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Texas A&M Football

Fishing for a Reaction: Jimbo Fisher unfazed by offseason '8-4' criticism

August 8, 2022
11,530

A good, experienced fisherman knows the right bait to get the preferred reaction.

Live shrimp will attract redfish. Perch love worms. Croaker draws speckled trout.

Yet, sometimes even the perfect bait doesn’t get a response.

Take Sunday, for instance.

A quote from an anonymous Southeastern Conference coach who called Texas A&M an ‘8-4 program’ was dangled in front of coach Jimbo Fisher.

The actual quote that appeared in Athlon’s preseason magazine read:

“Jimbo Fisher might be a mad genius when it comes to media because they get talked about alongside Georgia and Alabama, and they’re every bit an 8-4 program. He knows it, too.”

Oftentimes, Fisher will react to a derogatory comment or show of disrespect like a White Shark on chum. But this time, the fish … err, Fisher … didn’t bite. Not even a nibble.

“Why would I respond to somebody who’s anonymous?” Fisher said. “We’ll see.”

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Jimbo Fisher is entering his fifth season in College Station, and the Aggies are expected to be a consensus top-ten team in the preseason polls.

Just two seasons ago, we saw Texas A&M field one of the best teams in the country. True, the Aggies only posted nine victories, but that’s because they only played 10 games.

Had COVID-19 not dramatically forced the schedule to be changed, the Aggies likely would have posted 11 regular-season victories. Remember, COVID-19 resulted in an SEC-only regular-season schedule.

Games against Abilene Christian, North Texas, Colorado and Fresno State were canceled. Games against Florida — which was ranked No. 4 when A&M beat them — and Tennessee were added.

Last season, the Aggies were limited to eight victories. But they were also plagued by a series of injuries at quarterback, receiver, on the offensive line and in the secondary. Under the circumstances, eight wins might be considered a remarkable accomplishment.

Quarterback play was … suspect. Zach Calzada was thrust into the lineup when starter Haynes King sustained a season-ending broken leg early in the second game.

With the exception of a 41-38 victory over Alabama, Calzada’s play was average, at best. His quarterback rating of 126.37 was ranked 82nd in the nation among quarterbacks in the top 100 in passing.

Only 11 quarterbacks among the top-100 passers had lower quarterback ratings.

Calzada has since transferred to Auburn. King is healthy again and now competing with LSU transfer Max Johnson for the role of starting quarterback. By the way, Johnson had a 144.36 quarterback rating last season.

To be fair, some anonymous coaches realize Fisher has built much more than an 8-4 program at Texas A&M.

Lindy’s preseason magazine — Athlon’s competitor — also quotes anonymous coaches. The comments in Lindy’s read:

Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
A healthy Haynes King and the addition of Max Johnson have the Aggie QB room in much better shape in 2022.

“Texas A&M has a lot of talent. A lot of talent. What’s the key to winning the SEC West? First of all, it’s hard to win the SEC West, particularly if your name doesn’t start with ‘AL.’ That’s No. 1. I think they’re doing all the right things. The next step is to win it. If they get an elite, elite quarterback and put it with the talent they have, then that may be part of the next step.

“They haven’t had a good quarterback. Kellen Mond (who started from 2018-2020 for Fisher) was not a good quarterback even though he had some good games. Jimbo has a proven track record with quarterbacks. So would Jimbo let a great quarterback leave A&M (Calzada transferred to Auburn)? No. He needs Haynes King or Max Johnson to be productive.”

Good quarterback play likely would translate into at least a 10-win season for A&M in 2022.

The Aggies need that. If they post eight wins or fewer, then they’re going to have to swallow a lot of pride.

That taste will be much more offensive than any bait they’re currently ignoring.

Discussion from...

Fishing for a Reaction: Jimbo Fisher unfazed by offseason '8-4' criticism

6,951 Views | 10 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by X-wing@Aliciousness
jigsaw87
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Agsuffering@bulaw
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Sorry, 8 wins last year was not a remarkable accomplishment. We gave away the LSU game and played like crap vs MSU. I like Jimbo. The future is bright. Last year was a minor disappointment overall, despite the bama.
Traveler
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AG
On what planet is this "average" QB play?
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Calzada's play was average, at best. His quarterback rating of 126.37 was ranked 82nd in the nation among quarterbacks in the top 100 in passing.

Only 11 quarterbacks among the top-100 passers had lower quarterback ratings.
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SpiderM85
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Aaron4885
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You mean Olin was fishing for a response from Fisher during the media day press conference and Fisher didn't give him what he wanted.
Jlove1770
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AG
This is a Lane Kiffin type of comment. Something to stir up controversy. Any coach that makes that kind of a comment is a dbag when it's done anonymously.
El Capitan
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AG
Sounds like Kiffin to me too, which would be ironic, since he's one of the most overrated coaches in college football.
laruejd
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AG
And this is the QB that was only beaten out by King just before the start of the regular season. That doesn't say a whole lot for King. I think the problem is Jimbo's offense. We will struggle to put up points regardless of who the QB is.
greg.w.h
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AG
laruejd said:

And this is the QB that was only beaten out by King just before the start of the regular season. That doesn't say a whole lot for King. I think the problem is Jimbo's offense. We will struggle to put up points regardless of who the QB is.
meh. Jimbo is one of the most responsive in strategic and tactical adjustments to his players and the opponents defense. Hardly perfect, but remember Sherman and Sumlin giving up huge leads with seizing defeat from the jaws of victory losses??? That does not happen under Jimbo. The offense without a very good quarterback (see Mond's 27 QB rating (not ESPN QBR) in 2020 for what on the cusp of excellence looks like and notice we only lost to Bama.

The SEC remains a Line of Scrimmage conference and until our Oline and Dline consistently wins in the trenches we either put the QB at risk or give up both run yardage and WTF passes. LB group has st best been merely good, too, so there is room for growth there and we finally are seeing the kind of speed we need coming in in the secondary.

I don't know how Durkin impacts our defensive "brand" as we move past Elko, too, but there is reason to hope the trajectory is still "up."

I've listened to the frustration with Jimbo's offense here repeatedly. This year if we don't see with the improved talent meaningful progress and solid swipes at our should lose opponent, then MAYBE it's justified. But basing it on Zach is garbage.
X-wing@Aliciousness
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AG
El Capitan said:

Sounds like Kiffin to me too, which would be ironic, since he's one of the most overrated coaches in college football.


If it wasn't for his Daddy, he would most likely working in the high school ranks. And I believe he would be middle of the road at best.

This isn't a slight against high school coaches either. Many great high school coordinators and head coaches influence and instruct college coaches.
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