2009 Texas A&M Aggies Football Preview
2008 Record: (4-8, 2-6)
2008 Bowl: none
Coach: Mike Sherman (4-8 at Texas A&M, 4-8 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Nolan Cromwell
Defensive Coordinator: Joe Kines
Other Key Returnees: CB Terrence Frederick, WR Jeff Fuller, G Lee Grimes, DT Tony Jerod-Eddie, C Kevin Matthews, TE Jamie McCoy, WR Terrence McCoy, DT Lucas Patterson, CB Jordan Pugh, OT Michael Shumard, LB Garrick Williams
Key Losses: DE Michael Bennett, P Justin Brantly, CB Arkeith Brown, LB Alton Dixon, RB Mike Goodson, DE Cyril Obiozor, OT Travis Schneider
Texas A&M certainly took some lumps during Coach Mike Sherman’s first year at the helm. By the numbers it is actually quite amazing that the Aggies won two conference games. Although those two games were against Iowa State and Colorado, so that is not saying too much, but at least it is something to build around.
Texas A&M's Strengths:
The offense showed plenty of potential last year. Quarterback Jerrod Johnson was thrown into the fire and did about as well as one could expect. He threw 21 touchdown passes and ten interceptions and had moments of brilliance. With his favorite target, Ryan Tannehill, also returning, the passing game could be in good shape. However, Tannehill is also a decent quarterback himself and if Johnson struggles, Tannehill could be taking some snaps. Either way, his inclusion on the offense gives Coach Sherman some interesting options. Even if Tannehill is under center, Texas A&M has a large group of quality receivers led by Jeff Fuller and tight end Jamie McCoy.
Texas A&M's Weaknesses:
The offensive line was pretty bad last year and that was quite obvious every time the Aggies tried to run the ball. Four starters return to the line, but replacing tackle Travis Schneider will be a problem. The line on the other side has plenty of problems too. Nobody on the line did much to create any pressure and both starting defensive ends are gone. Without any semblance of a pass rush, the secondary is in trouble. Terrence Frederick, Trent Hunter and Jordan Pugh are all back from a group that did surprisingly well against the pass considering they play in the Big 12 South. But if there is a pass rush, the secondary can actually be something to be proud of.
The Bottom Line for the Aggies:
The good news on the defensive side of the ball is the return of linebackers Matt Featherston and Von Miller. Featherston tallied 94 tackles last year and should emerge as the senior leader of the defense. The defense had a lot of new faces during the 2008 campaign while Coach Sherman was trying to implement his style of play. Year two should be better and there is actually more talent on this squad than a team with a 4-8 record would indicate.
By Joel Welser
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