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Texas A&M Football Weekly Press Conference

October 22, 2013
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(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 the Aggies' upcoming game against Vanderbilt.

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

Download audio of Tuesday's press conference here:

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 – College Station, Texas
Texas A&M Football Weekly Press Conference
Selected Quotes


 On the offensive line’s play against Auburn…
"I thought our offensive line has played at a very high level all year. That was probably the worst they’ve played all season. We need to play better.”

On his relationship with James Franklin…
"I called him when I first got in the league about what to wear to the first coaches’ meeting in Birmingham and what time to get there, where we were staying and where to go. It's kind of funny because Brett Bielema called me. We’ve known each other for a long time. Mike Price was the head coach at Washington State. Greg Olson was the offensive coordinator. He’s with the Oakland Raiders now. James came after I left and actually Jeff Banks was at Washington State after I left. Coach Price has had number of guys who went through that program. We were fortunate to be around at that time as graduate assistants. Joe Tiller was the offensive coordinator and Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator. We were very fortunate to learn a lot from a technical, recruiting and coaching standpoint being on that staff. Obviously, James is doing a fabulous job just looking at them statistically and the number of wins they’ve gotten. He’s accomplished a lot of things that haven’t been accomplished for a while or have never been accomplished. I think that says a lot about him and his staff and their ability to motivate and win in this league. They’ve got a lot of pride. They came in and changed the culture.They expect to win every week.”

On winning games…
"One more point than the opponent should be enough to win the game, regardless of the situation. We know where we are as a team. Our offense understands that. Our team understands that. Our job is to win or lose as a football team. If you’re deficient in one area, you understand that as a coach and try to get that area better. Your goal is to win the game, no matter what. If we were deficient on offense, then it would be our defenses job to allow one point less than we can score.”

On Mike Evans…
"I know that he's a really good player. You can go back to two-a-days when I said he was one of the better players in the country before the season even started. I’ll stick with that. I don’t think anyone would argue with that based on his performance and his consistency with his performance over the last seven games. He's improved from a year ago from a numbers standpoint. How he approaches the game, even without the ball in his hands, it's hard to argue he's not one of the best players in the country.”

On preparing for Vanderbilt’s multi-quarterback system…
"We prep for the offense. It's like we do all the time. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but their situation is kind of like ours. By this time of the year, you have video of what teams like to do conceptually and you have to prepare for that. You also have video of what individuals can do. You have to prepare with what you’ve got.”

On improvements to be made before Saturday…
"We've just got to get better. We've got to get better on defense, there's no doubt about that. We've got to shore up some things up front. Our eye control was better on the back-end as far as pop-passes and that other stuff. We need to get better there and we've got to get better on the offensive line. That's a very high standard that we have. They’ve played very well all year. Don't get me wrong, Auburn was the worst game we've played this year, by far, but it wasn't necessarily bad. Our standards have been so high and we’ve been used to them being near-perfect, it’s a high expectation to reach. Our expectations have risen as to what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. We would like to have those types of expectations across the board.”

On motivation for the Vanderbilt game…
"The fact that we lost Saturday helps us. We lost at home. We're playing in the SEC. Anybody that we play, based on what we've seen the last two weeks, kicking a field goal to win and then losing at home gets our attention. Right now, it’s not necessarily about the opponent, and that’s no disrespect, but it’s about us and what we can do to get better. There's a bunch of things that we control that can dictate whether we win or lose. Third down conversions and turnover margin: those are the two biggest stats of the game for us. We lost both of those Saturday and we lost the game. If we win those two areas, we typically win the game. That has a lot to do of us taking care of the ball and taking advantage of missed opportunities and turnovers. We gave them the ball twice; a couple times it was when we were going into the end zone. Those are things that we need to fix and we can control. That’s the biggest motivating factor that we use."

On how the defense can improve…
"The key is reps-game reps. What we look for is improvement. You evaluate what the kids are doing each week as you play a game. We talk about whether we have the right people on the field and whether they are doing what we ask them to do.”

On Coach Sumlin…
"There are a lot of things he brings to the table. Coach Sumlin is a player's coach in a lot of different ways. He doesn't sugarcoat anything with the kids and I think the kids respect that. I think our whole staff is that way. We tell them exactly what we feel. He brings a lot of energy and youth. He can relate to the players. Because he can relate to the players, they can trust him and that allows him to be brutally honest with them.”

On Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews…
"He's a really good receiver. He's tall, long and fast. We're going to cover him the best we can."

On having an opportunistic defense…
"It depends on who you are. Where we are right now, we need to be opportunistic. We need to get off the field on third down. We need to create turnovers. We need to do anything we can to get our offense back out on the field.”

On the quarterback situation…
"We feel confident in both of those guys. It's a different team when Johnny (Manziel’s) out there. It's a different team when those guys are out there. Matt (Joeckel) knows the offense. He’s been in the system for two years. We feel like he can operate it. Kenny (Hill) is very talented. We feel like if he's out there he can make plays for us as well."

On Mike Evans…
"As a quarterback, you want a guy like Mike Evans who you feel can beat one-on-one and even double coverage if he has to. You feel like if you throw it in his area, he’ll make you look good. I never really look at the numbers. We just throw it to him and hope he makes plays for us. I can’t say that I’ve coached a better wide receiver than Mike. He’s extremely talented. He works hard at it. He’s one of the toughest kids I’ve ever been around. He plays hurt and he gives you everything he has.”

On Trey Williams…
"He's shown the last couple of weeks that he deserves some playing time. When he has the ball in his hands, we expect something exciting to happen. We always tease him that he’s too small and by the time the defense sees him, it’s too late. Hopefully he'll continue to do those things. Tra Carson and Ben Malena are both playing great as well."

On Johnny Manziel running the ball…
"Our plan from day one has never been to stop Johnny from things he’s done to be successful. He sits in the pocket more this year than he did last year because he understands the offense better. He can get to his third and fourth progressions. The plan was never for him to run less. The plan was for him to run our offense. When he makes his reads and doesn’t like what he sees, he has the ability to make the plays with his feet.”

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