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Everybody Gets Their Chance to Show What They Can Do

By on August 7th, 2017 in Football, News 17 Comments »
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photo: Julie Bennett/al.com

After six days of fall practice, the Auburn Tigers will enter Jordan-Hare Stadium today for the first real scrimmage of the preseason. It will mark the start of developing the 2017 depth chart.

Coach Malzahn said last week, “That’s when we’ll really be able to evaluate, at the highest level, all positions once we get out to the stadium.”  While “all positions” will be under the microscope, none is more important than the competition between the incumbent quarterback Sean White and Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham.

“[All three QB’s have had] “good competition,” Malzahn said. “I think right now probably the best way to put it is all three I feel like can run our offense. Even Malik Willis has a good understanding of the core base offense. For a true freshman, that’s really good.”

While Gus said no decision on naming a quarterback will be made after one scrimmage, it’s still possible an announcement could come before the final day of fall camp (August 21).

If the coaches run the practice similar to past years, the scrimmage will be divided between first-, second- and third-team units. A typical fall camp scrimmage is around 100 plays, but Malzahn has indicated there may be a higher count today.

“Plan on quite a few plays,” Malzahn said. “We’re going to get a chance to let everybody show what they can do adequately and then we’ll do some special teams too…We’re going to let everybody get their chance and show what they can do.”

17 Comments

  1. KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

    I agree with Gus in that, if forced by injury to the as-yet-unnamed starter, all three of our prospective quarterbacks will provide quality play.

    We all know how good White is when he’s healthy. Stidham showed all the qualities a good quarterback needs to be successful on A Day. And as far as I’m concerned, if Malik Willis were forced onto the field for whatever reason, I feel confident he would rise to the occasion. He showed me that he has poise in the pocket. He does not panic when the play breaks down. He throws accurately. He runs with aggression. And I think the team responds well to him at the helm. He was successful with the 2’s offense against the 1’s defense on A Day. That showed me a lot. He took the initiative to make things happen that day. That’s leadership.

    Right now, who plays quarterback is less of a concern to me than how well will our offensive line plays. They’ve shown good run blocking. But I was a tad concerned (re depth of the bench) with pass protection on A Day.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Agree Panda> “He was successful with the 2’s offense against the 1’s defense on A Day. That showed me a lot. He took the initiative to make things happen that day. That’s leadership.”

      Got to be excited about his potential.

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..The NCAA took two-a-days away from coaches. I’m figuring long, intensive scrimmages are the coaches’ answer.

    • AUFan1 AUFan1 says:

      Makes sense. I’m hoping the way there are days for rest built in that injuries will be at a minimum.

  3. Wreckz says:

    If Stidham were to go down, I bet that Willis would be the starter. I like White and I think he handles the Miss St.’s and Arky’s. The question is can he beat bammer, uga, LSU, etc.?

  4. Im4Auburn says:

    From everything i'm reading it sounds like Willis could be No. 2. As a Sean White fan, I sure hope not. Also, TET's my favorite Auburn site and I appreciate all the writers here but Jay Coulter was the reason I've come here on a regular basis. Is he going to be writing on Monday's this fall?

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Thanks for being a regular reader Im4Auburn. Jay has just been over whelmed with his day job lately but we expect him to be back in the saddle for the football season,

  5. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    Any insight or guess as to how Malzahn’s scheming will mesh with Lindsey’s plan? Are we still going to see up tempo HUNH? Zone reads? or more of a pro style? If CGM is on the hot seat this year, will he meddle with Lindsey’s offense if it doesn’t click early?

    • Derrick Roberts Derrick Roberts says:

      That's a great question. I imagine we'll see something similar to what the Patriots did at times when they had Gronkowski and Hernandez (before he, you know, murdered people). Some HUNH with strong TE presence and the threat of a Pettway handoff or misdirection. Get used to this acronym now: RPO (or Run-Pass Option). I think fans can expect to see a healthy amount of that this season as well due to Stidham showing a strong ability to throw on the run.

      With the athlete's at their disposal (Lindsey & Malzahn) I think it's anyone's guess as to what we'll see the most of. It really depends on how well the offensive line gels and plays as a unit. Moving the ball on the ground probably won't be an issue, but if we can't take advantage of the passing opportunities that opens up, then we'll still struggle to score points at times.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Historically almost every former offensive coordinator can't really divest themselves of running the O once they become a head coach. The closest writer to the situation is Phillip Marshall and he's said Gus really means what he said. But I'll believe it when I see it. Having said that, I think he chose Lindsey because he thought he could have someone (a former employee/coach) that would be open to keeping a lot of his offense. You can bet they've had plenty discussions about just that since he came on board. The big question remains who calls the plays?

      • Derrick Roberts Derrick Roberts says:

        Just to add to this, I think the presence of Al Borges has a tremendously positive effect on the way the offense is constructed and implemented this season. Borges knows his stuff in a completely different way than both Malzahn and Lindsey. If those three guys develop any sort of effective/positive chemistry, it means nothing but good things and success for Auburn in 2017.

        • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

          Good point about Al. A great X’s & O’s guy.

        • DBAU81 says:

          Borges helped tremendously when he arrived in 2004 by improving the downfield passing game. That led to a much more diverse and unpredictable offense than we had during the infamous “Nallsminger” year. Hopefully the arrival of Lindsey, Borges and Stidham will bring similar results this season, as long as Gus gives them enough leeway to do their thing. Plus, I hope they can figure out a way to get KJ and Pettway on the field at the same time, similar to what Borges did with Cadillac and Ronnie Brown in 2004.

  6. AU70 says:

    Total speculation here but I believe that Gus realized as a head coach with oversight over everything he could not focus on the offense and play calling during games as he used to when he was just an O C. The result was that he would fall into predictable ruts in play calling, personnel groups, and formations making it easy for defenses to know what was coming. It remains to be seen when the pressure is on if he can leave the play calling in Coach Lindsey's hands. I hope he does and that coach Lindsey is good enough at what he does to keep opposing defenses off balance.

    Gus has collected quite an offensive brain trust with Lindsey, Borges, Hand and himself. If they can all learn to meld their expertise it could be pretty exciting and a fun offense to be part of. As a former offensive play caller, albeit at the high school level, I would love to be in the room when they are game planning. That would be fun.

  7. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    what , what , he, he, said/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\