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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gene Chizik teleconference, the long version

All right, we've transcribed out Gene Chizik's teleconference. Here are some more accurate and lengthy quotes on many subjects:
  • On QB Chris Todd, who threw for 284 yards and four touchdowns: "Up to this point in time, mentally he's been really good with understanding that it's a long game and there's a lot of time left for good things to happen, that he believes good things eventually will happen. I believe that's what happened last night."
  • Todd, as you might have heard, has been through some adversity here on the Plains. "He's had tough times but stuck it out," Chizik said. "I'm really proud of him for that. We certainly don't live in the past, but we all have knowledge of the past. He's overcome a lot of things. I'm just really proud that he's got that stick-to-itness. He's got some persistency to him. He studies the game. He works long hours at it on his own. It says a lot about him."
  • The defense's biggest problem last night was missed tackles. "We would blitz a guy and come off the edge," Chizik said. "They were very athletic. We'd come off the edge and take poor angles. Just tackling issues was a little bit of a problem. We're still having a bit of a problem right now of getting off the field on third down. We've got to revisit a lot of that and go back and look at some of that."
  • Auburn still forced six turnovers, four of which came in the fourth quarter, which is no small feat. "It's hard to get four turnovers in any game much less in one quarter," Chizik said. "They weren't your ordinary type turnovers. Guys had to make plays to get them."
  • Todd might have been sick, but Chizik said it wasn't a concern.
  • On WR Darvin Adams, who had three TD receptions last night: "I think consistency is the challenge for him all the time right now and the last two weeks, for the most part, I think he's risen to the challenge."
  • WR Tim Hawthorne returned to action last night after being out since this summer with a broken foot. "He's just had such a hunger to get back out there," Chizik said. "He's done everything he can from a medical perspective to do all the things we're asking him to do. He's just really worked hard to get himself in a position to even get out there. I don't know how long it was going to take and all those things, but I wasn't sure he would be able to come back after two games. It was really good to see him do that. I think it means a lot to him because he really loves football. It was good to see him out there. He worked hard to get out there."
  • Chizik was VERY complimentary of Eric Smith. "He's a football player. I mean he just is. If you tell him to go down and cover a kickoff, he'll make a tackle. If you tell him to catch a long ball to make a critical third down and keep the chains moving in a drive, he's going to do that. We threw four verts last night and the ball was catchable, obviously, because he caught it, but it was not an easy catch. He blocks as fullback, he runs as tailback, he covers kickoffs, he's on kickoff return reams as a blocker. He's just a good football player and contributes a lot to our football team."
  • Chizik was pleased to that after two weeks of dominating with the running game, Auburn was able win a game with its passing attack for once. "Every week we're not going to be able to run the ball," Chizik said. "Again, I've said before, offensively we're going to do what the defense allows us to do. So a high percentage of the time, last night, they were putting an eighth guy down in there and depending on what formation you're in, a lot of times that eighth guy is unblockable. If you want to keep doing that or do you want to throw the ball and move it? Those are the decisions that you don't know what the other team is going to do until you get into the game."
  • Safety Zac Etheridge, who looked like he was pretty beat up during the WVU game, is fine, Chizik said.
  • On staying up for a game against a struggling Ball State: "We're going to do what we always do. You hope that maybe you have enough older guys, you hope that you have a focused enough team where a football game is a football game and you only have 12 of the so you play them all the same. You hope. We've got to do a good job as coaches of demanding that part of it. But they'll come in here and be fired up and ready to play in this type of venue. We've just got to do what we do."
  • Chizik has been all about the exposure the team is getting on its weekly TV show, "Auburn: Every Day ...", something that remains impossible to punctuate. "Auburn's a great story," he said. "And we just felt like there were a lot of great Auburn people out there who would enjoy the every day part of it that very few people on the outside really have a chance to kind of see inside."
  • Somebody was finally able to catch the ball on the punt return team last week: Anthony Gulley. "He's a baseball player," Chizik said. "And when you're a baseball player, being able to judge punts and being able to move like a center fielder in baseball I guess would be the best analogy. He's got that. Because he's got that hand-eye coordination and he can be good at it. He's getting more comfortable back there as time goes on."
  • TE Tommy Trott didn't practice for much of last week because of an injured knee. Chizik didn't mind. "He's got so much experience," Chizik said. "He's really, really a smart player. It was so important for us to give him the healing time than it was for him to run the same route for the 105th time. And really and truly it was touch and go, but we felt pretty confident later in the week that he would be able to go."
  • Chizik gave a lengthy answer about the team's tackling problems, which basically boiled down to players not understanding where their defensive help is coming from. They're also taking poor angles to the ball.
  • No word on whether DE Antoine Carter (knee) will play this week.
  • Chizik got some positive feedback from recruits after the game. "Loved our crowd," he said. 'That's the first thing that came out of their mouth. 'I can't believe the game day here. This place was incredible.' Especially after the rain delay, you've got to figure a few thousand would go home. Take our students, for instance. I wasn't out there, but I don't even think they left their spots. People take notice of that. That's the first thing that was very impressive to our recruits was the Auburn family."


Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does Eric Smith look bigger this year?

easyedwin said...

I purchase the CLE each Sunday morning at Circle K (Dean & Glenn) in Auburn. Good writing. It is nice to read a sports page that covers AU so enthusiastically. Just discovered your blog. Keep it going!

Anonymous said...

This blog and Jay Tate's consistently offer the best coverage of Auburn Football. While Tate's blog gets all the commenters, actually I like this one a little better. If more people would respond I think it would be great. I liked CLE's coverage when Christa Turner (sp?) was the beat writer for AU, and now Andy Bitter has turned it up a notch.

Anonymous said...

I like Tate's articles and coverages but this blog is MUCH MUCH better because it's actually about football (and not endless drivel and inanity by the regular posters)

Peter "Big Snacks" Frankenschmidt said...

Who would win in a Thunderdome deathmatch, Andy Bitter or Jay G. "Hater" Tate?

My money's on Tate at 5:7 odds.

michael said...

PF, that is impossible to determine from my standpoint. I only know their profile pics. How can anyone decide from that?

Send them to the combine, and then I will let you know who I think would win.