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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A fresh start

First+Day+of+Spring+Football+Practice
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker
First Day of Spring Football Practice

March 20 was the vernal equinox and officially marked the start of the spring season. In College Station, something new was beginning as well.
Tuesday afternoon, Texas A&M head football coach Jimbo Fisher held the first spring practice of the year, signaling the start of a new era for a program which hasn’t won a national title in 80 years.
Fisher, who signed a 10-year, $75 million contract in December, inherits a team which finished tied for fourth in the SEC West and with a 55-53 loss to Wake Forest in the Belk Bowl.
Following the first practice of the spring, Fisher said his players had a positive demeanor.
“Kids had a good attitude, thought that they worked good,” Fisher said. “They’re getting used to new schemes, new practice in general, everything is different for them. … Where they’re moving too, they’re learning. Their attitude is good. Got to get a lot better in some things.”
Fisher said he won’t have a real feel of his roster until the tail end of the spring football season, but he will be able to tell which players are adjusting based on the their ability to learn as they go.
“I think we’ve got some great [players] that can take and learn what to do,” Fisher said. “You can never judge a guy’s ability ‘til he knows where he’s going, how fast he can go. How quick they learn is what you’re going to be judging.”
It is no secret there are heavy expectations for Fisher to produce a national championship at some point during his tenure at A&M. In February, A&M Chancellor John Sharp presented Fisher a national championship plaque with a blank date on it.
Fisher said while he welcomes the pressure and expectations, there are steps which need to be taken before reaching the pinnacle of college football.
“I wouldn’t be here if those weren’t the expectations,” Fisher said. “There’s a process to get to your expectations. Just like you can’t worry about winning the game, you have to worry about preparing for the game, playing the game. There’s a lot of things you have to put in place and get situated so we can get the results and the consistency we want.”
Fisher’s first practice was fast-paced and constantly moving, something Fisher said was going to be implemented. However, according to Fisher, his team was able to keep up with the new pace. He credited the team’s physical health to director of athletic performance, Jerry Schmidt.
“Schmidt did a great job [with preparing the team during the off-season],” Fisher said. “Our body fat has dropped, strength got better. We cranked them real hard, had a great offseason program. Kids had a great attitude and they worked hard in the weight room. We’re not out of shape, we didn’t have anybody cramp, miss practice or come out [because they] were tired. We have a lot of reps — we go fast — so I was very pleased with that part.”
During the 15 minutes allotted to the media during practice, Fisher dedicated a decent amount of time to working with the quarterback unit. During that time, the quarterbacks took reps under center. Fisher said many schools around the country run primarily out of shotgun formation, however, with the transition to his pro-style offense, Fisher said he will focus on taking snaps under center.
“There will be times,” Fisher said. “Sometimes we’ll be in the gun, sometimes we’ll be in both. I did something different for these guys that haven’t been underneath center as much. There are things that we will like to do in our offense that I think you need to be under center.”
Fisher said each unit will have to challenge one another to be able to handle the tough defenses and offenses they will face during the season.
“In this league, you have to be able to run the football and stop the run,” Fisher said. “There’s no doubt, I’ve been here a long time. You’re going to make your plays, throw the ball, you can spread the offense, but you have to have the physicality.”
A&M football continues with its spring football schedule, which will conclude with the spring game on April 14.

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