Sherman Points To Reasons For 2009 Success

Even though August practices don't begin for another week, the Big 12 Media Day event signals the start of another new football season. Unfortunately for Coach Mike Sherman and the Texas A&M fan base, this is the first media day in the 13 year history of the conference where the Aggies are picked to finish last in the Big 12 South division...

Even though August practices don't begin for another week, the Big 12 Media Day event signals the start of another new football season. Unfortunately for Coach Mike Sherman and the Texas A&M fan base, this is the first media day in the 13 year history of the conference where the Aggies are picked to finish last in the Big 12 South division. However, the Aggie head coach was upbeat on the event's first day and pointed to a couple of major factors for optimism amid the media's less than stellar projection. Asked about the team's biggest areas of improvement, Sherman identified a unified locker room, renewed work ethic, and an influx of young talent and depth as reasons for hope in 2009.

"The biggest improvement I've seen is in the most important room – the locker room," Sherman said. "I see a greater chemistry and a unity being on a mission together. The chemistry has improved dramatically. These guys have bonded real well. "

"They've risen above my expectations as far as their commitment. They've worked hard and accepted the challenge," Sherman said. "I'm excited about them and what they are bringing to the table."

Sherman also addressed the lack of depth and injuries that contributed to a difficult 4-8 inaugural campaign for the former Green Bay Packers coach. He also believes he'll have more talent in 2009, which is providing optimism for a better season in 2009.

"The offensive line and linebacker position was our most glaring deficiency last season. We had some guys who had never played linebacker in high school, and we didn't have a lot of depth on the line that was compounded by injuries," Sherman said. "We recruited those positions hard last year and the incoming recruiting class will help this season."

The Texas A&M head coach is well aware that the fortunes of the 2009 football season could very well rest in the hands of his highly regarded 27-man recruiting class. So while the coaching staff can't participate in summer workouts, Sherman did give out instructions to his veterans to see that his young talent is prepared when August workouts begin in less than two weeks.

"I told the guys coming back that they needed to embrace the freshmen and teach him how we do things here since we can't do that in the summer. I said you can't be messing around. We need these guys," Sherman said. "I told the freshmen to forget about what they did in high school and how they did it. I told them to keep their mouth shut and listen to what you gotta do."

And Sherman is satisfied with the progress of the freshmen and how they've bonded with the rest of the team. While he stopped short of predicting improved success on the field in terms of wins, he did feel the added chemistry and young talent will improve the level of play over last season.

"They embraced the incoming freshmen and really brought them into the fold. I'm very proud of them," Sherman said. "We'll be better than we were last year. I can promise you that."

Coming off a dreadful transitional season in 2008, you can bet Aggie fans will be looking for that improvement on the field in 2009.


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