Here's the latest edition of the AggieYell Mailbag..
Q: Obviously naming T. Knight the starter right out of Spring Ball last year was a major plus for last year. What are some certainties like that that we could possibly see coming out of the Spring this year? - OL starters set in place?- LB starters set in place?- 8 WR's set to go? - CB starters in place? How difficult is it for a college team to switch back and forth from a 3-4 set to a 4-3 over the course of a season, game? (DXB19)
A: 1) I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they have the offensive line and linebackers they'd like to start in place already. Up front, it's sure looking like Koda Martin/Colton Prater/Erik McCoy/Connor Lanfear and Keaton Sutherland -- but remember, it looked set until two weeks before UCLA and they shuffled it. At linebacker, it's Richard Moore/Otaro Alaka and Anthony Hines. I don't think they'll get to eight wideouts in the spring (I wouldn't want them to, honestly), and Myles Jones deserves a look before anything's done at corner.
2) Depends on how good your personnel is. A&M has done a variation of it with the Mustang the last couple of years.
Q: You have explained well why our bball coach should or shouldn't be replaced, but unlike normal I haven't seen your clear opinion? If you were AD, what you would do? (3s2ghill)
A: 1) I'm of mixed emotions on it. They're plainly not making a move, so I've already adjusted my focus to 2017-18.
2) If I'm not making a move now, then I have extremely high expectations for next season. Meet those or you're done.
Q: Does A&M have the leadership in place to make tough coaching decisions, either hiring or firing, to be successful or is the leadership fine not winning championships? (Big Smoothie)
A: Define "leadership". I don't think you can say one way or the other about Woodward yet. I do think A&M has a problem with too many big donors and Former Students now in positions of authority who are more interested in back-slapping and looking good personally than they are in doing their jobs. That's an issue that has to be addressed and a mindset that has to change if A&M is ever going to reach its potential athletically.
Q: Who do you most look forward to seeing in our Spring game? (AgsRule97!)
A: Quarterback play, plain and simple.
Q: 1) Do you think Jordan Moore is solid with A&M? 2) If Joshua Moore commits to another school, do you think Jordan in the end follows him? As for Joshua, we made his Top 10. 3) Does Jordan being committed to A&M have much influence on Joshua's decision? From previous posts, it seems more likely the brothers will end up at different schools. 4) What is your take? (Davidimy)
A: 1) Fairly solid.
3) Maybe a little, but not much.
4) I don't expect them to end up at the same schools, but I do think at the end of the day Jordan Moore is an Aggie. And, in A&M's case, he may be the more valuable of the two because he's a defensive back.
Q: Monday thoughts on possible coaching changes not happening before next year got me to thinking:
Realistically, would we make changes at the 2 highest paid coaching positions in the same cycle? If Sumlin ends up getting fired and we have to buy him out, I don't see anything happening with Kennedy next year...regardless of how bad he might perform. Or are these completely unrelated as it relates to funding the buyouts?Second topic - if it seemed obvious to many members on this site based on various reports during his time here that Stansbury was a big part of the reason for our success last season; why does it seem based on Kennedy's agregious extension that the "powers that be" were seemingly blind to this fact? I think if a poll was done on this site last season as to whether to promote Stansbury and let Kennedy go versus extend Kennedy, odds are Stansbury wins by a good bit from my observations. Just frustrated with the extension (Jmiles95)
A: 1) I don't think there's a relation necessarily. I think Sumlin's seat is a whole lot hotter than Kennedy's, though. But can both get canned? Yes.
2) I think Stansbury, to an extent, was given more credit than he may have deserved while he was here. They had a great recruiting class and everyone said, "Oh, that's Stansbury." He left and they had another great recruiting class. Now, since A&M had a lousy year, he's the coaching guru. Is he? I don't know, but I think the dislike of Kennedy spilled over into a lot of people thinking the next guy -- or any guy -- was better.
Q: What position will A&M be significantly better than the average SEC team next year? What position will we be significantly worse than the average SEC team next yr? (aggieluke04)
A: 1) Running back, and in a back-heavy conference, that says a lot.
2) Defensive end.
Q: Is it helpful to have both a DE and a DT coach, or do they just wind up getting in each others' way. (Quickdrawmcgraw77)
A: I don't have a problem with it. Nearly all NFL teams have it that way. If you're going to run a 4-3, especially, there's no reason not to have a DE and DT coach.
Q: If you could make one major change to our football team's offense, what would it be (other than firing the HC?)
Basketball team? (hogtide)
A: 1) Use the middle of the field in the passing game.
2) Teach the linebackers to properly fill gaps.
3) Get a point guard. They seem to have done that for next year.
Q: Is baseball headed the way of basketball for the Ags this season? (brAg)
A: If they don't get the pitching squared away, yes.
Q: What's with the hiring of analysts? What exactly is their role? (Ag_2000)
A: It's an opportunity to add to the coaching staff without violating NCAA limits on coaches. They can watch film and work with players, but can't recruit.
Q: I thought we already had resources dedicated to evaluating/scouting our opponents...basically providing assistance with the gameplanning process. Are the two most recent hires intended to enhance this capability or are we creating a function that doesn't currently exist? (Pebbycree)
A: A&M isn't creating anything. Alabama did (and maybe some others, but they stand out) with Steve Sarkisian, who then became their offensive coordinator (and then left). Nobody's stopping it, so why not add some extra eyes with experience and at least some success?
Q: Why does our administration on to underachieving coaches more than any other major universities in the country ? Part 2. Why does our administration feel compelled to give out contract extensions when they do not seem warranted?
Part 3. What are your thoughts on our athletic director? Does he really exist? (Maroon1)
A: I think I answered 1 and 2 above. As for 3, I'll give him a full year on the job before I pass judgement. But I do see him around a lot more than I ever saw Erik Hyman, who I thought was disengaged and not really interested in fully doing the job.
Q: Do you put our lackluster basketball season all on Kennedy, or was the lack of a good point guard the real reason? Or both? (AginCircleC)
A: Lack of depth, lack of a point guard, lack of effort early in the season, lack of progression by key players...it's not just one thing or one person. Now, I know a lot of you will just blame Kennedy for the lack of depth and progression, and that's fair. But he can't be responsible entirely for all things. That's why you have assistants as well.
Q: Who are the locker room leaders this season other than Armani watts and Christian Kirk? (Catorano)
A: Very good question. Otaro Alaka is one. Jake Hubenak is another. But we'll see as the summer progresses if anyone else is going to stand up and take a leadership role.
Q: Gimme your take on the JFF "news" / possibilities / whatever your take is. (hippin)
A: Scheme-wise, New Orleans is a great place for him. Location-wise...meh. I guess we'll see (if the Saints sign him) how serious he is about kick-starting his career.