arrow-circle arrow-long-stroke arrow-stroke arrow-thick arrow-thin arrow-triangle icon 2 baseballCreated with Sketch. basketball calendar category check-circle check-square check comment facebook-circle facebook-icon facebook-rounded facebook-square facebook-stroke football instagram-circle instagram-icon instagram-square long-arrow-right rss-circle rss-rounded rss-square rss-stroke rss twitter-circle twitter-icon twitter-rounded twitter-square twitter-stroke user-group user

Making Something out of Nothing

                      CRAIG SNYDER

He wowed us. He thrilled us. He would take an ordinary play and turn it into something fantastic, extending the drive or game by virtue of his unbelievable talent, determination and outstanding understanding of the game.

Now we need him to do it again.

Dameyune Craig has his work cut out for him this season. As Auburn’s Wide Receiver coach, it will be his job to transform a receiving corps that was almost non-existent on the field last year.  The numbers from 2012 are anything but encouraging. 

Last year’s quarterback statistics also display some disturbing trends, especially in terms of sacks and interceptions. Defensive coaches will tell you, predictability will kill any offensive scheme, and in passing downs last year, Auburn was one of the most predictable teams in the SEC, as the following play selections, interceptions and QB sack results reflect.

Auburn Offense – 2012

Average play yardage during wins – 64% rush, 36% pass

Average play yardage during losses – 40% rush, 60% pass

Player

      Comp 

           Att

       Yards

          TD

          INT

       Sacks

   Average

Kiehl Frazier

62

116

753

2

8

18

4.8

Jonathan Wallace

46

80

720

4

4

7

7.9

Clint Moseley

38

60

373

1

3

11

4.1

While some of the above can be attributed to a very young offensive line, quarterbacks and a new offensive scheme, a great deal of the burden fell upon the Tiger receivers to run routes correctly, efficiency, get open and assist the quarterback on broken plays. This requirement meant that players had to be thoroughly familiarized with both the offensive scheme and the defenses they faced and be in tune with their quarterback’s tendencies and capabilities.

I think we can all agree that none of this seemed to occur except for one lone receiver last year: Emory Blake. He accounted for 789 yards, over 60% of the yardage gained by all Auburn wide receivers last year. No other wide receiver had more than 9% of the total (122 yards for Trovon Reed). Of the remaining ball catchers last year, they were either one of the two tight ends (for six games each) or running backs on short, outlet passes from the backfield. If the ball was going down field more than 10 yards last year, Emory Blake was the sole consistent target.

Judging by the offensive statistics from last year, everyone in the stadium seemed to know it.

 Broke

                                Maybe we can get Dameyune a T-shirt?

Under Dameyune Craig, that trend will have to change a great deal. It will be his task to develop Auburn’s existing receiver talent into a capable corps of receivers that can be effective and win consistently.

He will have to create something from seemingly nothing, again.

This would be a difficult task for anyone, even someone as obviously talented as Dameyune. But the key to this most welcome Auburn hire of recent memory is that he has already done this exact task before: Developed a corps of wide receivers for a football program from scratch.

When Joey Jones began to look for coaching talent for his new South Alabama Jaguars in 2008, he looked no further than Tuskegee University’s championship coaching staff and specifically Coach Craig. Dameyune took over coaching the newly minted Jaguar receivers and through hard work and many long hours, helped coach that team to an undefeated inaugural season in 2009.

Not only was the very first season of Jaguar football undefeated, they averaged over 45 points and 439 yards of offense per game. A primary reason for that success was Craig’s tireless efforts at the very task Auburn expects him to do this year – revamp a receiver corps that was almost non-existent on the field last year.

Auburn’s receivers will be in good hands with Dameyune. He has the drive, talent and determination to bring this group of Tigers along to achieve success in the SEC.

Coach Dameyune

Like I said, he’s done this before, both on and off the field of play. 

3 Comments

  1. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……I’m not as worried about the receiving corps this season. A lot of last year’s woes were QBs locking in on Emory Blake. Teams corner blitzed us frequently, and just let their guy go, because the QBs could be counted on not to look across the field, or even have time to.

    ……What was encouraging even on a sputtery A-Day was that every scholarship receiver that played had impressive abilities, either speed, size, or both. A lineup of Coates, Denson and Uzomah is going to be tough for any secondary to match up with. Sprinkle in a little Trovon Reed and Quan Bray, and we could be pretty dangerous, if we can just find a guy to spread the ball around.

  2. DBAU81 says:

    I am very glad that Coach Craig is back at Auburn and think that our receiving corps should improve significantly under his watch. But don’t take too much from South Alabama’s undefeated first season. They were playing teams that were barely above high school level. Getting our receivers to play competitively against SEC defenses will be a much more difficult job.

    • Todd92 Todd92 says:

      Had he been at a school with far superior talent than those schools that were “barely above high school level” I would agree with you. However, they went undefeated with roughly the same talent level as those they played which makes it quite the accomplishment.