Photo by Lia Musgrave, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Fisher's high standards evident in refusal to continue subpar practice

August 15, 2019
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Jimbo Fisher was hot under the collar on Thursday night, and it had nothing to do with the triple-digit temperatures.

The Texas A&M coach was so upset by the Aggies’ lackluster effort in football practice that he called off the session early rather than waste time.

“I didn’t like the demeanor we had,” Fisher said. “We weren’t creating good enough habits. I didn’t think we were executing at a level and didn’t have the focus we need to have. You’re either going to create a good habit or a bad habit, so we’re not going to sit there and create a bad habit.

“I’m not going to accept that.”

The Aggies will be off on Friday and will return for what figures to be an intense practice session on Saturday as they continue to prepare for the Aug. 29 season-opener against Texas State.

Fisher did not reveal which groups were lackadaisical, nor did he say whether any individuals did meet his standards.

He made it clear there were several facets in which the players failed to meet expectations.

“I didn’t see the effort I needed … That can never be accepted. I’m not going to accept that.”
- Jimbo Fisher

“I didn’t see the effort I needed. Didn’t see the execution. Didn’t see the detail. Didn’t see the communication. Didn’t see the things that make you play good football consistently,” he said. “It was too erratic, too up-and-down, too lethargic. Just not the focus you’ve got to have. That can never be accepted. I’m not going to accept that. 

“You can say grind them through it. Then you create bad habits. They know what’s expected. You’ve got to do it right.”

The sluggish outing could have been the result of fatigue as the Aggies have been practicing for two weeks in intense heat. Evening temperatures have reached 100 degrees eight consecutive days.

However, Fisher undoubtedly countered that temperatures are also hot in South Carolina, where the Aggies must travel in three weeks to face defending national champion Clemson.

“Everybody is in a grind. That’s what football is about,” Fisher said. “That’s why you win tough games — you embrace the grind. If you don’t like the grind, you don’t need to play football. There is no easy way to be good in football. You’re either going to make a choice to do it, or you’re not.

“We’ll see who wants to play when we get back on the field on Saturday.”

Asked if he expected the players to be ready for strong practice on Saturday, Fisher responded that he expected a strong practice every day.

Lia Musgrave, TexAgs
Texas A&M’s head man expects the Aggies will be back for a strong practice on Saturday, as he expects a strong showing every time out.

“You can’t go higher than your maximum,” he said. “It should be the same every day. That’s what you’ve got to aspire to. That’s what you’ve got to be.”

Despite his seemingly foul mood, Fisher insisted he wasn’t angry or frustrated.

“There’s no reason to get mad,” he said. “Yelling at them ain’t going to make it. Not yelling at them ain’t going to make it. You either want to do it, or you don’t. 

“You can say motivate them (but) motivation is internal. You’ve got to either have that gene that you accept it to meet the grind or you don’t. We didn’t meet it today. I’m not going to sit there and watch that happen.”

Notes:

  • Receiver Quartney Davis returned to practice after missing several sessions with an injury. 
  • Receiver Kendrick Rogers was sidelined and had a walking boot on his right ankle.
  • Cornerback Elijah Blades was also held out of practice.
  • Kicker Seth Small was sidelined with a high fever.
  • Fisher said he has yet to select the 12th man replacement for Cullen Gillispia and was not going to rush the decision. “I’m taking my due diligence,” Fisher said. “That’s consistency and performance over a long period of time. When you take that on that’s not just an up-and-down thing, it’s not a rah-rah thing. It’s how you perform and what you do consistently day in and day out. We’ll make that choice when it’s appropriate.”
 
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