War Eagle Extra has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 4 seconds. If not, visit
http://www.wareagleextra.com
and update your bookmarks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Versatility a key in Auburn's offense

I wrote a story for today's newspaper about how offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn likes to have versatile players in his offense. Here's how it starts:
AUBURN, Ala. — As Mario Fannin began practice Tuesday night at Auburn’s loosely defined H-back position, a new face joined him in the rotation line — freshman Anthony Gulley.

The two would be hard to mistake. Fannin stands 5-fooot-11, 225 pounds, a rock solid running back who’s bulked up to expand his role. Gulley’s a slight 5-foot-9, 176-pound receiver who is one of the lightest, speediest players on the team, a curious choice for an H-back position consisting of mostly tight ends and fullbacks.

But Auburn’s players simply go where they’re told, placing an unwavering trust in offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s plans.

“Coach Malzahn is a genius when it comes to finding playmakers with his offensive scheme,” Fannin said. “He knows exactly who he wants at every spot and where he wants to work people in at.”

While moving at a breakneck pace is the No. 1 goal of Malzahn’s offense, having versatility in its players is a close No. 2. H-backs will branch out in all directions, some playing as tight ends, receivers or running backs. Wide receivers will swap playing inside and out. Tight ends will on occasion split out wide. And a variety of players have been tried in the Tigers’ Wildcat set.

The goal is simple: prevent the defense from having time to react accordingly.

“What we don’t want to do is have to change personnel,” wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor said. “You change personnel, you give the defense time to change personnel.”

Read the rest here. And follow me on Twitter here for all the latest Auburn updates.

It seems like Auburn wants to do some crazy things with some of its packages this year. Running backs coach Curtis Luper had this quote late Wednesday after I had already sent in my story:
"This offense will enable you to put Ben Tate, Mario Fannin, Kodi Burns, Onterio McCalebb all on the field at the same time."
Now, I for one would like to see this formation and what it could possibly entail (honestly, I'm a little skeptical if that particular package could be on the field). Nevertheless, Malzahn is an innovative guy. It'll be interesting to see what he cooks up this year.

1 comment:

KungFuPanda9 said...

"'This offense will enable you to put Ben Tate, Mario Fannin, Kodi Burns, Onterio McCalebb all on the field at the same time.'"

"Now, I for one would like to see this formation and what it could possibly entail (honestly, I'm a little skeptical if that particular package could be on the field)."

This is exactly what the Wildcat, nee single wing, is designed to do. You can have three backs angled off behind center with another guy off to one side, but set back off the line. Remember, the new rule change says you have to have seven on the line, so that leaves you 4 guys back.

The center can snap to any of the three guys behind him, and the set back guy can sweep, block, take a hand off, go out for a pass, etc. In fact, all four of them can do that, which is what drives the defense nuts.