Serious people don’t overreact to a spring game. Ultimately it’s a zero-sum game, so if you’re offense has a tremendous day with your QB slinging the ball all over the field well then buddy you gotta worry about those corners. On the flip side if your defense dominates and your offense can't get anything going perhaps it’s time to worry about scoring points.
All that being said, A&M came into the spring game with a few key questions, and from my view...I kind of feel better about a few of those questions, and where we stand as a program moving into the fall. Let’s go through them:
Will the offensive line get better this year/do we have depth at tackle
This one is tough to measure from the spring game because the strength of the team is for sure the defensive line, and we even saw newcomers like Brownlow-Dindy have big plays...moreover, the OL was missing at least 3 starters in Foster, Zuhn, and Fatheree.
That being said, I was encouraged by the play of the OL. I thought the QBs had moments of decent pocket protection, and did a decent enough job all things considered. Moreover, Mark Nabou had a great game and I think I’m starting to buy the hype on Chase Bisontis as a bonafide option at that tackle spot. I felt nervous going into this game, but I feel ok after the game.
What about linebacker depth
There’s no denying the fact that the linebacker position is thin. We were thin last year and got thinner. But Taurean York and Daymion Sanford played pretty well...York especially was all over the field.
We still desperately need a transfer at that spot, but I feel better than I did going into the game.
Do we have corner depth?
So this is where the bad news kicks in. Corner is concerning. It’s great to have Tyreek Chappell back and I saw some good stuff out of Sam McCall, but we really need another experienced corner out there. Considered me still really concerned about that spot.
That being said, I believe Bryce Anderson is going to have a breakout year this year, and I think you’ll see him at damn near every position in that secondary.
Will the hire of Bobby Petrino rev up the offense?
The offense was super vanilla by design this past weekend so if you were looking for some high-flying wide-open thing, you left disappointed because that was never going to happen. Based on my understanding, Bobby’s take on the offense isn't all that different from Jimbo’s...but Bobby will do a better job of week-by-week game-planning and scheming to minimize the delta we had between App St.-like performances and LSU-like performances.
That being said, I thought we went downfield more than we had in previous years, and I saw a lot more of the QB rolling out, which could either be to maximize the running ability of the QB or to make up for a patchwork offensive line.
The QBs were ok, but again, that’s where the zero-sum game/lethargic nature of a glorified practice kicks in. Don't take anything from their performance. They’ll be fine this fall.
In short, I think the offense will be just fine.
Do we have enough WRs
This was a bit of a concern coming in and it’s been a priority for the staff to go after another WR in the portal. Noah Thomas went out early, and it seemed like Ainias was shaking off some rust. But I was pretty impressed by what I saw from Micah Tease, who started off the game with a big catch from Max Johnson. Evan Stewart is still Evan Stewarting all over the field, and we didn't even get to see Moose.
I still think we need one more guy out there but a rotation of Smith, Thomas, Stewart, and Muhammad along with Jalen Preston. Micah Tease and Raymond Cottrell will be solid. I’m ok with where we are. Not great, but ok.
- The DL is as advertised. We saw more 4 man fronts which was exciting as well. Reports are that LT Overton has slimmed down and he, along with Malick Sylla should give us the speed off the edge we were missing. Will also be exciting to see guys like Nolen, Stewart, and Turner this fall as well.
- I was really impressed by the RBs (again one of those zero-sum game things where the angel is saying “Be excited!” while the devil on the other shoulder is saying “Your run defense was ass last year maybe you haven't improved!”). Moss is an excellent runner, Amari Daniels should have gotten more carries last year, Rueben Owens is every bit of a 5-star talent, and Crownover is that versatile do it all kind of guy who will pick up a lot of first downs for us. I’m pretty pleased with RB stable
Again, don’t make too much of the game. You’re going to see what you want to see and hell maybe even I wanted to see positive things and that’s what I saw. But I don't think so. I’m good with where we are now that the spring is over. I still don't quite know what to expect this fall given that this roster is incredibly talented, but not all that deep. I think we are a transfer corner, linebacker, and WR away from being able to feel good about our two deep. But given what we saw on Saturday, health and coaches doing their job to put players in a position to be successful could lead to a fun year for Aggie Football.