Here's a summary of the relevant information we learned from today's press conference...
1) Johnny Manziel was in a sling yesterday for precautionary reasons, but will not be in a sling today. Sumlin said he was "hopeful" that Manziel would play.
2) He said that Jarvis Harrison was probable. Not sure if there's anything to make of the difference between "hopeful" and "probable".
3) If Johnny can't go, it appears that Matt Joeckel will be the first off the bench again. Sumlin cited that he's been in the fire and will be a calming influence.
4) Both Sumlin and Snyder seemed to feel that the defensive issues on Saturday were "upfront" and getting physically beat at the point of attack. Sumlin specifically said that the secondary did a much better job on pop and play-action plays and that the safeties showed better eye control.
5) Snyder later said that he was happy with Floyd Raven's play and that Deshazor Everett will stay at cornerback.
6) Sumlin said that the OL play was disappointing. Thought it was their worst performance of the season. He said they've set the bar high and that once you do that you are expected to play at that level, and they didn't do that on Saturday even though the performance compared to other units was still high.
7) On that same note, McKinney said it was disappointing that while they scored 41 points, they left a lot of points on the field and that was the difference. He referenced four possessions where the offense didn't get it done....the two interceptions by Manziel and two other possessions that stalled out. He said that is unusual there would be that many unproductive series in a game.
8) Asked if the defense is getting down on themselves, Snyder said you have to make sure and not only point out the negatives to them, but also where they did good things. YOu don;t want to be negative all the time. He said that for all that went bad, especially with explosive plays, the defense did force four three-and-outs. He also said the back-end of the defense is playing better and mentioned that the game is slowing down for both Steven Jenkins and Darian Claiborne. The issue on Saturday was the match-ups upfront at the point of attack.
9) Asked if the defense has been wearing down at the end of games giving up 21 points to both Olse Miss and Auburn in the fourth quarter, he said he didn't have an answer. He said he staff is having that discussion now and whether they need to do some things differently with rotations. That hasn't been their philosophy in the past, but he also acknowledged that most games they've played, the game has been decided by halftime.
10) Asked about depth on defense, Sumlin said that with any coaching change, there will be deficiencies in certain spots and if you look at the numbers of defensive players signed last year and those committed so far this year, you can see where the staff needed to address numbers and talent. But it's about getting the most out of your talent and knowing who can help you right away and who needs to develop. With that said, the days of a 5-year plan are over. The guys with a 5-year plan never make it past year three. There's not a lot of patience out there and we understand that.
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