Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher holds his SEC Media Days news conference at the College Football Hall of Fame on Monday, July 16, 2018, in Atlanta. Fisher told his players they needed to get tougher at the first meeting with his new team. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

Fisher demanding a tougher approach, his players say

There was no gradual integration for Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M this past spring. In trademark fashion, Fisher came into the program guns blazing, unapologetic, demanding change.

After every practice, he conveyed the same message.

“He told us that we were soft,” offensive lineman Erik McCoy said, “and that we had no option but to get tougher.

“It really was (jarring),” McCoy added. “But it was eye-opening, and it made me want to practice even harder than I was already doing.”

McCoy also recalled the first meeting Fisher had with the team, one in which his expectations rang crystal clear. 

“He set the standard for that in the first meeting,” McCoy said. “He came in, he set the bar, and he told us what he wanted, and basically told us if we didn’t give it to him, we’d be gone. That was a message that really got through to us.”

Fisher is one of four active head coaches with a national championship. That alone affords the former Florida State head coach some leeway with his brash proclamations and ultimatums. There’s a cachet the comes with Jimbo Fisher, one that holds weight with his new players.

Perhaps those are the stern demands necessary to awake the dormant program in College Station. Texas A&M hasn’t won more than eight games since 2013. For an SEC program in the heart of Texas, that won’t cut it.

And while the air of change will reverberate around any program at its preseason media days with a first-year head coach, McCoy insists Fisher has breathed new life into the team.

“We’ve come a long way under coach Fisher, and we’re still making strides to get tougher,” McCoy said. … “Since coach Fisher has gotten here, guys have gotten tougher.”

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