Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin proved he was already in midseason obfuscation form by bringing his punter, Drew Kaser, to SEC media days on Tuesday.
"I hope you all saw him," Sumlin said during his allotted slot at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala. "I hope you don't see him a bunch this year."
Bringing a punter to media day is like bringing boxed wine to a dinner party.
Sumlin clearly doesn't care. Life in the SEC after quarterback Johnny Manziel isn't going to be easy, so Sumlin has decided not to make anything easy.
Sumlin has done a great job in leading Texas A&M from the Big 12 to the SEC, with most people thinking the Aggies were going to get clobbered. Instead, Texas A&M has gone 20-6 in two years as members of "America's Best Conference," which included a 2012 win over eventual BCS champion Alabama.
None of that is going help Texas A&M defeat SEC East power South Carolina in their season opener on Aug. 28, so Sumlin is in all business mode.
He didn't want to talk about Manziel, the mercurial but talented quarterback who led the Aggies through triumphant, and turbulent, times.
Manziel is now the daily concern of the NFL's Cleveland Browns.
In one sense it must be a relief for Sumlin to move past Manziel, even as talented as he was. "Johnny Football" also caused a lot of off-field headaches.
Naturally, the first question Sumlin was asked Tuesday was about Manziel. Actually, the question was: "What is it like not coaching Johnny Manziel?"
Sumlin could only laugh as he worked steadily toward being miffed.
After another Johnny Football question he offered, "Is this the SEC Media Days? No, that's a great question about the Cleveland Browns. Anybody else got something?"
Sumlin was happy to talk about facility upgrades and, of course, his punter. But he wasn't even willing to discuss the two quarterbacks, Kyle Allen and Kenny Hill, vying to compete for Manziel's job.
"I didn't come here to tell you who the quarterback was going to be," Sumlin said.
Any more questions for the punter?Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times