Saturday, August 6, 2011

Malzahn talks about the offense

Auburn practiced Saturday and afterwards, Auburn's coordinators plus selected players spoke briefly with the media.

Here's what offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn had to say:

How was practice tonight?

"We were in shells again. Just emphasis on run the football, pad level and getting after it - the physical part of the game. Second practice in a row that we’ve had the same mentality and the same focus. So as coaches, it’s given us a lot of information. Especially on the young guys, the ones that’ll bite, the ones that need a little more time. Good information. It was a really good two days of practice from a coach’s standpoint. They’ll get a day off tomorrow, we’ll come back and get after it again."

Having four days on, one off. is it a good idea?

Yeah, I think so. You can really strain them and give them the day off, and do it again. It’s good. We really strain them, so their bodies need a day for relaxing. Throwing a lot at them, on the offensive side as far as installing goes, it’s a good day to rest them mentally too. I know for the young guys, a lot of things are happening. It was better today. The young guys, it seemed like a lot of them slowed down mentally even though we were going fast, they were able to slow down and process things. That’s good to see a learning curve. We made a lot less mistakes."

Anything on the QBs?

"I feel like all three are throwing the ball well right now. Throwing a lot at (freshman) Kiehl (Frazier. We’ll give him quite a few reps with that young group. It’s good for him. Each day you can see him understand the process better, the communication that happens before the play and then be able to execute a play. Real proud of him. Throwing a lot at him, which we need to. We need to figure out where he’s at.

Time-table with Kiehl?

"Kind of like what we said: As soon as possible, we’d like to name a starter. At the same time, there’s a process you’ve got to go through. We’ve got so many young guys and so many inexperienced guys, kind of like in the spring, we need to get to a point where we feel very good about everything around him so we can properly evaluate him. So as soon as possible. We’re trying to give all three of them reps and hopefully we can figure that out in the near future."

Ho about the young offensive linemen?

"Well they’ll bite. They’ll fight. It’s real encouraging. We’re real excited to see the physical part. Those are Auburn offensive linemen in this class. Their heads are spinning, they’re making mistakes, but when they’re making mistakes, they’re trying to put people on the ground. So that’s very encouraging."

What does “they’ll bite” mean?

"Well, they’ll stick their head in there. They’ll get after it. They’re not scared, they’re not timid, not turning their head. There’s some really good battles. From a coach’s standpoint, those are fun to watch. You can teach them the technique, you can teach them what to do and all that, but teaching them to really get after it - that takes a while. Unless they’ve already got it."

DeAngelo Benton is a wide receiver who has been here for awhile. Has he got a chance to play this year?

"Yeah he’s got a great opportunity right now. We need him to rise up. So far in camp, he’s off to a very good start. Like we told him: He needs to be consistent. So far so good. Just keep getting better and keep improving.

What you're impression of the young running backs, wide receivers and tightends?

"Talented. Talented. You can really see that they’re very talented like we thought. Just a matter of everything clicking. From an offensive standpoint, you have to have all 11 guys doing their job. If 10 of them do their job and one of them doesn’t, it makes everything ugly. So it’s a matter of time of how quickly they can process and learn defenses and coverages and assignments. There’s a lot to it. But it’s encouraging that they’re very talented.

Have you talked to Cam?

"About a week ago."

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