Texas A&M head football coach Kevin Sumlin doesn't seem to have a worry in the world about replacing former offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, who took the Texas Tech head coaching job after the season.
Longtime assistant Clarence McKinney will take over after a terrific debut calling the shots in the Cotton Bowl.
"The transition went well if you go back and look at the bowl game," Sumlin said with a grin.
McKinney took over the interim role as offensive coordinator in early December following the Aggies' record-setting 10-2 season. A&M had a Cotton Bowl date with Oklahoma in less than a month. The change didn't seem to hurt, for the Aggies showed up in Arlington and put on an offensive clinic at Cowboys Stadium, especially in the second half.
The Aggies averaged close to 10 yards per play during a 41-13 blowout. A&M scored three unanswered touchdowns to begin the third quarter while padding a one-point halftime lead. Johnny Manziel backed up his Heisman Trophy win with a 516-yard performance. Some of it had to do with McKinney's familiarity with the offense, which makes the transition this spring much easier.
"This will be my sixth year of installing this offense," McKinney said. "So I've seen it. I've done it. It's pretty natural for me."
McKinney was the team's run-game coordinator prior to taking over play-calling duties for the bowl game. Going into spring workouts, he has a strong group of running backs -- Brandon Williams, Ben Malena, Trey Williams and Tre Carson -- with which to attempt to improve on the rushing attack that led the Southeastern Conference last season with 242.1 yards per game.
"Wow," he said. "These guys are all competitors. They're very talented. We just hope we have enough balls for them. The good thing about them is they all bring something different to the table. We'll find things for those guys to do."
That group, along with returners along the offensive line and at wide receiver, should make McKinney's transition easier. So should Manziel, the first player to win the Heisman as a freshman.
"The big thing about Johnny is that he's a winner. He does what it takes to win," McKinney said. "Whether that's dropping back and throwing the ball or running with the ball. He does what it takes for us to win."