The Aggies hit the practice field Tuesday afternoon, and hopefully the Spring Break hangovers prove none too strong for a squad that needs all the repetition it can get. The following is a guide as to what you, the fan, can expect answered over the final spring workouts until August practice begins.
1. Not much!
The adoring press is allowed access to the first 15 minutes of practice, which is usually good for a couple of punt coverage drills and perhaps a red zone snap or two. If we're lucky. The rest of the reports are based on wild conjecture, drunken NCAA 2007 with the names changed, and sketchy Grad Assistant sources, most of whom are too bored to notice who is actually taking first string snaps, leading to breathless message board consternation over why, exactly, is Cullen Gillaspia getting so much work at quarterback?
2. Did everybody stay in town and lock themselves in the gym?
Well, they're college students, so probably not. No doubt Strength and Conditioning coach Larry 'Black Death' Jackson will be searching for signs of who hit the beaches the hardest. Anybody improve their bench over the week off?
DJing an Iowa State-Drake party in Gulf Shores and these kids are impressed.— Jay Arnold (@JArnoldTAMU85) March 20, 2015
Hmm. Well, I'm assuming at least the starting quarterback stayed in town, watched film, and repeatedly tossed a football through a tire.
To Cancún.. ✌️— Kyle Allen (@KyleAllen_10) March 16, 2015
At least one student-athlete stayed in town to work on his, uh, game.
Bae came in town to see me!!— Jordan Davis (@UKnowJD) March 19, 2015
So it appears we made it through Spring Break relatively unscathed. Moving on.
3. Do you want to play linebacker? Email John Chavis!
In Year 4 of Kevin Sumlin's tenure, the Aggies will trot out two (2!) scholarship linebackers for practice. Normally a two-deep joke would go here, but unfortunately Richard Moore plays the Weakside, and Claude George is working mainly at MIKE, so, yeah. Thank goodness for the JUCO and early enrollee, or this would just be awkward.
Thankfully, most of the injuries aren't considered serious, and Otaro Alaka, Shaan Washington, and A.J. Hilliard are all expected back for fall camp.
4. Are the new coaches making any difference?
The holy triumvirate of a new coach hire usually includes the buzzwords 'attention to detail'' (new wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead), 'increased physicality' (new offensive line coach Dave Christensen), and 'simpler scheme, play faster!' (new defensive coordinator John Chavis.) In A&M's case, there may actually be hope for kernels of truth in all of those, but most Aggie fans will settle for defensive signals being relayed on time, and offensive lineman with their hands on the ground.
In less-esoteric change, it sounds like an increased quarterback run-game is a very real thing, and cornerbacks are actually lining up within the same area code of receivers. The back seven is going to be a drinking game of the highest order come fall, but JUCO transfer Justin Evans looks to be a very workable piece so far.
5. So what should I fill my existence with until the Arizona State game?
Glad you asked. First, press conferences are great time kill, and this staff has remarkably little chill in discussing players. If you hear Sumlin repeatedly praising someone, he's probably doing really well; likewise, if someone's name doesn't appear throughout the entirety of spring practice, it's probably best to assume he's not exactly making the strides hoped for.
Light a candle for injuries, light two for Kyler Murray scorning baseball, and enjoy spring football snippets wherever they may be found - August fall practice is less than 150 days away.