Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday night notes

With TE Tommy Trott’s status in question for Saturday’s game, Auburn coach Gene Chizik said he would turn more to freshman TE Philip Lutzenkirchen this week.

Trott injured his knee during last week’s win over Mississippi State. Chizik has not said how long the senior would be out, if at all, instead listing him as day-to-day.

Though TE Gabe McKenzie, H-back John Douglas and RB Eric Smith could also see more playing time with Trott out, Chizik said he plans mostly to use Lutzenkirchen.

“He’s a young guy that’s going to be a very good player, and we are going to up his responsibility in his role,” Chizik said. “We’re going to look at it without me going into great detail, but we’ve got a plan.”

Lutzenkirchen recorded his first career catch on Saturday when he hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Kodi Burns.

He said he was more of a pass catcher in high school and is still adjusting to his role, which features more blocking.

“I’m just getting use to doing a lot more work than I’ve been doing the last two weeks, and it just really trying to fill the void Tommy left,” Lutzenkirchen said. “Since I’ve been here, they’re really preached that I need to get the blocking down, so I guess they are – I wouldn’t say comfortable, but more comfortable at where by blocking is at.”

Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said the true freshman will be forced to mature more quickly than planned.

“He’s got a lot of talent. He’s getting used to college football, and the demands from the physical and mental standpoint,” Malzahn said. “He’s going to be a very good player for us, but we’re going to need him to step up very quick.”

TAKING SHOTS: QB Chris Todd acknowledged on Sunday that he made a few throws he perhaps should not have attempted.

The senior quarterback enters the weekend with two touchdown passes against zero interceptions, but knows he needs to make smarter decisions at times.

“Sometimes we have shots built in that we’re going take no matter what but we need to be smart with the ball,” Todd said. “Going back and watching in certain situations, I might need to check down or hit an underneath route.”

As Todd gains experience in the system, Malzahn said he would naturally make better choices.

“He’s still learning his reads. He got a little greedy a couple of times but all the things that happened are correctable,” Malzahn said. “He made a couple of good plays, too, under pressure. I think the more comfortable he gets, I’m going to really get him to take what they’ll give us.”

STAYING GROUNDED: As the national media starts to pay more attention to Auburn, Chizik remains confident his players won’t get wrapped up in the attention.

He said keeping them humble shouldn’t be a difficult task.

“I don’t think that A) That’s who we’re going to let them be; and B) I don’t think that’s really who they are,” Chizik said. “When you sit in a film session, and you sit in and you watch all of the things that we’re not doing well, I don’t know how you could walk out of that meeting and feel good about where we’re at, anywhere offensively, defensively, special teams. I don’t know how a player could walk out and feel good about it.”

CATCHING ON: CB Walt McFadden knows he’s got some catching up to do in the interception race.

Through two games he is yet to record a pick while DE Antonio Coleman dropped into coverage on Saturday and intercepted his first career pass.

“I thought he put some glue on his hands, because he snatched that one out of the air,” McFadden said. “It’s pretty shocking that he caught a ball but it’s just a great play by him. He’s very athletic.”

McFadden said Coleman joked during film session that he should move back to safety.
The senior corner had his own response – moving down to defensive end and showing he could take down the quarterback if Coleman could intercept passes.

“I think I can get down there and do a little bull rushing,” McFadden said. “I’ve got a couple of spin moves. I’m a Dwight Freeney type of guy. I like to get down there, do a couple moves.
“If you see me down there this week, don’t be surprised. I’m trying to tell you a hint.”

No comments: