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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Sumlin stresses importance of the bye week in Tuesday presser

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Photo by Photo by Lawrence Smelser

Texas A&M will take a break this weekend from the SEC football schedule, as a bye week brings with it a measure of respite before the Aggies face Alabama in 10 days.

Head coach Kevin Sumlin said in the Tuesday news conference this week’s bye will pay big dividends as far as allowing players to recuperate and refocus for the final stretch of the 2015 regular season.

“They need time, they need time away from me, they need time away from [the media] who tell them how good they are or how bad they are or who screwed up,” Sumlin said. “For those guys, they’re still kids, and I think people forget about that. At the level that we play at in this league, it’s a really, really high level, but it’s not professional football and I think sometimes people forget that, because these guys go to class too.”

The break from play will also allow Sumlin to briefly analyze the effects of adjustments implemented in the off-season, including an evaluation of the new John Chavis-led defensive attack. 

“I think we’re not great, but we’ve definitely improved and you see signs that we’re getting better,” Sumlin said. “We’ll see here coming up because we are going to get challenged in different ways, from different types of teams. But I like our energy, I like the pace that we play with on defense, and our scheme. We’re a lot more aggressive on the perimeter.”

The Aggies were treated with the presence of former NFL safety Brian Dawkins, on the days leading up to Saturday night’s conference matchup with Mississippi State. Dawkins — a nine time pro bowler — engaged with players throughout his stay in College Station, offering mentorship and even posing for pictures before delivering an electric pre-game speech to the team on Saturday.

“He’s a guy that we’ve had a lot of respect for, a guy that had a tremendous NFL career, an analyst on ESPN, a guy that we reached out to,” Sumlin said. “He’s a guy that I think, without asking him this, you don’t play at the level he played for the length of time that he played and not miss football a little bit. So the ability to be able to fill a little bit of that void for him and be around our guys and be in the locker room and talk, he loved that. And there’s no doubt that he’s had an impact on a lot of our players, individually.”

No. 9 Texas A&M now shifts its focus to a nationally anticipated contest with the No. 8 University of Alabama at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at Kyle Field.

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