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Texas A&M Football

Jimbo Fisher stresses physicality after Aggies' fifth spring practice

March 26, 2018
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Music is said to soothe the savage beast.

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher doesn’t want to soothe any savage beast. But he wants to produce them — on the football field, anyway.

And he feels music is not conducive to that. Which is why, unlike in previous years, songs are no longer blaring from the speakers during spring football practices.

“How in the heck can they hear when you coach them?” Fisher said after Monday’s practice session. “I’m trying to coach them at the same time. Are they going to listen to the song or are they going to listen to me?”

No doubt those words are music to the ears of Aggies fans who’d grown frustrated with the perhaps too-relaxed culture of the previous regime.

If that quote was music to ears, several more may strike Aggie fans like heavy metal headbanging. For example, Fisher explained — in his typical auctioneer style — exactly what he means by wanting a more physical team.

"I like guys who like physicality, get to the point and play with leverage … near leg, near shoulder, can play from low to high, put their hat in the right place,” he said. "Put their hands in the right place so you don’t get holds. Like contact and change the line of scrimmage. Defense knock them back or offense knock them back. Receivers cracking on safeties (and) making corners make tackles — the guys who aren’t used to being as physical have to make tackles.”

Got that? Hold on. There’s more.

“The game is a physical game. I don’t care how skilled you are and how open. It still becomes a physical game at points. You have to be able to play with great pad level and great knowledge and near leg, near shoulder.”
- Jimbo Fisher

“The inside backs taking a three-yard run and making it a five-yard run," he continued. "Linebackers sticking a guy at three yards and not giving up a four- or-five-yard run. Rushing the passer. Do you get a sack or collapse the pocket. The offensive line making blocks. Quarterbacks standing in there making plays. Receivers running routes. When you get collisions near leg, near shoulder push guys away. 

“The game is a physical game. I don’t care how skilled you are and how open. It still becomes a physical game at points. You have to be able to play with great pad level and great knowledge and near leg, near shoulder.”

Along with continuing to cultivate a physical image, the Aggies spent much of the practice working on situational football like second downs, third downs and red zone opportunities.

“We’re getting guys to understand how to play situational football,” Fisher said. “A lot of red zone, tight zone down and learning how to play fast in tight areas. Offensively and defensively how to use your help. In other words, the back of the end zone and the front of the end zone and all the different things and where your helpers were.”

The Aggies also need help in the secondary. Last season A&M was ranked 85th in the nation in pass defense. The Aggies allowed 28 touchdown passes and 46 passes that covered at least 20 yards.

The main culprit for that was erratic cornerback play.

Though just five practices into the spring, Fisher said he finds encouragement in the the height of the cornerbacks, including 6-foot-5 Clifford Chattman, 6-4 Myles Jones and 6-2 Debione Renfro and Charles Oliver.

“They’re learning to use their size, their length with their arm reach,” he said. “In college football, you can bump down the field and they don’t call holding.”

Fisher also spoke about A&M quarterbacks present and past. He reiterated that the competition for the starting quarterback job remains open. 

Sophomore Kellen Mond took snaps with the first team on Monday.

Rey Romo, TexAgs
Kellen Mond took reps with the Aggies' first team in Monday's practice. 

“We rotate. Nick (Starkel) is with me one day. Kellen’s the next. Every day we’ve done that. We flipped them each day,” Fisher said. “We get a look at everybody and give everybody a fair chance. I want to see how they react by leading a different group of people. Kellen has earned that right. 

“I can say there’s no starters. Everybody is first-team. That’s their job to keep fighting for it. He’s done a good job. He had a good day today. He made some nice plays in the red zone, made some nice third down throws. Both of them are. The young (Connor) Blumrick is doing a good job.”

Fisher also said he was fine with former quarterback Johnny Manziel taking part in A&M’s pro day on Tuesday morning.

“He’s one of our guys,” Fisher said. “He won the Heisman Trophy and what he is as a player here. He’s doing a great job with his life right now trying to get things in line. I have no problem with him coming here. I think it’s wonderful.”

But more than anything, Fisher kept talking about the need to be physical.

“We’ve got to continue to keep being physical," he said. "We’ve got to try to do a better job of that. We’re getting more physical as we go. We’re going to keep developing that every day."

He said it without any musical accompaniment.

Discussion from...

Jimbo Fisher stresses physicality after Aggies' fifth spring practice

35,418 Views | 18 Replies | Last: 3 yr ago by strbrst777
ccatag
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AG
Thanks for putting this up. Helps in getting to know Jimbo Fisher better. Near leg, near shoulder - have never heard that terminology before.

rocky the dog
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AG
It's a new day for Aggie football. A bright new day.
ShotOver
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AG
I. Love. This.
StickTogetherAgs
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The Night Ag Cometh
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SA-AG72
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Lateralus Ag
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AG
Its a long haul to take a bunch of kids from one mindset to another that is a complete turn around.

I tend to agree with his approach. How he gets there is the question.
Chesapeake Ag
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I'm a huge believer in teaching great fundamentals and technique. Also, Jimbo talks so fast that the players will need to think faster just to keep up with him, which will help them in games.
tex 93
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AG
This article is music to my ears.
Agijud
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AG
Wait....so the coach is in charge and the players are supposed to listen to him? Wow! Mind blowing! I thought we were supposed to do what the 18-21year old players wanted...rap music blaring at practice, pimp sticks, DJ at games instead of Aggie Band, etc. This could actually work!!!
AgCat93
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V8Aggie
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AG
texag86
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texagco2003
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AG
Every time I read a Jimbo quote, I read it about 3x faster than I normally would.
mitchdpm
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AG
YES, YES, and YES! "Near leg, near shoulder" is my new life motto and I don't have a clue what it means.
TrustinAgs
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I am so excited to hear Jimbo. He is going to reach these kids in a way they will make this program great.

Jimbo 4 Prez !


Tamu_mgm
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AG
I learned more football specific knowledge in that 5 minute video than I did in 6 years listening to Sumlin.


strbrst777
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Good move to cut the music. Will the Gameday Task Force get the message? A good game, a big loud crowd and the Aggie band: no way to improve on that for a unique gameday experience!
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