Texas A&M is coming off of a much needed bye-week as they prepare to play the University of Louisiana at Monroe this Saturday. Texas A&M Head Coach, Kevin Sumlin, stated last week that all positions would be open during the bye-week, with the best players starting this week. He clarified his position today, stating that the team wont "change for change's sake," and positions like quarterback are still being fought for this week:
"They've both gotten reps over the last week and will both continue to get reps. Nothing's changed from last Tuesday when I said, 'We're going to go through this thing just like every other position.' ... Change for change's sake is impractical; what you have to do is have a reason for change. Is that reason your ability to be efficient and prove to people that you can handle what's going on, or disprove that you're ready to play in those practice situations?" - Kevin Sumlin
According to Offensive Coordinator Jake Spavital, QB Kyle Allen questioned whether or not the job really was up for grabs, telling Spavital "Good, because I'm going to try to go get it," upon learning that it was. Spavital said that currently embattled quarterback Kenny Hill has responded to the challenge, and has competed well over the last week.
Coach Sumlin points out that this week isn't about trying to find leaders on the young team, as "it isn't time for talking, yelling, screaming. It's time for action." Beyond a void in leadership over the opening stretch, there's been a noticeable drop-off in physical play from week one. Coach Spavital says there's "a lot of it is physicality, effort and energy, and emotion" being addressed right now on the offensive line.
Defensive Coordinator Mark Snyder commented that there's "nothing we didn't already know," regarding what he's learned during the bye-week. Snyder referred to this week as "healthy competition," as the team looks to fill the many defensive rolls that he states are "open." Snyder preferred not to talk about the team's performance over the last few weeks:
"It's a learning experience. I don't know that we'd do a whole lot different. The last three teams were really good football teams. It's something we've discussed and it doesn't need to be discussed in this forum, and it'll be looked at at the end of the year." - Mark Snyder
The focus for this week is ULM, and Sumlin points out that they have a large number of players who will be excited to play in Kyle Field in front of friends and families. Spavital commented on the 3-3-5 defensive scheme that they'll see from ULM this week:
"They play man-free and blitz on almost every snap. Teams have struggled to run against them, especially in spread sets because it's a 3-3-5 and you're outnumbered in the box. You've got to get creative in the run game and hope that with the games they play they don't always hit the right gap. We've been getting some quality reps at it, we're a day ahead on it, and it'll be a good challenge with how aggressive they are and how they force so many turnovers." - Jake Spavital
This team has nowhere to go but up from here, because as Kevin Sumlin pointed out at the end of his presser:
"Nobody talks to me right now [around College Station]. I haven't gotten a lot of No. 1 signals yet though. That's when it gets bad." - Kevin Sumlin
Check out the press conference videos for more discussion about the upcoming game against ULM:
Football Weekly Press Conference | Kevin Sumlin 10.28
Football Weekly Press Conference | Mark Snyder 10.28
Football Weekly Press Conference | Deshazor Everett 10.28