COLLEGE STATION, TX — Year one of Jimbo Fisher was not without excitement. A historic seven-overtime victory over LSU made headlines across the country and then the Ags finished 2018 as Gator Bowl champions.
Now, Fisher is ready to hone in on the mental game of his team.
He says it's one thing to grind physically in practice, but it's another to grind mentally. And as Texas A&M faces a fierce schedule yet again, he hopes they see nothing when they look at their opponents.
"When you get your program where you want it and how the guys think, your opponent has no face. You have a faceless opponent. Now, I know it's easier to say but there's a point they believe that. And they gotta understand how they gotta build off that each and every week. I think that's where we're at in our process, and understanding no matter who we play, there's a standard in which we have to hold them to in practice in the off season," Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M Football Head Coach, said. "And they say kids are different today. They're different unless you make them do it the old way, and we're gonna try to do that. Now, that 's our challenge as coaches and they have to buy into that, but if you want to be a great program and win, it doesn't matter who you play, it's how you play."
And who is Fisher looking to lead that steady mentality? None other than his junior QB, Kellen Mond.
Mond's entering his second year as the man in charge of the offense, and he openly admits he's nowhere near the player he wants to be.
But, Fisher is pleased with his QB's development on and off the field, and Mond says the coach-QB relationship has reached a new level.
"His knowledge of the game has been tremendous. The conversations we have and his ability to see blitzs and protections and how to attack coverages and all those different things. But I think from a stand point of how to be the quarterback and the leader of the organization, from a stand point of how much time he spends with guys off the field, how he sits and works with the young players and understands the psychological disposition to be able to compete at a high level with the ups and downs of everything that goes on," Fisher added.
"I think toward the end of the season, he kinda gained a lot more trust in me so we can talk a little bit more about what plays I like, we kinda understand what type of plays that are gonna work in certain situations, so just me being able to have more knowledge of the game and I can start thinking a little more like him," Kellen Mond said.
The Aggies kick off the 2019 season at home against Texas State on August 29 -- a Thursday night game at 7:30 p.m.
That game is the precursor to the one everyone's already talking about, when Texas A&M will make the trip to Clemson to play the National Champs, who knocked off Bama, on Saturday, September 7th.
That takes us back to the steady mentality and how Fisher is relying on his team to carry the same focus every week.
"That's part of our culture that we preach daily, and I think if you want to play well that second game, you have to play well the first game. And I think you build off of that, and that's our approach. Is it a challenge, yes, because kids at anytime think up and down, but Texas State, you know, anybody can beat you and everybody's got players across this country," Fisher said,