Thursday, January 26, 2012
Offseason to-do list: Texas A&M
By David Ubben
We're taking a look at what each program in the Big 12 needs to deal with during the offseason, whether it be in the spring, summer or fall preseason camp. Maybe all three! Who knows?
Next up: The Texas A&M Aggies.
1. Find a quarterback. Ryan Tannehill's gone, and the Aggies look like they've got a suitable replacement: Jameill Showers. But do they? We'll probably know by spring. Johnny Manziel and Matt Joeckel will be there to push Showers, and him winning the job is no sure thing. So, who will it be? Showers throws one of the prettiest balls you'll ever see, but playing QB for A&M requires a whole lot more than just a tight spiral. Now's his chance to prove himself.
2. Figure out what works and what won't in the SEC. Maybe the Aggies could call Nebraska? Texas A&M and Oklahoma were probably the two Big 12 teams best built to compete against the SEC style of play, with versatile, physical offenses and lots of speed on defense. New coach Kevin Sumlin ran a lot of pro sets back at Oklahoma, but was best known for his wide-open, spread attack at Houston.
3. Change the mindset, forget 2011. Texas A&M loses a lot of talent from its 2011 team, namely Tannehill and running back Cyrus Gray, plus three starters in the secondary. Still, the remnants of this year could easily affect next year's team. In a close game late, confidence is a must. Believing you can win games. The Aggies will be in a lot of tight ones in the SEC. It won't be easy, but A&M has to figure out a way to put all the late-game failures of 2011 behind it. A big early-season win would help a lot. So will having an all-new coaching staff. Will it mean results?