Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher, on beating Alabama: 'That's what we're here for, isn't it?'
HOOVER, Ala. — Jimbo Fisher knew the question was coming and did not back down.
A few months after making waves in Alabama by declaring of Nick Saban, “We’re going to beat his ass when he’s there,” the fourth-year Texas A&M coach elaborated on that belief at SEC media days.
“I don’t have any regrets,” Fisher said. “That’s what we’re here for, isn’t it? Isn’t that why everybody’s here? That’s what makes this league this league. That’s what we expect to do at Texas A&M.
“In saying all that — Nick and I are friends. We’ve known each other a long time. We coached together. We’re from the same world, if that makes any sense. I have the utmost respect for what he’s done and what he’s accomplished. He’s the standard, and the standard is what you have to play to.”
Fisher later clarified that he was “not trying to brag” about his hope to one day topple Saban.
“It’s our standard,” he said. “It’s what we’re in the business to do. It’s the same thing, too. I love our football team. Sometimes it’s important to be good, and it’s important for them to know I think they’re good, which I do. I think we have a chance to be a very good football team.
“Now, me saying it and us wanting it is one thing. Wanting to win doesn’t matter. Are you prepared to win? How we prepare, how we practice, the amount of detail we have, and how we go about things, and the camaraderie and the chemistry and the culture we created, does it continue, and does it continue to grow and even get better?”
Saban enters the season with a well-noted 23-0 record over his former assistants, including Fisher both at Florida State and Texas A&M.
“We have to play him each and every year,” Fisher said. “We look forward to playing him. Understand, we have the utmost respect. Understand me saying we’re going to beat them doesn’t beat them. We have to develop the skills, the right practice habits, coach the heck out of the players and let them play, and be able to play those games and understand how to play those games.”
The Tide and Aggies meet Oct. 9 at Kyle Field in College Station. The two players representing A&M at media days did not seem to mind the expectations for the sixth game on the schedule.
“Our coach is confident in our team,” offensive lineman Kenyon Green said. “I’m confident too. We’re going to go out there, play our game and give it our all.”
“His comment, I just loved it," defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal said. "It shows how much he believes in us. Having a coach that stands behind you, that means a lot.”