Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chizik talks about second scrimmage

Auburn coach Gene Chizik met with the media following Saturday's second scrimmage of fall camp at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Here's what he has to say:

(Opening Statement)

“I was pleased the way it ended. I thought we ended with a lot of energy and a lot of pace today. Moreso than the first practice. It was good. Again, both sides of the ball did some good things. we’ll have a lot of things we have to work on but really I thought the energy was great. We got a great chance to work on a lot of special teams, which was good, with live contact, both our coverage units both punt and punt return, kickoff, kickoff return. Again, it was a good tempo all day long I thought. Again, we’ve got a long way to go. A lot of young guys got a lot of reps, which was great and we’ll continue to try and get better.”

Did the scrimmage move you any closer on personnel decisions"

“That’s what we’re hoping. We’re hoping this is going to give us a significant evaluation tool, to figure out where we’re going to be heading the next two weeks. Like I said, there were a lot of young guys in there today. This was their preseason game if you will, their idea of what’s happening. I think they’re learning a little bit more about how to play at this level. So we’ve still got a lot of guys with big eyes out there, but that will go away with the reps. But hopefully, this will be a great tool for us to move forward and figure out where we’re going to go next in terms of personnel.”

How many more scrimmages before the opener?

“I’m not sure yet. I know one for sure. We’ll kind of gauge it from there. In terms of health wise, we’re about where we thought we’d be in camp in terms of guys being banged up, a little beat up. But they’re really pushing through it. I’m very proud of that, especially with a lot of the coverage units that we have to work. There are a lot of long-distance collisions going on. That being said, I think we’re in good shape in terms of health beside the normal bumps and bruises.”

How were the young guys, second scrimmage to have a chance to work on some of those things?

“We’ll see. I’m not really sure. It would appear to me that there’s a little bit more of a comfort level today than the last one we had. But again, I’m more proud of their effort and they’re really trying to focus with a lot of information, especially when we go with the pace periods and everything’s moving fast and there’s a lot of moving parts in there. I’m more impressed with guys pushing through this part of camp. They’re tired, they’re beat up. But they’re really trying to push through it. The energy level and the level of focus I thought was better today.”

How about the quarterbacks?

“Like I said, we’ll know more when we watch the tape, but all three did some nice things. We’ll know more when we watch it.”

Were the reps divided evenly?

“Pretty much evenly. Across the board.”

How tough is that to kind of get things in a rhythm?

“It probably is a little more difficult when you’re trying to decide who is going to go with the first group and who is going to go with the second group. There are a lot of variables in there, as we all know. But that’s all part of the process.”

Deadline in mind on naming a starting quarterback?

“No, that’s not what we’re doing. We’re more in the mindset of when we feel like there’s a guy who has separated himself, and we believe he is the one who gives us the absolute best chance to win, then we’ll settle in on that guy.”

Do you think you’ll have enough information from this scrimmage to make that decision this week?

“I don’t know that I can say that. I think the process will continue on, the evaluation process. Again, we’ll know more after this.”

Did (running back) Mike Dyer play?

“Still banged up.”

Another chance for Tre Mason?

“Absolutely. Really proud of Tre again today. Has not arrived, but thought he did well again today, along with some of our other young backs.”

Does the quarterback decision impact the wide receiver decisions?

“Well, we’re really young at that position as well. If you look across the board, we’ve got a lot of freshmen in there, a lot of guys who just haven’t played a whole lot, even if they’re not freshmen. So what you’re looking for when you finally make that decision is that the continuity and the reps will build up with those receivers. So I’m not really sure that’s where we’re at yet. Just again because we’re very young at that position as well.”

Was (offensive tackle) A.J. Greene still out?


Your thoughts on SEC expansion and possibly adding Texas A&M?

“You know I’m really focused on Auburn football. We’ve got a great commissioner, we’ve got great AD’s, we’ve got great presidents. I’m sure they’ll do what’s best for the league. Right now, I’m worried about Auburn football.”

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