Kevin Sumlin, the Texas A&M head coach, has admitted that thr straight losses to LSU led him to hiring new defensive co-ordinator John Chavis.

Firstly, the question: “Coach, you guys played LSU the last three seasons. They held you to under 20 points in all three games, all losses. Did you kind of take the mindset, if we can’t beat LSU and John Chavis, I’ll go hire him away?” Sumlin’s answer was brutal and to-the-point: “I didn’t kind of. That’s exactly what I did. There’s really nothing more to the answer than that. That’s true. We’ve studied the defense. We get it. We struggled. It’s a great fit for us and a great fit for him. He was ready for a new challenge. We were in the market, obviously, and here’s a guy who’s got a tremendous track record in the SEC and recently in the SEC West. So his knowledge of opponents, his knowledge of the league helps me as a head coach, but it also helps our team and brings confidence right away to a defense that really needed it. His style, we’ve studied it so much over the course of the last three years in the off-season to try to get better.”

Sumlin noted that Chavis’ arrival is certain to going to excitement in Tiger Stadium. “When I walk in the stadium, they don’t seem pretty happy about me walking in there in the first place. I don’t know if it can get any more spicier than it is now. It’s been a game that ten years ago was still a really, really big football game with Texas A&M and LSU. So there’s always subplots. There’s story lines. You know, you got guys we’re recruiting, the same guys. I get a big hug from Jamal Adams right before the game, and then he goes out and just tries to knock our guys out. So we’ve got guys on both sides of the field. We’re recruiting Louisiana. They’re recruiting Texas. We’ve got all kinds of story lines involved, but certainly people want to make it what it is. Everybody’s always going to look for some reason to ratchet it up a bit, you know. Just like when Nick left LSU and went to Alabama, you never know. People are going to do what they’re going to do.”

He added that the current lawsuit that Chavis is embroiled in with LSU and Texas A&M “hasn’t been a distraction” to him.

He was also quick to defend Texas A&M’s choice of playing two games at neutral site venues instead of just the one. “If I had my way, we’d play all 12 games at home, but they’re not going to let that happen. For us in a recruiting standpoint, it’s been very, very helpful…..This year we’re going to play, open at NRG, which is just a fabulous facility in Houston that’s hosted the Super Bowl, and we play in Arlington every year. So you’re going to play in the best stadiums there are. Not only in the state of Texas, but probably in the country. And then we go on the road, it’s passion and great fans across the SEC. So I think I know that, as we recruit and we talk about bigtime venues and putting guys on a stage that it really, really shows who they are and how they play and gives them the exposure that they want these types of games and these types of venues. I see the better players in the country wanting to be a part of that.”



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