COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Texas A&M head football coach Mike Sherman was impressed with his team after the first day of two-a-day workouts on Saturday. The Aggies worked out in full pads in the morning session on the grass practice fields and in shells for the afternoon practice inside the McFerrin Athletic Center.
“I was real proud of them,” Sherman said. “I thought they did a great job in both practices. Did we make mistakes – yeah. Did we make improvements – yeah. But I give it either a check or a minus, and they get two checks today for both practices. The guys have really responded well. We have a long way to go, but if we keep taking steps everyday we’ll get there.”
The Aggies worked on clock management on Saturday, and Sherman was asked about it after the afternoon workout.
“We need to spend more focus on it,” Sherman said. “We’re really going to get into it on Monday. It’s such an important element of the game. The clock can either make you or break you. You have to be able to handle the clock management side of football. It’s kind of a fun part. I wish the two-minute situation was a little more like the National Football League because it’s more strategic. The clock stops more often in college, obviously, so the two-minute isn’t as big of a deal in college as it is in the NFL.”
Sherman was asked about the impact that veteran defensive coordinator Joe Kines has made on the Aggie defense. Kines has served as the defensive boss at Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and Arkansas among others in 40 years as a football coach.
“We have a 64-year old coach who has as much energy as any player or anyone here,” Sherman said. “(Players) certainly can exhibit the same type of energy when they play the game. He’s passionate – they need to be passionate. I think coaches, and defensive coaches especially, have to demonstrate that, and our coaches do. On defense you need relentless obsession to run to the football play after play after play. We start practice that way every day. We have a drill where we see their pursuit every single day. We’re teaching it, and being around Joe is a big part of that. We’re going to give up some plays, but we’ve got to not give up the big play and if we can get 11 guys chasing the football, we will hopefully eliminate the big play that can break your back.”
Sherman announced that sophomore receiver Roger Holland (Houston, Texas / Cypress Falls HS) will redshirt in 2008 as he recovers from the effects of a concussion suffered during spring drills. Holland contributed as a rusher, receiver and return man as a true freshman in 2007. He scored the Aggies’ lone touchdown against Kansas on a spectacular 32-yard catch last season.
“Roger was the victim of a concussion during the spring,” Sherman said. “We had him visit with some doctors, and he was a little fuzzy there for a while. He will return to (active status) next spring at some point. He’ll work as one of our young coaches during the season, and he is a part of our team but he’ll be an active player in the springtime. But no sooner because we’re not going to mess around with head injuries.”