Story Poster
Jimbo Fisher
Elijah Robinson
D.J. Durkin
Bobby Petrino
Conner Weigman
Max Johnson
Noah Thomas
Bryce Anderson
Texas A&M Football

WATCH: Jimbo, coordinators and players take the stage for Media Day

August 6, 2023

Texas A&M held its annual media day on Sunday morning as the first week of Fall Camp continues to roll along in Aggieland. Jimbo Fisher, Elijah Robinson, D.J. Durkin, Bobby Petrino and four players took to the podium to speak to the press.

The following are live, paraphrased notes from Sunday morning’s media availability:

Jimbo Fisher

  • The efficiency of the indoor facility is tremendous. You have full space for drills. It worked out how we designed it.
  • Joe Schaefer will be the guy who will replace coach Terry Price. He was a defensive coordinator at Youngstown State. He has done a really good job with the guys. Schaefer will work some with the ends and nickels and dimes.
  • You can see a big difference in Noah Thomas and Evan Stewart from an educational standpoint. I have been extremely happy with Jahdae Walker. He has brought a lot of juice to the team.
  • Bobby Petrino has been very productive. We have known each other for a long time. He has a balanced attack. A proven guy who has a great mind for the game.
  • I knew in the summer that Jalen Preston would not be with the team.
  • With gambling, these kids did these things, like fantasy football, in high school because it was on their phones. We had a great speaker last night on that whole aspect of gambling. The kids, as smart as they are, are naive to their celebrity status. People will take advantage of that.
  • Some of the freshmen were the best athletes, and some, you had to play. You want to put them in when they are ready. You want them confident. You can destroy a young player faster than you can make him.
  • The college football chaos was inevitable. Nobody likes it. I heard Eli Drinkwitz's argument. I like the SEC because we are within our footprint. It’s the monster we have created. At the end of the day, I'm going to coach football. Schools don’t want to be left out. We are in a time now when everyone is fighting over the dollar.
  • You evaluate what went wrong and what went right last season. It goes back to the whys. Is it scheme, coaching, players, etc.? When you are successful, it is just as extensive as when you are not successful. That is a long-standing thing that goes on all offseason.

Elijah Robinson

  • The biggest thing that changed is the preparation.
  • I want recruits to watch the film. We roll guys in units and keep guys fresh. That trumps everything as far as numbers.
  • All the defensive line guys have done a good job.
  • Coach Terry Price meant a lot to many of us, not just the defensive line. We don't care who gets the credit. We have a special group.
  • You look at guys like Kingsley Keke, DeMarvin Leal or Justin Madibuike. All those guys were versatile. You get guys that do more than one thing that makes us better.
  • I learned a lot from coach Terry Price. I learned to enjoy the small moments.
  • We are grateful for the indoor complex. It makes it efficient for us to go from inside to outside.
  • There is no distance a unit can go when they don't care who gets the credit. Those guys are close.
  • That whole offensive staff is an elite group of men.
  • In order to rush the passer, you have to stop the run. We take full responsibility for doing that.
  • When coach Fisher talks about family, it’s real. He preaches family. He talks about doing ordinary things. We make our guys confident they will have a life after football.

D.J. Durkin

  • We have depth up front. We were young but talented last year. Now, they have a year under their belt. You experience things. You take guys with talent, and you teach them fundamentals.
  • We have to be more consistent, run or pass. What you put on the field is who you are.
  • Versatility is the number one aspect you look at because offenses have gotten more difficult. Bryce Anderson will play multiple spots.
  • In the first year, everything is a first. I feel much more comfortable knowing our personnel this year. We are much further along.
  • Last year, we set a record for freshmen playing in a season. There were more question marks last year. We have great competition at our spots, and we will keep going through that.
  • When you bring in veteran transfers, they understand. They are competitive.
  • I did not know Bobby Petrino at all, but we love him. He has been a tremendous addition to our staff. He is a tremendous football coach. He has made a noticeable difference. 
  • We have high expectations for Bryce Anderson. He always has a smile on his face. He will continue to keep getting better.
  • I love the competition in the linebacker room. Those guys are great people, and they are competing. That will make us all better.
  • Coach Fisher does a great job of creating competition. Guys are getting reps. Every guy is drenched after practice. Our guys on both sides of the ball know they need the other side. 
  • When you have guys on the backend that have played a lot, there is a comfort there. Demani Richardson’s experience and knowledge of the game are tremendous for us.
  • I think all the changes going on in college football are exciting, and I think there is more coming too.

Bobby Petrino

  • I came here because of my respect for coach Fisher. When I was coaching a Missouri State, I was having a great time and mentoring young coaches. I always had an itch to get back in this conference. I’ve been sent all the stories about our relationship. Coach Fisher is the boss. It’s been a lot of fun.
  • It’s exciting to see the talent and weapons we have. You call plays for players. It's our job to give them the ball in spots they make places for you. We have a talented receiver group and big tight ends.
  • You kind of smile and laugh at those reports. That's not how it works. When I was head coach, I worked for the athletic director. This is coach Fisher’s program. It's my job to make sure I'm working hard every day. It's been really enjoyable. We are building the offense for the Aggies this year.
  • As a quarterback, you have to be a great leader. Max Johnson and Conner Weigman have been doing a good job of that. They make each other better. You have to be accurate and make the throws. You have to have poise. There are occupational hazards as a quarterback. You have to be thick-skinned and move forward.
  • I don't look at what was or was not working last year. I was impressed by how much better they got through the year. Coming off a season like that, the attitude was impressive.
  • I have not made the exact decision of where I will be, but I think it will be the press box. It will come down to how confident I am in the temperament of the quarterbacks.
  • Play-calling will be a collective effort. I have been calling the plays throughout practice. I want to make sure we spend time preparing our players.
  • Jimbo is a guy that takes his time and does his research. We had talked early, and I thought we had good talks. Barry Odom at UNLV called me. I felt the guys at Missouri State were ready to be on their own. I was ready to get a really good assistant job. When Mark Robinson called me, I said, “Are you kidding me?” A&M offered. I gave them a hard time, but it was not a hard decision.
  • Everything we do on offense is to create an advantage, and that is where tempo will be used.
  • Our players right now are trying to separate themselves from the pack. I had the ability to coach in the NFL with the Jaguars. I have seen a lot of players that have the ability, but it comes down to your mind and spirit.
  • We have had a good-sized playbook that we have installed. We have about two weeks now where we evaluate and see where we are at. Each quarterback will be different. They have different strengths and weaknesses.
  • Conner Weigman has a quick release and gets the ball out accurately and fast. He understands coverages, and Max Johnson can chunk it down the field.
  • It’s the role I'm in; I am a teacher. Being in the classroom with the quarterbacks and teaching every day, I’m enjoying that. When the guys in the stripe shirts make bad calls, I am not calm.
  • We talk offensive philosophy, and I always say, “Feed The Studs.” I call a play to get the ball to Noah Thomas, Ainias Smith, Evan Stewart or Moose Muhammad. The unique thing about being a quarterback is you have to talk about the players' attributes.
  • With Jimbo, it’s about hard work. We watched film in the mornings, and I think we watched some tape from 1984 LSU. We watch everything. It’s hard work. It has been enjoyable. My respect for coach Fisher has gotten even higher since I came here. I have learned a lot about football since I have been here. Coach Fisher has been great. He knows how to motivate young men.
  • The way I look at it, I am not interested in showing people anything. I am working with these young men and making them understand they can use the gifts God gave them to be the best they can be.
  • It's not about me. It’s about the offense. We mold it together. When the game comes, I get to decide what play to call. When they boo, it's on me.
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WATCH: Jimbo, coordinators and players take the stage for Media Day

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