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Texas A&M Football Weekly Press Conference

September 24, 2013
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
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(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION - Coach Sumlin and members of the Texas A&M football team & staff met with the media on Tuesday in the Bright Complex to talk about this week's game against Arkansas.

Video from the press conference is available through the links to the right. Audio in mp3 format and selected quotes are available below.

Download audio of Tuesday's press conference here:


 HEAD COACH KEVIN SUMLIN

On Arkansas’ offense:
"The way they want to play the game is to line it up and run at you and then run a play-action pass off of it. That's been his (Coach Bielema) style which has been extremely successful in the Big 10. There's no reason for him to go away from that. Brett creates an attitude of how he wants his team to play the game, offensively and defensively. I don't see that changing at all since that's been their proven formula for success. They have two good backs. Their line is very solid. Defensively, it's hard to argue with their production. They have two defensive ends that lead the league in sacks, tackles for loss and disruptive plays. That’s a signature style of play for Brett. It'll be a different game. We transitioned from Alabama to SMU. We're going to have to make a transition again. That’s what this league is all about. The diversity in the SEC right now offensively is a challenge for every team. Moving from different styles back and forth is a challenge, too. I am encouraged by what I saw last week from a communication standpoint for our defense. You take for granted that because the guy’s a good player, he’s going to be able to communicate and adjust. The ability to adjust during the game, for both players and coaches, is huge.”

On special teams:
"We go into every game with a fake punt and a fake field goal. Whether we call it or not is our decision. We saw some things and decided we could plan this. If we need to use it, we use it. I felt like it was a situation that was there. Coach Banks always wants to call something like that. Obviously we executed. We're going to compete just like the first game. We didn't name a starter for the QB position for the first half until 5 o'clock on Friday. I thought it was important for those guys to continue to compete. I think this is important, also. What we're doing is based on competition and ability to play. You play in games based on how you execute and how you compete in practice. That's where we are. That will continue to be the case. It's not going to change this week or the next week. It's a work in progress. There are some things both guys do that are positive, but in this business, all you care about are results.”

On Malcome Kennedy:
"The first half of last season, he sat behind Ryan Swope. He started coming on toward the end of the year. He had that big catch against Alabama which really helped his confidence. Nobody had a better offseason than him. Our players saw that. He’s continued to work to become a complete player. He’s a guy that was a high school quarterback. That usually takes a little longer to transition into the college game. He’s playing very well for us. His leadership during the summer was critical for a bunch of young guys. Our guys see that the hard work and everything else he’s put into it shows that you can work yourself into being a really good player.  I’m glad that he’s had the success that he’s having.”

On receivers blocking:
"Coach Beaty does an excellent job. Our guys take pride in that. You get a lot of outside criticism of spread offenses being soft. I think our guys take that personally. I don’t hear a lot of people saying that about our team. I think the reason for that is our guys do play hard. The biggest transition for a receiver coming into this offense is understanding how to play without the ball. That’s the difference in a six or seven yard gain to a huge gain. Another thing is the ability to block. I said it last year and Coach Beatty said the same thing: if you don’t block, you don’t play. That’s probably the easiest way to motivate people because everyone wants to play.”

On Johnny Manziel’s knowledge of the offense:
"His knowledge of the system in year two is and should be better than it was last year. To think conceptually instead of just route-wise or one thing at a time has been the biggest challenge. That’s the biggest challenge for anybody. I think you've seen that with a lot of the players that were just playing their position last year. They understand the offense. They understand the route concepts. In order to do that, you've got to understand what the defense is doing because of the changes in the route based on what you see. You've got to start thinking like a coach. I was very pleased with some of the things he did out there last Saturday. We’re not where we were with Case Keenum, but he was a sixth year guy. Johnny’s getting there. He made some progressions on Saturday night. I like the direction that we’re headed as a team from a communication standpoint. That comes with experience.”


DEFNESIVE COORDINATOR MARK SNYDER

On Isaiah Golden:

"There's no doubt that he's going to get a lot more playing time as we go along. We’ve got to get comfortable with him and make sure he knows what to do. He's physical enough to help this football team, maybe as early as this week. He factors into our future.”

On Nate Askew’s building on last week’s success:

"It's going to be interesting. I think Nate's up to the challenge. We’re going to give him an opportunity. This is a chance for Nate to show us that he's become a complete player. We know what he can do against the spread because of his athleticism. Now we’re going to see how he can do against a really physical team.”

On the variance of offenses the team has faced:
"Our league is becoming more and more diversified in the attacks that you see week in and week out. We’re going from ‘big boy football’, to the spread, and now back to ‘big boy football.’ We’ll see how it goes. It’ll be another challenge for our guys, especially our young guys.”

On the defense adjusting itself throughout the game:

"I was proud of the whole secondary, not just Deshazor. I thought our kids played hard. We were running to the football. I saw some communication between those guys on the field, not just on the sideline. Those guys were fixing themselves on a series. That was some good stuff. They were disguising and communicating. When we had a mistake and ran the same play later in the drive, we were able to fix it. When you have a defense that can adjust itself in a series before they get over to you, you know you have something pretty good going on.”


OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR CLARENCE McKINNEY
On the progression of Johnny Manziel:

"We've seen a lot of progress with Johnny. He's checking us into the best play we could possibly get. He’s not quite where we need him to be yet, but he’s learning."

On Malcome Kennedy:

"He's catching the ball well. He gives Johnny that other option so he doesn't always have to go to Mike Evans. Malcome knew we were losing three starters so he would have to step up to give us success.”

On Arkansas’ defensive line:

"Their front is really good. They really get after the passer. It's going to be a challenge for our offensive line to keep them off of Johnny. It’s a challenge for Johnny that he embraces. He enjoys the moment when guys start chasing after him.”

On the offensive line:

"Through the four games, they've played like we expected them to play. You would think after playing a game against Alabama we wouldn't have some of the mistakes we made against SMU, but those guys are first year starters. There’s going to be some errors there. They just have to get caught up and get up to speed with the other three guys.”

 

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