Wednesday Talking Points
Slow start on the assistant front not a big deal
Seems like a lot of people are taking Jimbo Fisher's comments that he would put a coaching staff together as soon as possible to mean immediately. That's not going to happen and that's fine. I didn't think he'd get it all done until after the bowl games, and that's not some great insight -- that's normally how it goes. Fisher is after some prominent people, and not all of them are going to jump immediately. That's just how it is. Kevin Sumlin didn't have his staff put together until well into January, and it may have even been later than that. He didn't hire Terry Price, for instance, until after national signing day (because Terrell Williams was still on the staff).
Sumlin brought most of his offensive staff from UH, so he was able to fill some spots more quickly. But it still took him time. Fisher's not bringing nearly as many (looks like three, if he has his way) and then will try to pick up others from elsewhere -- no mean feat.
Right now, he has Dameyune Craig (QBs, maybe Co-OC?) with him. Jay Graham, FSU's RB coach, is likely joining him at A&M as well. James Coley is trying to decide between UGA and moving to A&M for an ostensible promotion. Tim Brewster can probably go wherever he wants, but him taking his time isn't bad for A&M. So you still need an offensive line coach and a TE coach at least.
On the defensive side, it looks like Terry Price is staying. Jeff Banks should also be back, so that's DEs (maybe the whole D-line?) and Special Teams. Travaris Robinson at South Carolina continues to be the only name we've heard for defensive coordinator. From there, you need a LB coach and a secondary coach (at least).
Fisher's going to be busy. He's already busy recruiting, but he'll have to do the sales pitch for coaches too. He'll just do it when both he and the people he wants to talk to are ready.
Dodson becomes the new Josh Reynolds, gets hosed in All-SEC balloting
It seems like each of the three years Josh Reynolds was at A&M, he'd put up huge numbers in key games. Almost like clockwork, he'd put a stake in someone's heart to win a game for the Aggies. Maybe more than one.
And then, when it was time to name the All-SEC teams, he'd get screwed. Not a whiff of first or second team. It was a joke, and it became a punchline among the A&M press corps.
Apologies to Tyrel Dodson, but you're picking up where Reynolds left off. Huge numbers. Game-winning plays. A force to be reckoned with for opposing offenses.
Let's look at Dodson's numbers: 97 tackles. 11 TFL. 5.5 sacks. 3 INT. 6 passes broken up. THAT can't get you on an All-SEC team?
Well, let's be honest. It can if you play for Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee or Florida. The schools the reporters in the deep South pay attention to with their regional biases. There's no reason Dodson shouldn't be on an All-SEC squad and there will be a lot of pot-banging to get him on the preseason All-SEC team next summer.
But it could work out well for A&M because Dodson intends to use this as motivation. Reynolds did too, and other teams suffered for it. Hopefully that'll be the case here too.
Some guys who could benefit from a fresh start with Jimbo
1. both quarterbacks. Jimbo is going to have to decide which direction he wants to go and whether Nick Starkel or Kellen Mond is his guy for 2018. But both quarterbacks are going to benefit by having Fisher around. This guy has had an incredible streak of success with both pro style and dual threat quarterbacks, and if they can take criticism and fine tuning, they'll be better for it.
2. Anthony Hines. The extremely talented and very productive (when he plays) freshman LB saw his playing time evaporate down the stretch for whatever reason. It was pretty clear he wasn't thrilled with that, but he gets a fresh start with Fisher. It probably won't take long for the new defensive staff to figure out their best three linebackers are Hines, Otaro Alaka and Dodson, and they'll move pieces accordingly.
3. Kellen Diesch. The Aggies are in dire need of a right tackle for 2018. Jim Turner didn't like what he saw from Diesch and buried him on the depth chart, but he gets a new opportunity with a new coaching staff. That could help out both him and the team.
4. Hezekiah Jones and Quartney Davis. These two guys have big play potential but got behind the 8 ball early this season due to drops (Jones) and injury recovery (Davis). Neither was a factor at all this year, but with Christian Kirk and Damion Ratley gone -- not to mention new eyes at OC and receivers coach -- they'll have a chance to crack the two deep again. It won't be easy with Jalen Preston and company coming in, but their odds got better. They're still extremely talented.
5. Daylon Mack. The last staff couldn't quite get him to the dominant level he could reach. His numbers this year may not be great, but this was certainly his best showing to date. Fisher has a knack for getting guys like this to the next level, and Mack needs a big year to impress the NFL.
6. All the corners. I suspect much of the offensive line and the cornerbacks corps will be fighting for their jobs in the spring. Charles Oliver can probably be put in the two deep in ink, but from there it's anyone's ballgame. There's going to be a lot of competition and I expect Fisher will go out and get some more talent to make things more interesting, so this should help the team as a whole.