Snappy Kevin Sumlin annoyed by Manziel questions
It may look and feel different, but Kevin Sumlin’s not expecting Texas A&M’s offense to be any less potent without the services of polarizing quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Easily the star of SEC Media Days thus far, Sumlin was particularly snappy during his third career appearance Tuesday in Birmingham, firing back at numerous questions that involved his former passer who is now a rookie with the Cleveland Browns.
“In college football every two, three years you’re going to have turnover and you have to have a plan for that,” Sumlin said. “Whether it’s quarterback, whether it’s a great defender, whatever it is. To me that’s what’s exciting about college football.
“With being said, your first question (about no longer coaching Manziel) was irrelevant.”
He didn’t take kindly to an additional barrage of Manziel fodder, erupting with steam in one instance after he was asked how he would handle young quarterbacks Kyle Allen and Kenny Hill off the field this season and if Manziel’s transgressions would be used as a teaching point.
“Is this the SEC Media Days,” Sumlin asked with a smirk. “No, that’s a great question about the Cleveland Browns. Anybody else got something?”
Underneath the impenetrable Manziel armor was a confident coach who in two short seasons, has turned Texas A&M into the elite program in Texas. Obvious challenges on both sides of the ball linger heading into fall practice, but Sumlin appears comfortable with the way his staff has recruited and the yet-to-be revealed freshmen personnel the Aggies will utilize at the skill positions.
Sumlin hasn’t yet named a starting quarterback for the Aggies’ opener at South Carolina, but has an idea on who will replace Manziel as a facilitator in the Air Raid.
He’s just not telling the media.
“I think offensively I didn’t come here today to tell you who the quarterback was going to be, so we can eliminate those questions,” Sumlin said. “That will play itself out. I think we’re looking at a couple weeks before we play South Carolina that we’ll name a starter. ”
Texas A&M’s won 10 SEC games in two seasons since Sumlin took over, but much-needed improvement on defense is necessary to compete for a Western Division crown. Most preseason talk projects the Aggies finishing in the middle of the pack with a seven- or eight-win ceiling.
It’s a good thing Sumlin doesn’t care about outside opinion.
“We don’t have time for a bunch of rebuilding years,” Sumlin said. “We haven’t accomplished everything we’ve wanted to accomplish over the last couple years, but I think there’s no doubt that we’re headed in the right direction.”