Monday, December 29, 2008

What they said

Here are some excerpts from the Gus Malzahn press conference:

"I'm excited to take over the offense and just like coach says, we're going to be a run, play-action team. I know a lot of people categorize me as a spread team, and if you really look back at my history, we're going to play smashmouth football. We're going to set up the pass with the run, and I really think the difference is with most run/play-action teams from what we're going to do is we're going to throw the ball vertically down the field and we're going to do that quite often."
On his versatility: "If you look at the last three years, our offenses have been just a little bit different each year. And the reason being, is adapting to your strengths. So that's what I'm in the process of doing now."
Offensive strategy: "You won't see a whole lot of straight drop-back pass. It's just not who we're going to be. We're going to run downhill. We're going to have a physical, hard-nosed approach. I'm not talking about just the offensive line and just the backs. I'm talking about the receivers and quarterbacks, and I think that's very important to establish that early."
On Tony Franklin: "I'm not very familiar with him. I've never met him. I'm not very familiar with his system and can't tell you much about it."
On SEC experience: "I really think anytime you have experience in league, it does nothing but help you. It was a great experience for me. I got a chance to get familiar with some of the defensive coordinators and the speed of the game."
On the Auburn job: "This situation was ideal for me, and like I said earlier, just an opportunity to represent the university here is real important. When you look from an offensive coordinator's standpoint, this is kind of one of those dream jobs or dream fits for me personally."
On how he will split his job responsibilities for the next eight days: "We’re going to work until late tonight, trying to get as much information as I can targeting our main recruits. Going to go back to Tulsa tomorrow and have practice, probably get through with that around 6. Then that evening I’m going to go back to work recruiting, making calls. And kind of do that until Jan. 2 when we actually fly to Mobile and kind of the same routine all the way through and then as soon as the bowl game’s over with, I’ll be full time here."
On how he'll address the team: "When I first get a chance to address them as a group, we'll definitely put up exactly who we are. We'll put up our goals. I'm into explaining everything we're going to do. We're going to work hard. I understand they've been through a lot. We'll have a good, sound plan. We will have extremely high goals. I think that's very important. We're going to achieve them and we're going to achieve them in a hurry."

"One of the guys I was very adamant about was Gus. So it’s really been kind of a neat deal for us just to watch it unfold."
"Everybody wants to know how successful has your offensive coordinator been wherever he’s been. Philosophically, we’ve got to be on the same page with what I felt is important for Auburn. As I said from Day One when I took this job, when it comes to our offense, I feel like in this league, we’ve got to start with the running game and that’s very important to me. As Gus and I talked through this process, it was very evident to me that I had the right guy in (that) way."
"Now, obviously, it’s not just about running the football. It’s about moving the football. I wanted an offense that was going to be very productive in every way – an offense that moves the football and scores points. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters."
What impressed Chizik: "As a defensive coach, as a defensive background, when you watch other people on film you're always looking for offensive philosophies that give defenses problems. I was very impressed every time that I was able to see some Tulsa film."
Re Malzahn having a say in offensive staff: "Staff chemistry to me is paramount. And I think anybody who is in the coaching profession can tell you that. Certainly it's no different here. Gus and I have already discussed some different guys, so we're going to be on the same page on that. As we spoke earlier today, I want the transition for Gus, I want it to be as comfortable and as natural as it can be, so I don't think that you can strong arm anybody in there."

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