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Jimbo Fisher
Kenyon Green
Demani Richardson
Texas A&M Football

Pleased with QBs, Fisher focused on improving around them after spring game

April 24, 2021
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Spring can be deceiving. Spring will lie. Never trust spring.

But what if the Maroon-White spring football game did offer a glimpse of the truth? In that case, the 17,612 assembled at Kyle Field on Saturday saw a leader emerge in the two-man competition to produce points for Texas A&M.

Certainly, Caden Davis with 51- and 55-yard field goals to go along with a 31-yarder that boinked good off the upright appeared to get an edge on Seth Small.

Oh yeah. A higher-profile competition didn’t seem to provide an advantage. Haynes King and Zach Calzada turned in almost identical performances in their quests to succeed Kellen Mond as starting quarterback.

On a sun-splashed day in which the Maroon team toppled the White team, 23-6, King completed 16 of 31 passes for 211 yards. Calzada, taking snaps for both teams, completed 19 of 40 passes for 253 yards.

Both quarterbacks threw touchdown passes. King connected with walk-on Reese Mason for a 27-yard score. Calzada tossed a 6-yard scoring pass to Ainias Smith.

Both threw interceptions. Both were involved in fumbles. Both have a wealth of ability but a dearth of experience.

TexAgs
Fisher kept a close watch on his young QBs on Saturday and seemed happy with how they performed.

How is that separated? That’s like seeking out a difference between a train and a locomotive.

A&M coach Jimbo Fisher didn’t seem to see much difference in their performances. He didn’t seem to care, either.

“I think they're making tremendous progress right now, and I'm not saying it just for the quarterbacks,” Fisher said. “I am very pleased where they're at.”

Fisher added: “Everybody’s worried about the quarterback. That's the least thing I'm worried about. I'm worried about the pieces around them. We’ve got to play better around them. We’ve got to help around them.”

Fisher was more frustrated with the supporting cast.  

On King’s fourth play, Hezekiah Jones dropped a pass that might have resulted in a 73-yard touchdown. Calzada hit tight end Max Wright in the chest on a fourth down throw inside the 5-yard line. Wright didn’t make the catch.

Fisher scolded the usually-reliable Smith when he ran a flawed route on a third-and-long pass from King.

“We ran the wrong route and didn’t get our head around right,” Fisher said. “You don't get confidence for young guys. You’re not getting third and long because you should have been in the other place. I'm not trying to point (fingers), but we had quite a few dropped balls today. And, you know, miscommunication on routes and timing.”

There were indeed some struggles. There always are in the spring, especially when about a dozen significant contributors are sitting out.

There also were some encouraging signs. King connected on five passes that covered 20 yards or more. Calzada had a 57-yard completion to Smith.

“Everybody’s worried about the quarterback. That's the least thing I'm worried about. I'm worried about the pieces around them. We’ve got to play better around them. We’ve got to help around them.”
- Head coach Jimbo Fisher

But this was really a day for the defense, which was credited with five sacks to go along with the four turnovers.

That’s wasn’t really a surprise, though. The Aggies project to have one of the top defenses in the country. They’re imposing even without ends DeMarvin Leal and Micheal Clemons and cornerback Myles Jones, who all sat out.

That defense was facing an offense with walk-ons sprinkled through the line and few tight ends available.

The rush should have been strong. But one of those sacks was made by linebacker Edgerrin Cooper, who had a spectacular showing.

Cooper demonstrated exceptional speed and the ability to take on runners in the hole. He posted nine tackles even though about 70 percent of the plays were passes.

Cooper clearly showed he could be a productive replacement candidate to replace departed Buddy Johnson at inside linebacker.

The quarterback situation remains murkier.

“It’s always hard,” Fisher said. “In spring it’s always (hard) because you’ve got a broken group. But that reflects on who you are as a competitor and how you can adapt. Because the quarterback has to take the guys he has and be able to be successful no matter what the situation is. I thought we did that in a lot of cases today."

Discussion from...

Pleased with QBs, Fisher focused on improving around them after spring game

10,943 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by Cojack
Caesar4
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AG
Nice article.

Minor point, there's a profound difference between a train and a locomotive. The locomotive is just the powered train car (engine) that supplies power to pull the whole train.
SEC Champs
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AG
Dameyune Craig, where are you?!
AgOutsideAustin
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AG
Have we ever had a spring game where the WR's didn't drop a bunch of passes?
Cojack
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Of the 3 QB's, Stowers looks to be the only one with a frame stable enough to take some hits and be explosive in a dual threat manner
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