Sunday, December 30, 2007

At last, play calling fleshed out

ATLANTA -- Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville on Sunday gave the most plausible breakdown of offensive play-calling duties for Monday's Chick-fil-A Bowl that we've heard since the hiring of new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin earlier this month.
The game plan is expected to be a mishmash of Franklin's spread offense and the West Coast system Auburn ran the last four years under previous coordinator Al Borges.
Franklin will call plays Auburn has installed from his spread system. Current assistant coaches will have input on plays that Auburn has used this season, with offensive line coach Hugh Nall specializing in the running plays and tight ends coach Steve Ensminger specializing in the passing game.
Ensminger and Nall will have most of their input between possessions, as the staff decides what to run on the next drive.
Much intrigue has surrounded how much of the new offense Auburn will run and play-calling duties. Between Tuberville, Franklin and players, every member of the offensive staff has been mentioned as a play-calling possibility.
"Tony Franklin’s our offensive coordinator," Tuberville said. "He’s going to call some of the plays. We’ll get together tonight as a staff and kind of decide who he wants to refer to when we’re running some of the other offense. There’s going to be different carryovers.
"We talked about when I hired Tony, he talks to the offensive-line coach a lot about running the football on his headsets: ‘You know we’re going to run the ball the next few plays on the next series quite a bit; come up with the best running plays you think we can run.’ Hugh Nall will be involved in some of that.
"Steve Ensminger will be involved in some of the passing plays and some of the old things that we did that we might stick with. It’ll be a group deal.
"But it’s kind of hard to do that. We’re going to sit down and visit tonight and see how much input we want out of each coach, but I don’t want a lot of guys talking on the phone (headset), because you only have a short amount of time to get the playcall."

SIMILARITIES: Much has been made this week about the similarities between Auburn and Clemson ... from orange on the uniforms to coaches named Tommy to the nickname Tigers.
Sunday, a reporter included another similarity when posing the question to Tuberville and Clemson coach Tommy Bowden. Both coaches were linked to Arkansas' search for a head coach.
Said Tuberville, "We've been reminded several times this week about the similarities. The last part about Arkansas, I don't know about that one."
Bowden interviewed for the job but signed a contract extension.
Television reports out of Arkansas had thd school ready to hire Tuberville. Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs was never contacted for permission to talk to Tuberville, who later signed a contract extension.
Arkansas hired former Atlanta Falcons coach Bobby Petrino.

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