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If They Throw it, Will Anyone Catch It?

By on August 13th, 2013 in Football 17 Comments »

sammycoates 2There were many epic collapses as Auburn made its descent from national champions to the worst team in the SEC last season. Few were more glaring than at the wide receiver position.

There was plenty of blame to go around, but no one deserved more credit than former assistant coach Trooper Taylor. As good as he was a recruiter, he was equally bad at developing wide receivers.

Despite having some of the top prep talent in the South, few developed into big-time playmakers on his watch. News that sophomore Ricardo Louis is starting to bloom should be music to Tiger fans ears.

Then again, we’ve heard this story before.

Despite being ranked the fifth-best athlete in the country coming out of Miami Beach High School in 2011, Louis never got going last season, catching only three balls for 36 yards.

Last year this time, his teammates were saying similar things in fall camp, noting his big playmaking abilities and lightening speed. Then he disappeared – along with the rest of his team.

Things are expected to be different this time around. New wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig has taken note, saying Saturday that Louis, “May be one of the fastest guys he’s ever been around.”

Talking about both Louis and fellow receiver Sammie Coates, Craig heaped more praise. “They can stretch the field, burn people, they’re strong,” he said. “Big guys, they’re physical, they just have to learn to play.”

Considering the coaching they’ve had since arriving on campus, it’s safe to say Craig has a blank slate to work from this year.

Coates was outspoken in his criticism of the team last season. His most memorable actions were off the field when he called out his fellow teammates, something that didn’t sit well with everyone.

“Everybody talks about wanting to win, but nobody is showing how they want to win,” Coates said last October. “Everybody isn’t buying into it”

He says that’s all in the past now.

“We’ve got a new offense, new coaching staff, so I think we’ve all got to step up as a group, be one family. And all wide receivers have to come together and play together because we don’t have that many right now.”

Auburn returns five scholarship wide outs, but they accounted for less than half of the production last fall. With Emory Blake taking his nearly 800 yards in receptions to the NFL, Coates and Ricardo must pick up the slack.

His six catches for 114 yards last year will not cut it in Gus Malzahn’s offense. Coates believes this offense is made for him and his teammates.

“This offense is made for each wide receiver to make plays,” Coates said. “We’re looking forward to making all the plays we can as a team and as a wide receiver group because we’ve got the best wide receivers group, I think, around.”

Let’s hope this October his actions take place only on the football field.

“This year I know it’s a new beginning.” 



  1. restless6 says:

    The guys better learn how to catch fastballs, ala Brett Favre. Nick has a cannon. He can throw those quick outs hard.

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      From all the reports Johnson has a cannon also, maybe even stronger. Either way, we are sure to see some fastballs this season

      • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

        I love Wallace and I think he would do fine in a Malzahn offense but his arm looked a little weak on deep throws from where I sat last year. He definitely had a cannon on the shorter throws though. If Marshall winds up the starter I hope Jonathan will be the backup and they redshirt Johnson.

        • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

          Deep balls are a necessity to the Gus Bus offense. If you can’t go deep to keep the defense honest, the rest of the stuff does not work as well. It would not surprise me at all if the depth chart at QB look like this

          1. Nick Marshall
          2. Jeremy Johnson
          3. Jonathan Wallace

          You need 3 QBs on the roster. With Frasier going to safety and Turberville not an option I think Johnsons redshirt is already burned.

          • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

            And your ‘probably’ right about the No. 1,2,3 depth chart.

          • Todd92 Todd92 says:

            They will probably keep the redshirt on Johnson unless Marshall goes down. No need to burn it for him to get mop up duty… I figure the official will be 1. Marshall 2. Wallace 3. Johnson. If Marshall goes down or flops then Johnson is readied quickly for the starting position. All of this is of course assuming Marshall beats out Johnson this week….

          • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

            While your 1,2,3 chart is fine with me, why would Nick and Jeremy be getting most of the reps instead of Nick and Jonathan

          • Todd92 Todd92 says:

            I think the race for the starting position is legit… Johnson has a real chance to be the starter. But if he doesn’t win it I don’t see Malzahn burning his redshirt for mop up duty against the patsies. Again… If Marshall goes down or is a disaster then I would think they burn Johnson’s redshirt to start him…

  2. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    Just my opinion but I don’t think the receivers bear any responsibility for the poor offensive (no pun intended) production that’s plagued us since Malzahn left. Poor coaching and inevitably poor QB play doomed us from game one.

    • KoolBell KoolBell says:

      Ricardo Louis was 100% right in what he said, and 100% right in calling his team mates out. The team was giving half-assed effort last season, and I for one was pissed about it. Evidently so was RL! There were only a handful of players that were really busting their butts. I’ll name a few:
      C.J. Uzomah
      Jay Prosch
      Chad Slade
      Jonathan Wallace
      Tre Mason

      Poor coaching, and even worse decision making by the head coach, and offensive coordinator led to that tragedy we all witnessed in 2012.

      Don’t even get me started on the defensive side of the ball!

      These players were recruited for this offense, and Chizik threw them out there with the Loeffler?

      • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

        Just a question but I thought it was Sammie Coates that called out his teammates?

      • Todd92 Todd92 says:

        And you can add horrible OL play and and add Greg Robinson and John Sullen to your exceptions list and remove Chad Slade… The right side of the line may as well been blocking dummies last season. The only side that we could run behind half way consistently was the left unless Sullen was pulling on the right. And the OL play contributed greatly to the bad QB play. It still amazes me Loeffler got an OC job at a BCS school after his bs last year.

  3. WarEagleEngr says:

    Trooper Taylor’s tenure at Auburn remains a puzzle to me. In the first two years we saw impressive things from the receiving corps. Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachary came out of obscurity to win starting spots, and Adams developed into an All-SEC caliber receiver. Kodi Burns was converted into a contributor at the position in just one season. And all three of those players knew how to block. Catching and running may come naturally to a gifted receiver, but blocking must be coached. I think Taylor deserves a lot of credit for that.

    And then it falls apart beginning in ’11, for the entire team, but especially the receiver corps. Again Taylor is the constant.

    It really makes me wonder what transpired on that coaching staff the final two years.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      Lashlee left Auburn after the 2010 season. In 2009 and 2010 Lashlee was an offensive graduate assistant at AU. Maybe that’s the reason.

  4. uglyjoe says:

    I hope Frasier becomes this year’s Kodi. While I feel for Frasier and Wallace, I think it is telling that the two former starters are passed over for the new guys. Logic would tell you that the old guys should perform better this year in the system they were originally recruited for, and for them to be displaced by two new guys means we have a major upgrade in talent (in my finite mind). I hope that argument is carrying over to other areas. Don’t know how good it’s gonna be, but man it’s gonna be fun to watch.