The first question Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin was asked at the podium at the SEC Media Days was about if he missed coaching Johnny Manziel and something to do with the young quarterback who will replace him.
In a roundabout answer, Sumlin eventually said, regarding the Manziel part, "[that’s] irrelevant to me. The question is: What do you do next?"
A couple questions later came another attempt at getting Sumlin to comment on Manziel.
This time it was some baited, twisted question about recent party photos that leaked and whether Sumlin had a chance to speak with Manziel about those.
The reporter then asked a follow-up before Sumlin had time to answer the first question, which was about what Sumlin’s young quarterbacks can learn about all the off-field drama Manziel has experienced.
Sumlin took a long pause before flashing a high-wattage smile to the room.
"Is this the SEC Media Days?" he asked rhetorically. "That’s a great question … for the Cleveland Browns. Anyone else have anything?
Sumlin laughed it off, but his jokes were delivered sharply enough to clearly suggest to assembled media that he didn’t come to Hoover to speak about Manziel and he wasn’t interested in reopening that chapter of Texas A&M football.
The only other time Sumlin mentioned his former QB was to use Manziel’s first career game (against Florida) as an example to another question.
After everything non-football related Manziel dragged Texas A&M through during his time in College Station — which isn’t to overshadow the overwhelming good he did for the program — it’s understandable why Sumlin would want to avoid the topic and move forward.
On bringing punter Drew Kaser to Hoover: "I wanted y’all to see him. Hopefully you won’t see him much this year."
On the QB battle: "I didn’t come here to tell you who the QB will be."
On the Aggies’ recruiting rise in Texas: "It’s a combination of a lot of things. It was the right time. The questions we had the first year, they’ve changed. Moving to the SEC’s one thing; if we’d have gotten our brains beat out like everybody thought, it wouldn’t have worked. We haven’t accomplished what we want to accomplish. You look at where we are, particularly in the West, in terms of depth, that’s what we’re recruiting to."