Texas A&M Football
Fall Camp Day #7: Sumlin, Beaty, Swope, Nwachukwu
On how the players looked...Sumlin: "Alright. Not bad. We took the pants off of them today, cut back a few plays in the script for 7-on-7 and team, getting them a bit more rest for tomorrow. I'm more concerned about what's going to happen tomorrow and the mental work today, giving them a plan, a good feel for what we're trying to do so we can play ball tomorrow."
On what he's looking for tomorrow...
Sumlin: "Consistency. Effort. There's going to be mistakes. We're going to play some young guys. We only had 15 practices in the spring and three were scrimmages. So we had 12 practices and eight here now. For these freshmen and some of these guys who've been hurt, there's a bunch of guys that this is their first time practicing. I'm looking for effort, increased effort, and we talked about preparation and the approach to it. And some consistency; we can work with some guys who are playing hard.
"And guys who make plays. Putting guys in those positions without coaches on the field. Getting them lined up, telling them where to be, A-gap, B-gap, we're going to line up and, at the pace we run things, I'm looking to see how they can handle that."
On their grasp of things...
Sumlin: "It's pretty good. We've thrown a lot at them. We've got to be able to execute offensively and defensively from all positions on the field and, defensively, there's enough in that we can blitz, play base, play man, play different coverages ... we've done that purposely. And we're part of the, you call it the whole-part-whole teaching method. We're throwing it all at them and seeing what they grasp and we'll come back and hit it part-by-part next week because we'll have two practices Monday, one Tuesday, two Wednesday, one Thursday and two Friday, so we've got plenty of practices to work to fine-tune some things.
"Tomorrow is about effort, lining up and making plays."
On how much he anticipates playing Spencer Nealy on the inside...
Sumlin: "I don't know. We'll see if he can handle it. That's what tomorrow is about."
On his first thoughts were about Ryan Swope...
Sumlin: "He was bigger than I thought he was. He's a good player. Everybody knows that. You asked for my first thought, that was it. I just walked by and said, 'He's much bigger than I thought.' I had no idea he was 205 pounds. Matter of fact, he may have been too big last year. I think if you ask him, his body's changed a little bit and just the composition of his body ... it's helped him."
On rotating guys from end to tackle and how they've responded...
Sumlin: "We'll see tomorrow. We're out there practicing a little bit and we've had just a little bit of life. We've had live blocking, but not a lot of live tackling. I anticipate what'll be upwards of easily 100-something plays tomorrow. We need it for all these young players. Usually I would not do that. We do that more often in the spring and when we get to the season, we've usually found who we need to play and we cut back plays for veteran players.
"But this team right now, we're still trying to figure out who we are. In order to do that, we have to figure out who the players are and match them to what we're trying to do. So in order for us to do that, we need to play and keep some groups out there. We've got quarterbacks that need to get reps, a bunch of D-linemen that need to get reps ... we've got a back end of the secondary that needs a bunch of snaps and we've got a bunch of receivers that are in a new offense that need to get plays.
"And the only way to do that (before) Shreveport is to do it live. And there's some risk to that, but we need to do that tomorrow."
On whether Tyrann Mathieu's dismissal at LSU is a reminder to all programs...
Sumlin: "No doubt. There's no doubt. That's a situation that — we've been so wrapped up in what we're doing — I'm like a lot of people, someone just told me that. But it's exactly right. No one person, and we talk about it in this room, is bigger than the program. And no coach. We talk all the time about how if I weren't here, there'd be another guy here. Don't get confused. If you weren't sitting in that seat, there'd be another guy there too. We treat this program as if no one person is bigger than the program and I think our guys understand that."
On the leadership at WR...
Sumlin: "There aren't a lot of (senior WRs). You ran out (listing them) quick. We've got two guys, really, that are playing meaningful minutes and Kenric (McNeal) has been back-and-forth because his mother's been sick. Those guys have played a lot of football here and been in, as I say, 'real football games.' Their ability to lead is going to be big for us as we get into the season. Right now, for their purposes, they're no different than anybody else — they're trying to learn and get their gig down so they know what's going on in this offense.
"As they get more comfortable, just like everybody else, with what their position is and what their specific assignment is and what they're asked to do, a lot of guys like Eazy, Swope and Joeckel, and Sean Porter, who's getting more vocal, those guys will start to speak up."
On looking forward to tomorrow's autograph session...
Sumlin: "We've had a bunch of autographs and gone around the State and done some things, but here locally it'll be great. I'm not as excited about it for me as I am for the players. I think it's a big deal to our players to be a part of the community, to meet people, particularly kids in the community, and the impact they have on little guys that come up and (get) autographs and get to know them as more than a helmet ... football is a bit different than basketball where you can see faces and really get to know somebody.
"For us, it's a big deal for our players, for fans to be able to put a face and personality with a player. You look at guys differently that way."
David Beaty*He has high standards for the receivers and they’re still learning together. They’ve been very receptive to coaching and know that only full speed is accepted.
*He’s been harping on trying to find leaders. EZ and Swope have been leaders and know they need to be leaders.
*He’s taken pride in being a part of fast offenses but this one moves at a blinding pace. He says nothing compares to the tempo of this offense and he’s been around fast offenses.
*Mike Evans has unlimited potential. He’s just starting to pick up on the position since he began as a basketball player with little actual playing time at receiver in high school. He’s starting to become a smarter player.
*All three of the freshman are impressive and come from successful programs. They know how to work and understand winning. They have all been bright spots but it’s early. Pope has one of the greatest personalities and he’s a great talent that plays his tail off.
*He would like to be four deep at receiver. He’s got those types of bodies but they’re still trying to find who the guys will be, especially with the newcomers. They need to be deep with the tempo they run. He’s pleased and thinks they can get it done with the personnel available.
Ryan Swope*EZ and Swope take a great deal of pride leading the receivers and leading the Aggies into the SEC. There’s a lot of talent so they just need to keep competing.
*They’re watching a lot of film and listening to Coach Beaty teach the routes and little development tools. This is especially important for the young guys. They need to stay self-critical and do the little things.
*There’s a lot of feel in this offense but you also need to know your assignments really well (like how to read a hot rout when the defense is blitzing). Mentally you have to be ready for game-situations. Physically they also have to be conditioned and they’re working hard to stay conditioned.
*He’s trying to get his weight down because of the pace. He doesn’t want to be too light but just light enough to make more plays. He can already tell a big difference. He was up to 208, now he’s at 200. He’s quicker and more flexible now.
*The scrimmage is huge. It’s a chance for guys to show coaches what they’re capable of. If you want to get on the field, then you have to prove yourself. This is especially important for the young guys. Everyone must be mentally and physically prepared.
*It’s exciting to see four guys compete. They all watch a lot of film and they all have great work ethics. They’re all hungry, all of them. They need a guy who can step in a win football games and he’s anxious to see who will get the starting spot. They need to be able to trust each other.
*The new receivers are all very talented. It’s fun to see them develop and he’s excited about their futures. They’ll be great if they keep working hard.
*Thomas Johnson wants to win and he can tell. They’re going to need him to have that mentality on the field.
Uzoma Nwachukwu*The receiving corps has been working to improve their overall conditioning and work the ball-jugs regularly to improve pass catching.
*Finding the void in the defense is the tough adjustment in this offense. The routes aren’t as structured so focusing on finding the defense’s weak spots is the big change.
*It’s a bit of an adjustment with new quarterbacks but the quarterbacks are very capable. This team is going to come out on top because there’s great competition at QB.