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Stidham or Bust?

By on February 27th, 2017 in Football, News 16 Comments »

Auburn football is back. Tomorrow marks the earliest start to spring practice in memory. This one promises to be different. Chip Lindsey now has the keys to the offense, and he badly needs a driver.

With Sean White on the mend, attention turns to Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham. All eyes will be on whether this is a coronation or true quarterback competition. We’ve been hearing for what seems like years how incredible Woody Barrett is on the practice field. Is he still in the mix? It’s funny how fans throw out the old for the new. What about White? It’s hard to argue that he’s not decent when healthy. Will Gus Malzahn and Lindsey give him another chance or are the risks just too high?

The narrative says the job is Stidham’s. Malzahn didn’t bring in a five-star quarterback to sit the bench. But what if? What if Lindsey has other ideas? Barrett should have a much better handle on the offense early on, and that could win him points.

The big lights of Auburn are much brighter than Waco. How will a young quarterback with so many expectations handle the pressure. There was once a quarterback named Jeremy Johnson, who never adjusted.

If Stidham is as advertised, will Lindsey go ahead and name him starter at the end of spring? There’s a lot of value in having your leader heading into summer workouts. It’s a luxury few of these players have ever known.

As usual, news is expected to be sparse during practice. Few staffs are better at coach speech than those at Auburn. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Nick Saban fooled everyone last year by making little mention of Jalen Hurts in the off-season.

It would be somewhat shocking if Stidham’s not the man, but if it’s a true competition anything is possible. Even if White is limited at best, he won’t be a factor in the spring. Are coaches willing to make a call with everyone not at 100 percent?

That’s the million dollar question heading into tomorrow.


  1. sparkey sparkey says:

    No, the starter will go without being named throughout the year until about five or six days before the game at best. Honestly, Gus really thinks that helps the team with whole not tipping his hand BS. It is high school and it is pathetic. I hope that he gets it right this time. I am pretty low in my confidence of him ever reaching 2013 heights again.

  2. Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

    There was plenty of evidence that Hurts was the starter, even before the spring game. Time after time, beat reporters would report on the other two qb and then stop and talk about Hurts. He was always a different animal.

    Then there was the spring game.

    Most of us thought, wow, if he did that with limited action, what could he do as a legitimate starter. They gave him reps and the rest is history.

    The situation is awfully similar to what will go down on the Plains.

  3. neonbets says:

    For whatever reason, there aren’t many fans who are Pro-White and Pro-Malzahn. In fact, if you’re Pro-White, you’re probably downright Anti-Malzahn.

    Of course, the reverse applies as well: If you like Malzahn as the coach, you probably don’t like White as the starter.

    Part of this is this coach’s philosophy and this player’s talents don’t mesh. Part of this is the personality/ philosophy of the fan.

    I think the coaches–at some level feel the same way. It’s not that they think White is a bad kid, or a bad QB…it’s just they don’t want him running this offense. And they know that 2017 is Make or Break for Malzahn and Co. So there is no way they are going to let White–a kid that doesn’t fit their system–determine their fate. It will never happen.

    With JJ’s failure 2 years ago, the coaches were genuinely surprised–and unprepared. Last year, with only JFIII as their savior, they were simply desperate. This year they are ready–and they know if White is the starter, it means Stidham was another JFIII, Barrett was another JJ, and they are all out of jobs.

    ****Speaking of interesting correlations:
    *People who think talent/recruiting is more important than coaching, tend to be Pro-Malzahn and vice-versa. [Kind of a back-handed compliment for Malzahn, but that’s the way it is…]
    *People who are Pro-White tend to yearn for Tommy T. to be back on the Plains.
    *People who excessively long comments filled with silly specious correlations tend to be Pro-Malzahn.

    • dyingculture dyingculture says:

      * Therefore, we can conclude that neonbets is pro-Malzhan.
      * Likewise, neonbets must be anti-White.

    • sparkey sparkey says:

      I am pro White and I cannot stand Malzahn. I’m done with him. I want him gone. Not as badly as I want Jar Jar gone, though. From there, I don’t really like Tubberville that much either. I always thought he was entirely over rated.

      • Blackbelt tiger says:

        I agree with everything you said Sparky. The one thing I did like about Tubby is how he went about his business. It was the exact opposite of Malzahn. It is pretty clear that Malzahn doesn’t like White. It almost seems personal. Maybe White is a punk, I don’t know.

        • zotus zotus says:

          With reference to: “The one thing I did like about Tubby is how he went about his business.”

          … I’ve got 2 words for you, “Duck Hunting.”

          • Blackbelt tiger says:

            Ha! Very true. I forgot about that. I was referring to his transparency. But you know I really wish I could go duck hunting instead of working

          • zotus zotus says:

            I heard that Blackbelt! 🙂

  4. sparkey sparkey says:

    Oh yeah, and Stidham is the best quarterback we have had since Cam Newton. I am not saying he will win as many as Marshall did or that he is anywhere close to Cam Newton. I am simply saying that he is as good of a quarterback since Newton is all.

  5. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..My view is that we need more than one QB. If the guy is going to be running zone-reads, or even a seven step drop, we need more than one, in this offense. There’s no real max-protect package in the offense. The QB will get hit . We need more than one who can operate the full offense, and not be put in the game with an extremely limited package.

    …..I will admit that I’m a big JF-III fan. That probably puts me in a distinct minority, but I judge by what I see on the field, not stars, not practice gossip. JF-III does not look good, throwing the football. He looks off-balance, and hesitant. Still, somehow, the ball gets where it needs to go. He was easily the most ball-secure QB we had, last season. He didn’t get many chances to go down the field with the ball, but when he did, he hit the target. I’m still awed by the TD he flicked off his back foot from midfield, at last year’s A-day. And when JF-III takes off out of the pocket, he gobbles up yards.

  6. DBAU81 says:

    I’m pro-White AND pro-Malzahn. I believe there’s a misconception – due largely to the great success of Cam Newton and Nick Marshall – that Gus’s offense can only succeed with a mobile read-option QB. People forget that Chris Todd (the antithesis of Cam and Nick if ever there was one) set records under Gus. We were great with Cam and Nick because THEY were great, not because Gus’s offense was uniquely suited to their talents and can’t be adapted to QB’s with different skill sets. Exhibit A: our offense in 2016 after the coaches finally gave Sean the reins and while he was healthy. Nobody would say that offense resembled what Cam and Nick ran, but it was still effective and, at times, almost unstoppable (ask Arkansas).

    All that being said, I’ll be very surprised if the QB is anyone other than Stidham. We’d better hope he’s as good as advertised, because if he’s not we’re right back where we were in 2016 – that is, with our whole season dependent on the health of a very injury-prone Sean White.

  7. AUwaterboy AUwaterboy says:

    I wouldn’t count out Woody Barrett yet.

  8. […] Joining the team this spring are quarterback Jarrett Stidham, offensive lineman Nick Brahms, linebacker K. J. Britt, cornerback Malcolm Askew, tight end […]

  9. JRoweMDN says:

    I expect Stidham will start and White will step in for short in game subs or maybe if he has to leave early, but I expect his play to be limited. I also expect Barrett to get lot’s of reps cleaning up with maybe some wildcat or special situation packages. Stidham needs to be the man and they need to get Barrett ready to be the next man.

  10. […] the favorite appears to be Stidham, is the race almost over before it begins? Is Jarrett Stidham really going to […]