Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chizik meets with media for final time before Iron Bowl

AUBURN - Auburn coach Gene Chizik met with the media Wednesday afternoon prior to the Tigers' practice. Here's what he had to say:

Everybody says Alabama in a blowout. Any impact on the players?

“I can’t really speak on what impact that has. One thing we’ve been conditioned to do around here for three years is always block out the outside distractions and I think our guys have always done a great job of that. We talk about that a lot and we talk about again blocking out all the things that you can’t control and only working on the things you can control. I really believe our teams lives by that. I don’t have any reason to believe that it’s any different now.”

Do you see confidence going into this game?

“Absolutely. Our guys, we expect to win every game we play. We’ve got to prepare like that. So far, it has been a great week of practice, as I anticipated. Again, we’re excited about getting out there and playing.”

Schooling the younger guys on the rivalry, just wondering if the “Punt, Bama, Punt” game from 1972 was part of the highlights?

“No, I mean we’ll continue to do some things during the week but right now it’s been more just talking about the importance and the history and we haven’t really gotten into specific games in past history that have had huge impact on the rivalry, but again, we’re just giving them information that is appropriate at the time.”

How much does it add to confidence that you’ve won 14 straight at home?

“Well, again, we talk about the importance of playing well at home and we talk about the importance of having our fans there and just the great game day atmosphere and that’s one of the reasons you come to Auburn. It’s a great game day experience. Again, over the last year threes we haven’t lost a whole lot of games here at home. Again, I think in this league in particular, with home field advantage there truly is a home field advantage. So we love playing at home and we love playing in front of our fans and our guys understand that it’s important to win here.”

Is it an important weekend to showcase your program because it’s looking like you’re going to have a lot of recruits here?

“We’ll have some good recruits coming and we’re excited about that, but certainly it’s a week where we can show all the recruits the direction of the program, which is really important. We feel great about where we’re headed, there’s no question about it. Again, for all these young guys coming in the thing that will be very glaring to them when they come to the game to watch our football team they’ll see that they’re going to have the same opportunity next year in terms of playing time. So I think it’s going to be a great weekend.”

How are Jonathan Evans and Jawara White?

“Again, they have practiced and it appears they will be ready to play on Saturday so I think both of those guys are ready to go.”

How about Brandon Mosley and Ladarious Owens?

“Again, we’re going to see what they can do tonight. And we’ll kind of gauge the progress from that.”

How nice is it to have Thanksgiving dinner with a lot of your players and their families?

“Well, I think it’s just a neat time. A lot of the players families are already here. We really haven’t had a lot of time to spend a lot of quality time with them. It’s going to be neat for all the families, our coaches included, that we can get some time and spend it with our families and obviously for the players it’s great that they have their families coming in too.”

For the ones on rather restrictive diets, do you give them a mulligan on Thanksgiving?

“Absolutely. I’m sure that they will all eat well tomorrow.”

If Mosley can’t go, is the plan the same to move Chad Slade in there and Eric Mack?


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