There's not much that can be said after the 59-0 drubbing Texas A&M received over the weekend at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Fans want to know if the ship can be righted, and the Texas A&M coaching staff was asked today about their plans to accomplish this over the next four games.
There isn't anything that's off the table. Any position, evaluating where we are right now. Something like what happened Saturday is an eye-opener and should be an eye-opener, not just to coaches and fans but to players too. We're evaluating that situation. We've got coaches out recruiting today and back in the office tomorrow. I'll have more information at the press conference next week. -- Kevin Sumlin
Kevin Sumlin dismissed any possibilities of coaching changes this week, opting to extend the thumb instead of point the finger by stating that finding the right pieces to make this team successful again "starts with me." He has confidence that "nobody is working harder" at fixing the teams current issues, and maximizing their personnel, than the current coaching staff.
More disconcerting than scheme is the view that the players have quit on their coaches in each of their last three outings. Defensive Coordinator Mark Snyder states that he doesn't "feel like they quit at all," and that the team was primarily hampered by an inability to get off of the field on third down, which is difficult "when you're not tackling well." When asked about whether or not he's seen some complacency from his squad, "possibly" was Offensive Coordinator Jake Spavital's answer, referencing what seems to be the overarching problem for the offense as whole:
What I've seen the last three weeks is we got hit in the mouth and haven't really responded. We've got to come back and fight. -- Jake Spavital
Kevin Sumlin reiterated this point in his session by showing that while physicality is a quality that his team is currently lacking, it's not one it's been lacking all year:
Whatever you do, you're playing football. Three backs, one back, no tight ends, no backs. At some point, you have to be a physical football team. That's what I was getting at with the question earlier about attitude and where we're headed. What's been lost the last couple of weeks, besides games? What will return it? It would be different if those principles were not in this team to start the year. Those are observations that I've made and those are things that I've got to fix.
The good news is I've seen it start at the beginning of the year that way. It's not like we're looking at a team that started off the year and it wasn't in there. It's in there. We've got to get it out. --Kevin Sumlin
According to Coach Spavital, every position is open this week, including quarterback:
I'm going to open every position this week. I'm going to find the 11 guys who want to go out there and fight and play. It's a physical sport and you've got to out there and fight. We're going to have a lot of discussions this week and see who the 11 guys are that want to fight for this team. -- Jake Spavital
"This week is about working on us," according to Coach Sumlin. Hopefully "us" can get better quickly as a road trip with another top 5 opponent (Auburn) is less than three short weeks away.
Check out the press conference videos for more discussion about last week's Alabama game:
Football Weekly Press Conference | Kevin Sumlin 10.21
Football Weekly Press Conference | Mark Snyder 10.21