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Texas A&M Football

In uncertain times, Fisher, Aggies still pushing forward

March 27, 2020

Editor’s Note: Today’s episode is audio-only.

On today’s episode of The LiucciCast, Texas A&M head football coach Jimbo Fisher joined to discuss what he saw from his team in preparation for Spring Football, how his main focus is on recruiting during social distancing and much, much more.

Key notes from Jimbo Fisher interview

  • No hunting but a little bit of fishing. We have a couple of isolated ponds near us that we’ve been going to late in the evenings. I think the boys are enjoying me being home right now. We do enjoy being together. It’s a good time.
  • Not being together as a team is hard, especially being in the infant stages in our program. We were finally starting to see the fruits of our labor with the older guys and the two young and talented classes. We were finally beginning to see it coming together. Now we have to figure out how it looks when we come back. In our heads, we’re trying to plan all of it out, but we have to be patient. One of the hardest things to have is patience. That’s going to be a huge key this season; having patience and having guys push the right buttons at the right time.
  • From an experience standpoint, it makes us feel comfortable. Kellen really gets it and can translate it to the other guys. But on the other side, we have so many talented young guys that would’ve genuinely benefitted from a spring. We are an experienced team, but we are also a very young team. In this league, you have to have depth, and you have to have that rotation. We have skill all over the field. We could absolutely have young guys who could burst onto the scene.
  • Guys are doing a lot of summer things. Guys are evaluating themselves and our team. We have extensive breakdowns on all of our opponents, and we’re talking to our guys constantly. We also have to keep that constant line of communication open from a recruiting standpoint. We started the Madden tournament. I have never played Madden in my entire life. I’ve never been a video game guy. They didn’t have that when I was growing up. My kids are junkies, though.
  • Marshall Malchow is doing a great job and keeping open communication. Our organization and the way we have to use it now, Marshall is doing a great job. He’s a very creative guy. He’s kind of a workaholic, and he’s doing a great job.
  • There are so many hats that you have to wear and deal with as a head coach that getting to the kids is sometimes difficult. Now, with all the extra time, there is no excuse for not communicating with the kids. This has allowed for that, and it has been great to talk with the kids.
  • So many people like the early signing period, I’m one of them. But if we can’t get an evaluation process, it would get complicated. I hear a lot of NFL guys complaining and the GMs want the draft pushed back. They’re in our world now. It shows how valuable and priceless in-person evaluations are so crucial. I hope we only get rid of an early signing period for one year, not for permanent.
  • Across the board, we have an experienced but young, talented team. The offensive line is an important spot and getting the top eight guys there, deciding on a rotation. Losing these reps is really tough on them. At tight end, we were looking forward to seeing Baylor Cupp coming back and Wydermyer taking that next step. At receiver, we have a lot of really good and really talented young players. How was that going to shape up? Who was going to be at Y and Z consistently? The battles there were going to be really good. We wanted to see if Kellen was going to take the next step and become a championship quarterback and also see who was going to back him up. How good that backup is would determine how much you do with the starter and how much you expose him. At running back, Ainias could be a significant factor if he had a full spring. Isaiah’s body is changing, and he’s coming a very versatile player. Those guys were going to be sophomores. That’s where you make the biggest jump. On defense, with Leal and Bobby and the defensive line, we have so much talent there that we can rotate. I was finally excited because we were getting the pieces to challenge for the league. The linebackers and the corners and the safeties, too, they’re all very talented. Can they take the next step and play at a high level? There were going to be so many battles. There is so much competition there. How quick can those guys grasp the position and take hold? Even in our kicking game, we were seeing that Nik is really talented and Seth was taking the next step. At the same time, there aren’t a ton of question marks. There are guys there, and we have to get it out of them. We had 13 guys who came in early that we wanted to see what they could do. None of those young guys do we think we missed on. They all have the ability to be the player we thought they could be.
  • I’m just talking off the top of my head, so if I forgot some names, don’t be offended. I’m just excited because we’re finally getting that depth.
  • I think the leadership we have now will be some of the best we will ever have. What was going on in the offseason was incredible. In our workouts, guys were telling their teammates to just keep kicking and kicking and kicking. With our speed, we’ve gotten much faster. We really have. You have to have size and speed in this league. We’re getting there. Some teams ran so well that we couldn’t contain them. Certain guys changed the game on us. We have to do a better job of getting there and stopping that. We are getting there. There are dogs in our program and are learning how to play at a very high level.
  • We expect to win and expect to win championships. That’s something we struggled with last year. We expected to be perfect, and we don’t have to do that in every little facet. It’s learning about when to push, and we’re getting that now.
  • Our receivers all catch it very well. You can have multiple types of receivers, and we have tight ends, which can be verticle threats. When you have that, it changes the whole game because you don’t want to play those guys down. And then throw Ainias in there, and he can catch out of the backfield. With him, you can do anything and really create those mismatches. I was really anxious to really start developing our game.
  • Guys get the big picture. Our coordinators have head coaching abilities. Our position coaches have coordinator abilities. I remember that staff at LSU that I was on. We were all competitive, and we all saw the big picture. That’s how this staff is now. We all see the big picture. The contributions from your peers are tremendous, and those contributions are really helping me as a play-caller and as a head coach.
  • I want to see OTAs once we’re allowed to get back together. Football, unlike baseball and basketball, where your individual talent can contribute almost immediately, takes a lot longer. It is still a team game. Just because you’re in shape doesn’t mean you’re going to have an impact immediately. This is a game where you have to get out there as a team and practice together. OTAs would make it much better in the fall when we do get out there on the field.
  • The grit and confidence that we want to instill in guys is finally taking hold. We played a tight game with Georgia, and then we played a good LSU game that beat our butts. In the bowl game, the way we played and represented ourselves, I thought it was a huge win for us and a huge game for us. We got down 14-0 and showed the ability to overcome. The pride they had in themselves, not to fold, is impressive. Throughout a season, there are multiple moments like that. The more you can draw from experiences like that; it’ll help you further down the road.

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Discussion from...

The LiucciCast: In uncertain times, Fisher, Aggies still pushing forward

8,837 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by goodag88
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Sounds pretty promising. If he is saying we are finally getting some depth it makes me excited to see where we are going
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Good interview Billy, but I have to shake my head every time I hear we're a young team. Will we ever not be a young team? Looking forward to the coming season.
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We're not a young team. But the superior talent is young.
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