Thursday, August 25, 2011

Malzahn talks about Thursday practice

Auburn offensive coordinator spoke with the media following Thursday's practice. Here's what he had to say.

How is the progress going into game week?

“Well, we had a really attention day in practice. You can tell the urgency. Every day they can tell it’s getting closer to game week. The attitude has been good. We’re rotating the young guys in and trying to get some depth. We’re game planning half the time and half the time worrying about ourself.”

How is the offensive line coming along?

“I think pretty good. Inexperienced. We’re trying to give them a lot of different looks. We’re trying to fine tune. Coach Grimes has really been coaching in detail on the different things. First game, you’re not really sure what you’re going to get, so we’ve got to be prepared for a lot of different things. We’ve really been focused on preparation for a lot of different looks and trying to properly execute.”

Have the quarterbacks settled into their roles?

“They’ve really responded well. Barrett has really taken the leadership role. Clint Moseley is really preparing like he’s the starter too. Great attitude, really attentive. Kiehl Frazier the same way. In meetings, on the field, they’re paying attention. I’ve been very pleased with their effort mentally and physically.”
Emory was saying yesterday that he really thinks pace is going to be a weapon for you guys. Is that something he’s feeling or something you really are pushing?
“I think so. After we get an initial first down, that was been one of our positives and we’re trying to build upon that. There will be definitely times this year when we’ll need to be able to play fast.”

Do you still have a stated number of plays you want to run?

“Yeah, that won’t change. We always want to win the game or run 80. There are certain times the game dictates you can’t run 80. But that’s still our goal as far as our pace goes and number of snaps.”

What are you trying to polish up the last week or so?

“Just trying to get depth. There are going to be young guys on the field. We can’t tell you how many are going to start right now but there are going to be young guys playing. That’s my anxiety, hold onto the football, execution, penalties, the thing that happen from inexperienced teams. That’s my anxiety, but we’re working very hard to be disciplined and to overcome that.”

What's going to be the role of Ladarius Phillips?

“He’ll play some of that H-back. I think he’s improved, much improved from the spring. He’ll have a role and we’ll give him a shot and see what he can do.”

Hard to get a read on Utah State with a change in their defensive format?

“Yes, but like I said, it doesn’t make any difference. The first game of the year, you’re liable to get anything. We do know that they’re very well coached on defense. They’ve got some very good defensive coaches along with their head coach. They’ll have a plan and we’ll have to be able to adjust.”

Almost all the wideouts who played quarterback in high school, was that part of the plan?

“Me and coach Troop, when we first got here, we asked our wide receivers to do a lot of different things, and we believe if you’ve been a quarterback, you understand the game, you understand the coverages, you’re able to adjust. At the same time, we like to have other different people throw the football too. Anytime you have a versatile guy it does nothing but help our offense.”

Do you still show cut ups of (former Tulsa quarterback) Dave Johnson?

“He was very, very coachable and he was machine like in some ways. So at times we use cut ups of him just for teaching.”

Are you still kind of evolving as an offensive coordinator?

“I don’t know. I think that was the second year, so we had a pretty good foundation of what we were doing.”

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