Thursday, June 28, 2007

Aggie Roundtable, Take 2

I should have my qualifying test wrapped up in the next week or so. Until I do, roundtable answers will continue to be short. Many thanks to Ryan from TAMBINPO for providing this week's questions. My fellow Aggie pundits have responded here: Ryan, R, Brad.

1. New uniforms have been unveiled. What are your favorite & least favorite thing about them (and any other comments you might have)?
Overall I have a negative view of the new jerseys. I like that the maroon jerseys are relatively unchanged. The pants really aren't my thing though. I'm more of a solid-color-pants guy. A&M is a school that is proud of its traditions. As a result, I'd love to see the Aggies in more of a traditional look. My ideal would be single color jerseys (maroon home, white road). The home jerseys would say "Aggies" on the front and have relatively simple numbers. The road jerseys would say "Texas A&M" instead but would be just as plain. The pants would be a single color (white home, maroon road probably). For reference, the new jerseys:

2. Do you have plans to make any away games this season? If so, which one(s), why that game....and can I come too?
I would love to make the trip to Lubbock and check another stadium off my list, but this far out I have no idea how feasible that will be. Last year's trip to Baylor was a blast and two years ago I made it to Iowa and Northwestern. If I make a road trip in a third straight season I'm pretty sure that the rules of Aggie-dom mean that I must declare it a tradition.

3. Favorite Aggie players past & present -- name'em (and if you have a good story feel free to share it).
I haven't been around enough to really have a favorite past player, so I'll cop out and say Melvin Bullitt was my favorite graduating senior a season ago. As for current players, I will go with Chris Harrington (very underrated in my opinion) and Devin Gregg who had a knack for forcing big turnovers last season. An honorable mention goes to Ben Bitner for being crazy. (Unless Mr. Bitner is reading this, in which case I was just joking... please don't hurt me.)

4. Pre-season magazines have recently hit the stands. Do you get into them? If so how many do you buy and which is your favorite.
I've been working my way through Phil Steele, which is excellent as always. On a whim I also picked up The Sporting News which is currently embedded in the drywall across from my couch. TSN was really down on Texas A&M without ever really justifying it. I get the feeling that they really don't like Coach Fran. They also listed Coach Lloyd Carr as being overrated. I saw that and it was all downhill from there.

5. How closely do you follow recruiting? Are you:
a) Recruiting guru....."OMG! Have you seen the 2009 recruiting rankings yet?";
b) Casual follower....."Awesome! I just read that we inked
a 5* tailback!;
c) Couldn't care less....just suit'em up and we'll see how we do in the fall.
I'm a little of (a) and a little of (b). I like to know what's going on, so I subscribe to Billy Liucci's service at TexAgs (which is superb by the way). I don't think that I've ever been tempted to start a sentence about recruiting with "OMG" though, so I'm not sure that I've reached the option (a) level just yet.

6. What do you think are our most overrated & underrated strengths for this upcoming season?
I think that the secondary is underrated. A&M has about 10 top notch athletes on the two-deep. I'm betting that 4 or 5 will show the football skills to excel. I'm especially excited about Devin Gregg, Danny Gorrer, Arkeith Brown and Jordan Pugh.

The most overrated group has to be the tight-ends. All you hear about is Martellus this that Martellus that. If he contributes to the offense for more than a quarter at a time, I'll happily revoke this statement but I'm just not seeing it. Joey Thomas is alright, but I'm not sure that he is any better than a solid backup which doesn't match the hype on TexAgs. Like I said, I'd love to be wrong here but I just don't feel confident about this position.

With apologies to the great Red Green, until next week, keep your stick on the ice!


At 6:07 PM, Blogger 2percenter said...

Uniforms look good, like the good old days when Jackie let the team to great victories!

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you really think Tellus only contributes "one uarter at a time", then you really know little about football, and need to stick with blogging about hockey or some other sport.
Tellus may be the best blocker on the team, and is easily the best blocking TE in the conference.
As for Thomas, he'd start for every Big 12 team in the conference.
Your ignorance is showing.

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Tom said...

I'll confess to not having any evidence to back up my feelings on Thomas, except his general lack of production. 10 receptions and 2 TD's isn't a lot, considering one of the TD's came in garbage time against ULaLa.

As for Bennett, after hearing your criticism, I went back and watched the first three drives of the Holiday Bowl (the only tape I have from last season). Based on that (admittedly) small sample size, I would say Bennett would be a superb blocker if he were a WR, but only above average as a TE. He does a great job getting downfield and sealing off DB's. He is ok against LB's, but I question his ability to block DL. A&M's offense doesn't really ask him to do this, so it's probably a minor quibble, but something I would consider if I was evaluating a TE.

All that said, I don't have a problem with the statement that Bennett is the most talented TE in the Big XII, I think that he probably is. This however comes with lofty expectations that I don't think he's meeting. He had a career game against Baylor (133 yards, 2 TDs) but was held to 1 catch for 3 yards against OU. A&M's redzone offense was pathetic in that game, quite possibly because Bennett didn't contribute much at all. Against Texas and Cal, Bennett was similarly quiet.

I'll also concede that some of Bennett's lack of production can be attributed to playcalling and perhaps some of the scorn I heaped on the TE's should have been reserved for the coaching staff. Still this doesn't change the point that I was trying to make: The Aggie unit with the greatest disparity between hype and production are the TE's.


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