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Texas A&M Football

A&M ST/TE coach Jeff Banks recaps PVAMU, looks ahead to Auburn

September 12, 2016
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Key quotes from Jeff Banks' interview

“It is always good to have a complete win no matter who you are playing and a lot of times when you start off with such a challenging opponent in UCLA and then come back with a Division I-FCS school you sometimes can have a letdown.  I think we accomplished exactly what we wanted to in terms of coming out and starting fast and playing well in all three phases of the game.”

“It is always exciting as a coach to see the preparation that the players put in all week and then have it all pay off on gameday.  Sometimes you get an opportunity to return a punt or block a field goal and the execution is not there or the call by me is not as good as it could have been, but sometimes you get it right and the call and the execution are good.  It was awesome to see Justin Evans block the kick.  In practice last week we weren’t even live and a couple of guys came off the edge to test our protection and he jumped over Tanner Schorp and Tank Davis, our tight end wing combination, and everyone was scared because he fell hard.  Then we got into the game and he comes through scot-free, and we all realized that it was a lot harder for him in practice.  We were fortunate and excited for those guys to be able to make plays and in a two week summary is that we played with a lot of starters in the first game and a lot of up and coming players and backups in the second game and I think that now we will see a collection of both units in order to make the SEC run that we have in front of us.  I am proud of the group in coverage, but certainly we would like to punt the ball better at times.  I think Shane Tripuka has come in and shown that he is going to be a solid punter for us, and I think Daniel LaCamera has come in and to see what he has done is a positive note heading into this four game run.”

“I think what we have learned over the past couple of years is not that these are the biggest games ever.  Those thoughts are over and behind us.  This is a mature team and a mature staff and we are focused on the four game swing and are looking at the short game picture.  Chances are that the teams that can withstand a loss and continue to be consistent every week is the team that has won it in the SEC West in the past couple of years.  There have been very few teams that have been able to go undefeated.  I think what is important is to continue to play consistent football and continue to approach it the same every week.  It is easy to say and hard to do, but I feel like this team is more mature and going through that first adverse situation against UCLA will help us on the road in the next couple of weeks and I do feel like we are in a better place as a program and a team and the true test comes when you have adversity.  That will be when we are tested but I think we are set up for that.”

“We played the tight ends split series this weekend so we rotated them both in.  Kalvin Cline had a great week of practice and truly and honestly he was out of training camp for about a week and half and Tanner Schorp was ready to go against UCLA.  I think that both guys will see action.  You always have to be ready to add another surface to the run game.  You always have to be ready against a team with a great front seven like Auburn and every other team in the SEC.  I think you have to be able to block the fourth guy on either side of the ball strong or weak.  The tight end gives you the opportunity to do that and I think that we have already gotten opportunities to do that in different ways.  I think that Kalvin Cline gives us an advantage in the passing game and I think that Tanner does a great job in the run and pass game and I think both of them will be utilized.  As we go through the week we will see what we will scheme against Auburn and how well we executed during the week will tell us how much were going to run.  A lot of times it is predicated of one of two safety defenses and figuring out what is the best to pass and run against.  That is the thing about the flexibility of Coach Mazzone ‘s system.  You are able to take advantage of your playmakers on the outside of the box.  With the ability to run the ball like we have in the first two games and as good a job as the offensive lineman have been doing, I think that the tight ends are going to compliment that this week.”

“It all started with the great practices that Speedy has had.  He hasn’t had any injuries, knock on wood and that has hampered him in the past because he plays so hard.  He is so physical at times that he is almost like a running back playing receiver.  He can get banged up in there.  He had a really goo game as far as doing things right and getting himself into position, and maybe it wasn’t the most productive form a numbers standpoint, but getting that first touchdown out of the way and getting his breath and the kick return exposed him to all the different things he is going to have to do in games.  He has his game speed and mentality ready and I am ready for him to have a huge impact for this team this season.”

“I think of Trevor Knight in the locker room and Coach Sumlin in the media room as far as setting the tone.  I think that is where the leadership comes from.  I think Coach Sumlin has really done an unbelievable job this season as well as in the preseason of continually talking to the players about taking every day one at a time physically, mentally, and so on.  In the long term after adversity after a night game against Auburn, win or lose, we are going to come back stronger and faster the next week.  That one step at a time mentality is being preached from Coach Sumlin all the way down.  Having Trevor and all of those guys on the defense is great.  You look at Justin Evans, Armani Watts, and Donovan Wilson and then Otaro Alaka, Shaan Washingotn, Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall and see that these guys have played a lot of football.  Those guys on defense have a ton of leaders.  There are a ton on offense, too, but Trevor is just our face and he is the most vocal so he deserves the most credit but I feel like the consistency overall of the program is better this year in week three than we were last year in week three.  I just feel like the overall mentality of the program is ready for a long stretch of games win or lose.”

“We have these two guys in Kalvin Cline and Tanner Schorp coming back for senior years and they are both kind of built like H-backs and not in line tight ends, although they can play that and get away with it.  They aren’t the in line traditional west coast NFL tight end.  So, we are excited to go out and find a tight end like that.  Finding a dynamic pass receiver option that can play both in and out of the box, like Ricky Seals-Jones, but maybe even adept to getting into the box and blocking.  We look at it as a two headed position.  Every year we build on it but I love the fact that we have two seniors coming back next year and then we bring in two freshmen next year that are two different body types than we have, and that gives us four guys.  If we can find a dynamic receiving guy that is that big, you never know, we may take another one.  We are building this thing the right way and Coach Mazzone has already showed that.  We have been in a lot of two back formations.  We have a lot of great running backs in James White, Keith Ford, and Trayveon Williams, and because of that we have been able to play our guys in different positions.  I think that tight end wise that is what we are looking at going forward.  We feel like we have a pretty good hold on that position.”

 
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