Memorable Sumlin Quotes

Texas A&M Head Coach Kevin Sumlin

Southeastern Conference coaches and players are gathered in Birmingham, Alabama for SEC Media Days. Coach Kevin Sumlin discussed his upcoming season and the transition to the SEC.


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Coach Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M...

On Conference USA Media Days vs. SEC Media Days:

"It's a lot different. There's an energy level here. When you've got over 1,000 media requests and as many people in the hallways as there are inside, that speaks to the excitement there is about the SEC."

On increasing speed to compete in the SEC:

"We've gotta be sensitive to what we're doing and what our players can handle. My first year, our tempo was not nearly where it has been in the last 2-3 seasons. Our ability to change tempo is probably just as important as the speed of the SEC game."

On transitioning offensively:

"People make a big deal out of what we do offensively, as if we throw all the time. That's not the case. We'd love to see defenses drop back…that'd be the best thing for us. We are closer to 50-50 than people think [when it comes to] running the ball and passing the ball. We'll do what we can. We'll try to use some things as a neutralization tool against a league that has tremendous speed on defense. "

On preseason training:

"We've got to give our team the best opportunity to be successful here in the next 8 weeks."

On dealing with the SEC hype:

"First of all, you have to realize that you have the same patch on your sleeve for the same reason. If you haven't figured it out by the time you walk out on to the field, the other team will figure it out by the first play of the game. My guys understand what league they're in and what is expected of them. That's a process. I've been part of teams that were favored to win and teams that were underdogs. We don't coach any differently. We give our guys the best opportunity we can for them to be successful, so that on game day, we react as coaches and the players react as players."

On making internal changes:

"We've got some things we need to do internally to move us away from a .500 football team. When you lose 5-6 games after having a lead in the second half, you've got some issues. Before we talk about our SEC opponents, we need to talk about ourselves. We've got to do some things internally to give ourselves some confidence to play in these games."

On a new defensive scheme:

"We've moved to a 4-3. We've got to do some things from a schematic standpoint to help ourselves. We can't trade for bigger guys now. I can't get any more [size] before August 3rd. For me to tell you what we plan to do (chuckling) would be kind of stupid of me..."

On the SEC opener:

"We've looked at a few of the games for our first 3-4 SEC opponents. Quite frankly, I've spent a lot more time on our first game against Louisiana Tech. When it comes time for Florida, we'll have my guys ready to go."

On changing the culture at Texas A&M:

"It comes with attitude. The first thing you have to do is surround yourself with people who have the same vision that you have. They have to understand the process. The results, to me, are less important than the process. As you go through it and start to talk to your players, you're really dealing with two different things - current players who have been through the bad times and recruiting a whole new energy. As a coach, I'll have to make decisions between younger players with high energy levels and more experienced players who may not expect to win. At a conference level, the quicker they buy in, the quicker we're going to see success. My guys understand what's coming at them and they also understand the process of what we have to do. They want to be successful."

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