1. Well, its been a rough past few months in Aggieland. What was the mood like this spring?
Jimmy: With spring, comes rebirth. I believe that is a Jose Canseco quote from Oakland A's spring training. The mood has improved drastically. We're inching toward blind hope and blissful disillusion. Our admittedly crazy fan base has entered the stage of grief in a breakup where we believe it's GOOD that we got dumped by those crazy QB divas and now we can focus on real footbaw. It also didn't hurt from a PR standpoint that our new, handsome, God-fearing, Texan-by-God transfer quarterback went on a mission trip to Haiti with a bunch of his new teammates. That alone was enough to get our sanctimonious fan base fainting in the pews.
2. Presumably, Trevor Knight was brought in with the idea that he'd be starting. Is that a safe assumption, and how's he transitioning to the team?
Rush: By all accounts, the players love Knight. He's a seasoned leader, something Sumlin's never had at QB while at A&M. Knight has stepped into the role readily and ably and has a lot of folks optimistic about 2016.
3. Any surprises through spring practices?
Rush: One of the more pleasant surprises is that Sumlin has announced a starting QB following spring practice. This is the first time that's happened since Manziel in 2013, so it's nice to not have that uncertainty hanging over the program like we had over the past couple of seasons.
4. Any disappointments or question marks?
Jimmy: I mentioned hope and disillusionment earlier. It's hard to lose in spring practice, so people are justifying any doubts they have with the 2016 team. A realist (me, I'd like to think) understands that this team still has - at best - significant question marks in the trenches, and - at worst - glaring deficiencies. Until proven otherwise, the offensive line is significantly below average by SEC standards. The offense has all the fire power to make a mediocre defense look silly, but faced with a strong front seven? This unit is going to have to find some magic or Sumlin might be job hunting in December.
5. Safe to say everybody knows what's at stake this season with Kevin Sumlin's job status, and the schedule isn't all that forgiving with UCLA, Arkansas and a road trip to Auburn in the first month. What are the realistic expectations for this team, and is that enough to keep Sumlin around going forward?
Rush: REALISTIC? Billy, it's June. We're gonna clamor for 10 wins or Sumlin's head. In all honesty, 8 regular season wins and a decent bowl win would be just fine with me considering all the recent turmoil. But only if we finally beat LSU.
Jimmy: Pulling a win out of LSU/Alabama/Ole Miss would do wonders for Sumlin's goodwill. I agree with Rush that eight is probably a nice, realistic number. Sumlin also can't afford any humiliating blowouts or much more periphery drama. Massive year for the program.