared and ready to play."

On the defensive rotation...

"It's fun. There are a lot of guys out there and there are a lot of guys making plays. You never know who's going to make a play. Sometimes it's Damontre. Sometimes it's Spencer. Sometimes it's a linebacker. Sometimes it's a DB with a pass break-up. It's fun and exciting with all the guys rotating in and out and bringing more energy if the other offense is able to sustain a drive."

On the first SEC road trip...

"I always love playing at Kyle Field; I never look forward to playing anywhere else. Their fans get pretty crazy and they love their football over there so it's going to be a tough environment. We're going to have to bring our own energy. Aggies travel, but we're going to be outnumbered. When tough things happen we're going to have to move on and focus on the next play."

On being an SEC defense...

"As a defense we don't go out and try and prove that we're an SEC defense. We go out there and try to play our game. Our goal is just to go out there and do what we need to do to get wins. We don't care what kind of label we have as a defense."

On playing five out of six games on the road...

"We look at each game as one individual season. We're not concerned about who our future opponents are. The only opponent we're worried about is Ole Miss. We have to let Ole Miss take care of itself. If we start worrying about LSU and Alabama then those future games will become insignificant because we didn't take advantage of the opportunity we had."

SENIOR WIDE RECEIVER UZOMA NWACHUKWU

On scoring 58 points against an SEC defense...

"That's the identity of our offense. We go on the field expecting to score every time we're out there. Every time we have a drive, we want to score a touchdown. We work in practice to do that. Every play we run we expect to get in the end zone. We think that we're a talented group. We think we can hang in there with anybody. Coach Kingsbury had a good game plan for us and we were able to go out there and exploit some of their weaknesses."

On getting into the meat of the SEC schedule...

"We know that to make that step we have to get better. We can't dwell on our previous games. We have to go and play this month out the same way we want to end the season. We want to go and win games and win games well. It can't just be one aspect of it; we have to get better in everything that we're doing."

On the penalties...

"To be a winning ball club we can't have penalties. You can't hurt yourself and have mental mistakes like that. We want to get positive yards instead of negative yards. The coaching staff has done a great job of making us more focused."

On the first SEC road trip...

"I expect it to be all that the Big 12 was. You go to places like Lubbock and Austin, you have to keep your helmet on. You have to be in tune with everything that's going on. I'm going to tell the younger guys the same thing and I expect the same thing out of them."

On Ole Miss' defense...

"They're very athletic. They're one of those teams that runs to the ball very well. They have a lot of fast guys and big, physical guys. They give 100% effort on every play. They're going to be a pretty good test for us."

SENIOR DEFENSIVE BACK STEVEN TERRELL

On being an SEC defense...

"It's only been four games; we have a lot more games to go. I hope by the end of the year we're able to prove it."

On playing Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace...

"Anytime you play a quarterback like that, you have to be fundamentally sound. They do zone reads and things like that to force everybody to do their job. This week is going to be very important in practice to make sure we don't have anybody overcompensating and trying to do too much. We need everybody to do their job."

On the depth of the secondary...

"It's great for us to have (Toney) Hurd, Jr. going from nickel to safety and Deshazor (Everett) to go from corner to safety. Everybody will have a better grasp for the defense when you have guys that can play multiple positions. It helps to know what the other person is going to do when you've played that position. That's an advantage for us."

On playing Ole Miss...

"They can be a dangerous team. They have a lot of speed on the outside and they have a quarterback who can run. When you have a quarterback that can run, it can create a lot of problems for the defense. This week we're going to have to tackle better on the back end and just be very fundamentally sound."

JUNIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN DAMONTRE MOORE

On playing Ole Miss' offense...

"We have to be very disciplined. He's the most athletic quarterback we've played all year. He's a little more agile. They run the zone read as well as anybody in the country. It puts more of an emphasis on us as a defensive line to be fundamentally sound. It puts a huge emphasis on practice this week. If we can play fundamentally sound this week we'll be successful."

 

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