Mid-Week Team Notes and Tidbits

Change is in the air after the Texas A&M defense crumbled under the weight of the Alabama offense. Aggie Websider discusses possible changes and the latest buzz from the Bright Complex.

Not that any of this is a big surprise, but I'm hearing that you'll see a shake up at LB. Darian Claiborne has been taking some reps with the starting unit. I also wouldn't be surprised to see some shifting of positions to get the best 2-3 LB's on the field. So the staff realizes they have to make a change at the LB position, and they realize Baggs has struggled in the first three games. I think you can connect the dots.

The safety position is also under the microscope. Everett played some safety in the second half of the Alabama game, and from all indications he'll have a more significant role at the position next week and going forward. In the meantime, Kam Miles has been cleared and is now practicing with he team. The plan is to give him a crash course at safety and give him some reps to see what he can do....and if he can contribute. He'll have an uphill battle to get on the field simply because he's just now participating in a college practice for the first time since he missed the entire fall camp. But, if he shows that he's instinctive and picks up the calls quickly, they may throw him out there in time to see what he can do and how he reacts in live action.

The DL will see some more subtle changes. I think the staff wants to get one of those young guys (Walker, Golden) into the primary rotation in the middle. Alonzo Williams just doesn't have the mass or quickness to shoot the gaps to be a playmaker against some of these huge SEC OL's. He either needs to drop a few pounds and play SDE, or he needs to keep putting on the mass and come back heavier.

But the key is finding an effective pass rusher. Julien Obioha just isn't a natural pass rusher and I think eventually he moves back to his more natural SDE position. That leaves either the Taylor brothers or Daeshon Hall as the DE pass rusher. Hall has shown flashes and he can beat OL's off the edge and he's great making backside plays. He's still too light and he vacates his gap responsibility...and he's fairly predictable with his edge rush. He doesn't have an effective inside move that he's comfortable using. Tyrell Taylor is just too light and merely a specialty 3rd down player. Tyrone Taylor is a possible answer, but he hasn't been a playmaker so far. Ideally, I think the staff wants to coach up Hall as he has the biggest upside long-term and he has some playmaking skills and instincts...but he'll have growing pains in the coming weeks.

So I'm not sure there's a short-term answer to this problem compared to DT, LB, and safety. And if you ask me, pass rush is priority No. 1. You can hide shortcomings at LB and DB with a good pass rush. Unfortunately, Snyder can't hide those shortcomings yet.

If you ask me, I'd go with more inside gap (run) blitzes. Claiborne?

On offense, as most of you have already posted, if Ricky Seals-Jones' knee doesn't get healthy soon, the staff may try to get a medical redshirt. He apparently re-injured the knee in practice.

You have to start getting concerned with the fact that Trey Williams seems to be on the trainer's table more than he's on the field. He has another high ankle sprain and those injuries seem to linger all year despite not being "serious" in nature. A&M needs Williams in the lineup because he brings a playmaking quality we don't see with the other three backs on the field.

Right now, back-up OL's Shep Klinke and Jeremiah Stuckey are sidelined with injuries. The OL depth is incredibly thin right now. Ben Compton is the one back-up that you feel good about if one of the interior OL's go down. And, if a tackle goes down, Harrison slides over and Compton comes in...but anything more than that will be an issue.

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