SEC Media Days: Jimbo Fisher's intensity is just what Texas A&M needs
HOOVER, Ala. — Jimbo Fisher was already well beyond the anticipated question.
“I’ve never heard that before,” the Texas A&M head coach quipped before a reporter even finished his question about Nick Saban’s former assistants being 0-16 against him.
It wasn’t that Fisher was cutting the reporter off or being rude. It was just that his brain isn’t quite wired to wait. Not in interviews. Not in life. Certainly not in rebuilding Texas A&M football.
“If you think he talks fast in interviews, you should see him in practice. It’s twice the speed,” Aggies punter Braden Mann said Tuesday at SEC Media Days. “I’ve gotten used to it. I can definitely understand him now.”
Yes, the punter even has it hard when it comes to Fisher’s critiques. There was a time when kickers and punters were mostly alone to hone their craft. That’s not the case with Fisher. So what must it be like for a quarterback under Fisher, who is known for molding players at that position.
“He’s a guy that is always going to continue to have energy and always coach with energy,” Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond said. “That’s the coach he is.”
It didn’t take long for Mond and his teammates to notice there was a new mindset in charge last spring. It was obvious early on that Fisher would be much different from former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, who was seen as more of a player-friendly coach. Mond said Fisher was full-go at his first practice in College Station during spring camp last year.
“The first opportunity that he had, he was just kind of blowing up and I didn’t really understand why he was doing that, but you kind of understand now the way he coaches and why he’s had so much success with quarterbacks,” Mond said.
If anyone is in the crosshairs, it’s Mond. He’s the starting quarterback. He’s Fisher’s latest protege. That’s just fine with Mond, who said he’s coachable and self-critical. That’s a perfect fit for Fisher.
“That’s why we have such a good relationship,” Mond said. “We can feed off of each other and have success.”
However, success isn’t what Fisher is after. That’s not good enough.
“I know plays where I’ve done something really good (like) throwing a touchdown and he still got mad because it was the wrong read,” Mond said. “That’s just the way he’s always going to coach you. He wants you to be perfect.”
Mond might have the right mindset to flourish under Fisher’s constant intensity, but that doesn’t mean every player can follow suit. Surely, Fisher’s approach rubs some people the wrong way.
“That’s our job as leaders on the team to make sure that everybody is taking it the right way because he’s never going to steer us wrong and he always wants us to be the best we can be,” Mond said.
Fisher’s approach might be exactly what the Aggies need. The Aggies were 9-4 last year, which was plenty respectable. However, Texas A&M is still a program in rebuilding mode with a dynasty in their division and a brutal schedule this season.
Fisher’s intensity is not just welcomed. It’s necessary.
“I think it’s huge for us,” Mann said. “You’ve always got to be doing something. There’s really not a whole lot of relaxation time around him, which I love because he just gets down to business and gets down to work. There’s a time to relax and he just knows that when it’s time to be there, it’s time to just be where your feet are and get to work.”
Good thing Texas A&M’s time at SEC Media Days is over. Sounds like Mann needs to get back to punting.