A&M holds last regular season weekly press conference – Texas A&M Athletics
Press conference quotes: Jimbo Fisher
The thing I was most proud of was our ability to execute, not having a lot of negative plays, penalties, missed missions. Putting hats on hats on attack with different blitzes and what they did. Covered them in defense, keeping the leverage on the ball, doing that sort of thing. Special teams, really solid work. So in terms of performance, we won by a lot of points, but above all, we played well. As for the process of how you have to do things, missed missions, communication, they mixed up fronts, brought blitzes on defense, they were very difficult in appearance. So we had to check out a lot of different things, the quarterback receivers, I mean, they did a really good job. Defensively, again, take advantage of the ball, physical. Created a turnover for points. The special teams are really good, exceptional in that regard. It was good to come back not only to winning the game but to playing well in the game and doing the things that we coach and the way they play and what they want to do and how they do it. And, you know, coming back, we had a good week of training last week. We have had a very good week of training.
On the LSU match …
We need another voucher this week. Extremely tough opponent, will play at LSU. Very talented football team. Great. They always have players everywhere. Offensively, the back is very solid. (Tyrion Davis) Price, very strong. Makes you miss, fighting through tackles. (Corey) Kiner, the backup, very strong. Good player. Max Johnson threw for 300 yards. He has about 25.26 touchdown points this year. Do a great job with them. Young receivers for them have really come.
Defensively, they’re playing… since the break, Alabama have beaten them 20-14. They lost 16-13 in overtime against Arkansas, ULM they won 27-14. So you allow 20, 16 – that’s in overtime, 13 in regulation – and 14 points in the last three games. Exceptional defense. The guys on the inside are tall, strong, physical in what they do and how they do it. The contributors are really natural. (High school), these guys are all really good. They can play, they can cover, they can tackle. Do a remarkable job.
The goal kicker on the field is exceptional. The bettor can really hit him. They still can. The turner, 33 (Trey Palmer) is great, athletic. I remember recruiting him out of high school in Kentwood. Can fly.
So we have to play very well. They play really well. This is their last game of the year, they will play well. Hopefully we will take it further and play well. We have to keep playing well, keep doing the things we have to play for until we finish this season and have a great year, and we need a great week of training to be able to do that. And Ed, I know this will be his last game, so it will be very emotional. They will be ready to play. I’m ready to play and it’s going to be a big, big challenge for us.
If I remember correctly when you first got here you were asked about this rivalry and you said maybe it wasn’t necessarily a rivalry just because the wins and losses were unilateral. So, do you feel like what you’ve accomplished since you’ve been here has created a rivalry?
Well I can’t say if it’s a rivalry or something but these are important games because they are SEC West games. All the games in the West, I call them double hits because they are big games and they are inter-division games. And these are all rivalries for me. You know, you’re so close, and we recruit Louisiana, they recruit Texas like everyone else, but they’re very close. And they’ve always been very successful here. So I think that’s how it goes. And listen. It’s a great team and it’s one of the teams that we will fight with year after year because they always have great players.
You’ve already talked about some of the games LSU has been in and some of those tight losses. So knowing that it is very likely that this could be a very close game in the fourth quarter, and on the road, what will be the key to escaping Baton Rouge with a win?
Just trust the process and understand that this piece is the next piece you need to play, and play every piece and play it to the fullest. Win your battle every time, don’t worry about the scoreboard, worry about what you have to do. Without worrying about the result. If you worry about the outcome, bad things happen. You worry about making the play and blocking, tackling, catching, running, throwing, whatever, usually good things happen. That’s what it’s going to come down to, not feeling like it’s a close game. This is the next room. This is what I have to do, this is how I have to perform and play well. Keep your cool.
As this is Coach O’s last game in Baton Rouge, you’d expect them to come out on fire with a lot of intensity. How do you do this from the start?
Well, we have to live up to their intensity. Listen, you play in this league, you better match all the intensity. Our adversary is not what we have to rely on. It’s based on ourselves. Our standard? Our adversaries are faceless. It doesn’t matter if we play Prairie View, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, whatever. It doesn’t matter who you play. It matters what we think and how we do things and play at our level. And you’re going to have to… listen. In this league? You must be on your feet. You have to be prepared to not only match the intensity, but you need to match the performance. You have to match the physicality. You’ve got to match toughness, all of those things. And this is our standard that we have to worry about. LSU will take care of LSU. Texas A&M is going to have to take care of Texas A&M.
You spent six years in Baton Rouge. How do you remember Tiger Stadium, especially the night games?
Dynamic atmosphere. Amusing. It was fun to be on this pitch and feel this environment and atmosphere. Of course we had good teams, so you say wow, that was crazy. Well, we were really good. We won national championships, SEC championships. We were one of the best teams in the country. We finished in the top five in four of the five years, the years I was there, or maybe the top 10 in five of the six years, or whatever. But I mean, very electric, very fun, great people. And they love their Tigers. It’s a hell of a vibe. It is a great place to play when you are at home and difficult to play when you are on the go. And for two reasons… again, not just the vibe there, but the players on the pitch. They have very good players.
Today some of your players have expressed their enthusiasm for you to stay with A&M and continue to develop this program. Has this created a stronger and more loyal bond between you and your players?
I think there is a trust. I mean, you have to trust… listen. People always say that you have the career of the player in your hands. Well, they have our careers in their hands. It is a factor of confidence. It is a compromise. But you can understand… it’s like your parents. You love your parents, but someone has to be in charge. Someone has to tell you what to do, how to do it. But also after you finish chewing their butt, getting on a man or whatever on the ground, telling them to do right, you put your arm around them when you go and say, that’s why I did. Understand that is the point of this. There is a bigger picture. I’m training the guy you can be, not who you are, and you have to be pushed, pushed and you have to learn to be uncomfortable to be a great player. Being uncomfortable, being pushed, being challenged, being constantly, “good enough is never good enough”. And learning to master something and learning to lead your mind to a point where you never let go of a game. And it’s a challenge and it’s demanding and it’s hard. And I think from a standpoint of building that trust and love between each other, what I think it’s about is doing it. But they too understand everything you say, so it’s in their best interest. And you tell them and then you put your arm around them. They can be crazy, and we can agree to disagree. But understand that it doesn’t come from a bad place, and I think that’s where that confidence comes from. I hope they have it in me. I definitely have it in them, and we are growing every day.