COLLEGE STATION - Coach Sumlin and members of the Texas A&M football team & staff met with the media on Tuesday in the Bright Complex to talk about the Aggies' home finale against Mississippi State.
Video from the press conference is available through the links to the right. Audio in mp3 format and selected quotes will be available below.
Download audio of Tuesday's press conference here:
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 – College Station, Texas
Texas A&M Football Weekly Press Conference
HEAD COACH KEVIN SUMLIN
On stress in the coaching profession…
"Winning is winning. The stress level in this job is hard to describe. I think people think that what we do on Saturday is all we do. There are a lot of things that go into it. It’s kind of like being in Las Vegas: there’s no clock. You do the job until you feel like you've gotten done what you need to get done for that day because you owe it to your team to have the best plan going in, whether that takes a couple hours or longer. That's the way coaching has been. Because of that you lose track of time and have poor eating habits. We try to have an environment. I was very blessed to be at a program like Oklahoma with Bob Stoops being extremely conscious of health situations because of his family. The environment was created where the lunch hour was the workout time. I get a physical right before the season starts. You've got to do that once or twice a year the older you get. We're extremely conscious of it. It’s part of the business and the makeup. What's interesting is when I talk to young coaches and visit places I tell them that 12 (games) times three (hours) is 36. For all the work you put in, you're judged on 36 hours of work. When it comes down to it, that’s a pretty stressful situation.”
On De’Vante Harris…
"He's developing as a player. He has great confidence. That gets him in trouble sometimes. He takes some chances. He’s got to continue to play more consistently. He’s got great tools. He’s always had great tools. For him to make the next step as a player, he needs to be more consistent with his play and approach the off-field part of his game, the strength and conditioning and weight training, to really become a great player. I think one of the biggest steps from high school to this level is to understand that you're gifted to be here. The challenges when you step out on the field against players in this league are the guy standing across from you is just as talented. For skill guys, the hardest thing is improving in the classroom and in the weight room. The big guys are running into each other all the time. You don’t have any problem getting younger guys going into the weight room. It’s when they try to tackle grown men and bigger people start pushing you around. He's improved. He's got to be more consistent. He needs to take a step off the field to make sure that he’s the player that he’s capable of being, which is as good as anyone in this league.”
On Mississippi State…
"They're one of the larger teams that we're going to play, including Alabama and LSU from a size standpoint. They’re operating one of the better offenses in our league. They have a huge defensive line and are able to rotate guys in and out. They seem to have guys drafted and new guys to replace them every year. We've got to find some guys that look like that. We don’t have the quality depth that they have. You look at them offensively, they've got weapons. Dak Prescott is a good quarterback. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family after he lost his mother. That’s a difficult situation for anyone, especially a young man of his age. He certainly has given them a different element. He's a big strong guy that can throw it and just run through people. It’ll be interesting to see what happens this weekend. They have another experienced quarterback who’s ready to go. They're confident in what they do. They moved the ball last week against South Carolina; they just turned the ball over. They've been one of the better third-down conversion teams defensively this year, especially in the past five weeks. It’ll be a big challenge for us. We haven't seen a team of this physical stature in the last couple of weeks."
On improvement late in the season…
"You need to be improving this time of year. We've got guys in there who are playing because we've lost guys throughout the year. We’ve played pretty well defensively the last few weeks. We're gaining some confidence. We're going to find out Saturday how much we've improved. We’re going to go back to our regular offensive line lineup. We're going to see if we can get back to full strength where we were with our starters. The schedule sets up just the opposite of last year. We won five out of six on the road early last year and this year we have a bye then finish up with the last two games on the road at LSU and Missouri. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. Being able to handle the moment and handle it week-to-week as we’ve done is going to be important. Getting our guys back this week, we’ve got to feel a lot better about being able to make a run to end the season.”
On the improved pass rush…
"It's been extremely important. Against Vandy we had as many sacks as we had all year. We've been able to turn it up a little bit. I think early in the year, we had some guys get loose, but we didn't have contain on the back side because we were taking some chances. The quarterback escaped a bunch early in the year. We’ve been a lot more sound in what we’re doing. We have to maintain gap structure, even in the pass rush. That's really helped us."
On his fondest memory of Kyle Field…
"Probably, the first time being a head coach and running out of the tunnel against Florida. It didn’t end up the way I wanted it to but it was still a big deal. We changed how we entered the field. It was my first time coming back here. I'll always remember that."