Action Jaxson: no time to let up

As Texas A&M enjoys the aftermath of Saturday's overtime victory over Texas Tech, the Aggies junior says it's not yet time to ease up. Appel sat down with the media on Tuesday and discussed A&M's upcoming off-week and preparation for arch-rival Texas.

On the media's perception of A&M's time off from practice since the Texas Tech game:

"I think you guys are a little mistaken. We haven't gotten any time off. We're not practicing today, but that doesn't mean that we've got the time off. We had practice Sunday. We had Monday off like usual, but we have meetings and we're going to work out today. We're just not outside running around on the field. There ain't no lounging around, eating bonbons on the couch or anything like that. It's still work time. But it will be nice to not practice today and have this off-weekend. It'll be good for everyone's legs, and to just relax for a weekend, because we've been going for six or seven weeks in a row, and that always takes a toll on your body."

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On the way the BCS is set up, in terms of a playoff system not working because too many games for student athletes:

"I don't know. There are a lot of guys that are a lot smarter than me that say that's the system to go with, so I'd have to agree with them. But I don't like having someone else decide who's the best. I think it would be better if we had a playoff-type system. That way we can determine who's the best, and we don't have people vote. But I don't think they'll ever do away with the BCS because who would the guys on TV talk about? It's good for sports. Not having a play-off is good for college football because every game matters so much. I read in Sports Illustrated that Roy Williams was quoted as saying that in college, every game matters so much. But in the pros, if you lose one, you can come back and win the next week. That's part of why college football is so special, because each weekend has so much determination on what you do. There's give and take on both sides."

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Could you handle fifteen or sixteen games?

"The pros do it. You would have to restructure the way practice is done. I was talking to Alan Reuber and he said they don't ever hit in practice because the season is so long. A playoff system would definitely benefit the teams with a stronger depth chart because having guys to step in and play would benefit teams like that. We have a lot of guys that have to manage being a student athlete. That's part of it. I don't think there would be any problem."

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Two of your teammates in the defensive backfield, Byron [Jones] and Jonte [Buhl] are kind of the old men of this defensive unit. What have those guys meant to the defense, especially with so many young DBs coming up?

"They're the two seniors in the defensive backfield. I think the younger guys at the corner position look up to them and say, ‘This is a senior. This is how it's supposed to be done.' Those two play the game with a tremendous amount of effort and heart, and play it the way it's supposed to be played. They take their leadership role very seriously in helping the younger guys get better. They talk to the corners and I try and handle the safeties. But when any of the older safeties aren't around, they step right up and fill those shoes too."

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How have the cornerbacks remained poised during both the criticism and complements that go along with the exposure of such a visible position?

"That's the difference between being a good cornerback and a bad cornerback. If you listen to what everybody says, you're going to feel sorry for yourself and you're not even going to be able to play. You always say that defensive backs have to have the shortest memory on the field because they can get burned for 80 yards for a touchdown one play and then come back, intercept it, and run it 80 yards the other way. So you have to have a short memory and be ready to play the next play. That's why we say, ‘Play it one time with one play to play.‘" "

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Is there anything special going on at each position for the guys playing their final game?

"It's not so much the position, it's just more the team aspect. We said in the locker room [before the Texas Tech game] that we need to play for the seniors. I tried to play to the best of my ability so I could send them out on a winning note on their home field, and I will expect the younger guys to do that for me my senior year. It's the team aspect. That's why you play."

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What was the worst call: the pass interference on you, or the offensive interference?

"The referees see different things when they're down on the field, so if that's what they think was the right call at the time, then they're the ones with the final decision."

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Do you think they may have called it on Buhl, like pushing in the back, but got the numbers mixed up?

"He (the referee) looked right at me and said, ‘It's defensive pass interference on you.' I was like, ‘On who? I don't even know who you're talking about!' Sometimes those things happen."

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You must have really had to run for that, right?

"I did get a minus (yardage), and I was a little upset with that. [laughter]"

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