Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Malzahn talks about offensive woes

AUBURN - Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn met with the media following Tuesday's practice.

Here's what he had to say.

Talk about how guys have responded since the loss to LSU?

“Well, they were pretty upbeat tonight. A lot of energy. It was very refreshing to see that. They’ve kind of put that LSU game behind. They’re looking forward. Just ready for another game.”

What stands out from film?

“Obviously, we’ve got to figure out a way to score more points. There were times when they were very aggressive on defense. Obviously, we would have liked to have been able to throw the football a few more times. We got a lot of pressure. But give that bunch credit, and we’re continuing to work to get better.”

What did you see from Clint Moseley?

“I thought he did some good things. Showed a lot of toughness. Bounced back. For a young, inexperienced guy, that’s what you look for as a coach. How is he going to respond to the adverse situations. How is he going to respond to his teammates when things aren’t going good. I was very pleased with the way he handled himself and the way he responded to his teammates.”

Why is it so fifficult in finding someone to replace Emory?

“We’re continuing to try different guys to do different things. The fact that Trovon (Reed) came back, that was a positive. He has the ability to stretch the field vertically. He only practiced one day last week and it was eliminated role, but his role will expand. We just need to get some more guys more consistent as far as that goes.”

Is it frustrating no one has stepped up?

“It’s frustrating to me when we’re not playing well on the offensive side. It’s not just one thing. There are a couple different variables that are keeping us from playing better. Some of it has to do with we’re playing very good defenses, but at the same time, we’ve got to find a way. That’s what I’m continually trying to do, trying new people, trying to figure out new pieces of the puzzle. We’re just waiting on somebody to step up and I’m very confident that will happen. We just need to do that pretty quick.”

Do you anticipate changes on the offensive line?

“The thing about the offensive line is you can see things we’re really improving on. Anytime you mix and match. Chad Slade has played three different positions and we rely on a lot of our guys working together. The fact that he has two starts under his belt and the guys are starting to be in place, we’re just continuing to work.”

Thoughts to play Robinson or Westerman?

“There has been a lot of talk about a lot of the freshmen and those two too, but you evaluate them and you evaluate if they’re ready and if they can help you. As a coach, you have to do that, but there has been talk throughout the year.”

With the blending of quarterbacks, is it hard for them to get a rythmn?

“I think so. It keeps a quarterback out of his rhythm, so I’ve got to do a better job with keeping our guys in rhythm. Kyle Frazier has done some very good things and he’ll continue to get better, but I think it’s fair to say that it has been tough, especially last week for Clint, to get into a rhythm and I need to do a better job of helping him do that.”

How are you dealing personally with the way the offense has struggled?

“Well, you’ve just got to look at everything, you’ve got to evaluate everything. My goal is to make us as good as we can be. I’m continually doing that and our coaches are continually doing that and I feel like we can get better. That’s what I told our guys today. We need to find ways to improve each week, get better at what we do, and I really look for our guys to do that.”

Do you see a bigger role for Onterio McCalebb?

“He has been carrying a big load, but he is a guy we can hang our hat on. He’s a true champion. He took some licks and he got back up. Most people would want to come out of a game like that, but he’s a great leader. He has been a great leader for us the last two years and we need to continually find ways to get him the ball.”

What did it mean to see Clint get beat up and still stay positive?

“It means a lot. Our players had a lot of respect for Clint even before that game and I know after the game, they really respected. He didn’t complain, he didn’t point fingers. He was just, ‘hey, we’ve just got to stick together.’ He showed some very good leadership skills for a guy who is very young and inexperienced.”

Would you like to get back offensively to what you were doing earlier in the season?

“Well, I think a lot of it has to do with the defenses we’ve been playing. We haven’t had a lot of time to throw the football at times and we’ve not been consistent throwing and catching. I think there are a lot of variables that have to do with that. Bottom line is we have to do a better job of taking what the defense gives us. If they’re going to put guys up, we’ve got to be able to throw the football. And at times this year we have been inconsistent doing that when they bring an extra guy down and dare you to throw. So I think that’s our challenge and we’ll continue to work on that and we’ll keep that in mind.”

Important to get back to throwing it down the field?

“I think so. I think we’ve got to be good at both running and passing. So the last couple weeks, our challenge has been throwing the football. When we get passing yards down the field and get that rhythm, we’re a lot more effective offense.”

Are you still trying to find an offensive identity?

“You look for your strengths and you try to build around them and at time we’ve had some but we’ve been inconsistent and I think that’s the bottom line for us. The challenge that I’ve got is I’ve got to get us more consistent. So that’s what we’re looking really hard toward doing. Our guys understand that. The good thing is we’re continuing to work. Now that we’re settling in offensive line wise, I think they will get better and better as it goes. Receivers, we need to get more consistent there and we need to be consistent from the quarterback position also.”

Was Emory Blake able to do anything at practice?


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