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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tony Franklin Tuesday Q/A

Here's what Auburn offensive coordinator Tony Franklin had to say to reporters after Tuesday's practice:

On Saturday’s scrimmage:
Saturday I thought we got a lot accomplished, a lot of guys made plays. It seems like six weeks ago that Saturday happened, so my memory fails me on exactly what happened. There’s been a lot of film since there. We had good tempo as the scrimmage progressed. Early on, we didn’t have real good tempo and that’s because we’re a little slower out here right now than what we normally will be. But trying to get through two-a-days and trying to make sure that the defense is able to accomplish what they need to accomplish … so Saturday took a while for us to get our tempo the way that we want it. But overall we played hard and we had some good playmakers that made plays, so I was pleased with what happened.

On the quarterback race:
I’ll tell ya what’s fun. This has been the most fun for me about watching the quarterbacks. It’s like a great heavyweight championship fight and one guy lands what you think is a knockout blow and the other guy falls against the ropes and 5 seconds later he comes back and he lands a blow that you think’s gonna knock the other one out. And it happens every day to where one guy will make a throw that just blows your mind and then the other one will walk in and he’ll trump it. And that’s phenomenal because it shows that they’re both competitors, that neither one of them wither from the competition, they step up to it. And I think, again, like I’ve said many times, the longer this thing progresses, the more that it becomes such a wonderful problem because they’ve both risen to the occasion, they’ve both gotten better and I’m very tickled with how they’ve both played.

On if he still thinks it will be the week before Louisiana-Monroe that they’ll name a starter:
I don’t have a clue. I don’t have a clue.

If they decide to split it up, will they even announce a starter:
I don’t know, it’s something coach Tuberville and I will sit down and talk about and see what we feel like is best for the team. Like I told you I guess the last time that we talked is that it’s something that right now I’d have a very difficult time doing that because they’re both really good. They’re both making plays, they’re both getting better at their weaknesses. Kodi’s gotten a lot better throwing, Chris has gotten a lot better running, so it’s really like I said. It’s one of those things that the harder it gets, the tougher the competiton gets, then the better that they both get. So it’s been really a blessing for both of them. They’ve both become better.

On what he’s seen from the receivers:
I see talent that’s good enough to win in this league and I see it our job to make ‘em better. That’s what we’re hired to do and I’m very pleased with it. They’ve stepped up, they’ve gotten better. They’re a lot better now than they were at the end of the spring. Greg and Steve have both done an incredible job with coaching those guys and getting them better. The details they’ve paid attention to and they’re good enough to win in this league. It’s our job just to make sure we do a good job coaching them.

On receivers that have stood out:
You know it’s really several that stand out. The biggest probably most pleasant thing that’s happened so far has been Chris Slaughter. He’s a guy that you can tell his talent, but the work ethic and the day in and day out grind of doing the right things and making plays and all that, just I never saw it. And from the day that we started, the first practice that we had, he was like a different person. I keep waiting for it to fall off and it hasn’t, so that’s been probably the most pleasant surprise. Gabe McKenzie’s been another pleasant surprise. Gabe has caught, he’s had very few drops, if any, in competition. That’s very pleasant. His routes are still not as crisp as they need to be, but he has stepped up and shown more promise.

On how many freshmen might play:
Well, the running back probably, Eric, will probably play. Philip will probably play. Derek is a question mark. Not really 100 percent sure yet whether he will or not. Darvin will probably play. So those guys are definitely gonna play.

On the importance of having Jason Bosley back in practice:
It means we’ve got a snap, you know? We had a day where he and Pugh both were out and it was a challenge, as you saw Tyronne getting his first time ever at center. But it’s a lot for leadership and it helps getting Pugh back getting reps at tackle too. But it’s big. Your center on this team plays a huge role, so it’s good to have him back.

(I can’t hear this question well, but I think the reporter asked if Barrett Trotter or Neil Caudle has separated himself as the No. 3 quarterback):
Not really. I mean they’re both good enough. It’s just a matter of probably just making a decision one day as to which one that we’re gonna use.

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