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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gene Chizik teleconference, the long version

All right, I've had a chance to transcribe out some quotes from Gene Chizik's teleconference this afternoon. Here's what he had to say:
  • DL Cam Henderson is still a member of the team but will not get on the field this year. "There is no chance of Cam Henderson playing this year," Chizik said unequivocally. Chizik did not clarify why, refusing to even answer a question about his eligibility. "It's some issues that are just ... he won't be playing this year, no," Chizik said.
  • WR Philip Pierre-Louis isn't quite in the same situation. Chizik called him "week-to-week." It's not an injury situation with PPL. It's a matter of him satisfying some things Chizik wants him to. "Well, they're pretty much all my discretion."
  • Chizik balks at the idea that Auburn has won easily, despite out-scoring its opponents 86-37 so far this season. "I don't think it's been easy at all," he said. "I beg to differ a little bit on that. I think that those were two very good football teams. There was times in both of those games when things were back and forth. I don't know what it looks like on the outside, I know what it looks like on the inside. Those were some tough wins for us. We're not playing perfect, and there's a lot of times that we're not playing very well at all. We're a work in progress. To beat West Virginia this week, we're going to have to be better than we were the first two."
  • Pat White is gone, but Jarrett Brown is still a pretty good quarterback for West Virginia. "He's still a very good athlete," Chizik said. "Pat was kind of a different bird because he just brought so many different capabilities to the table. I think Jarrett does, too. He's a good quarterback. He's got experience. He's not brand-new. He's been in the system. I think he's gonna be a very difficult guy to defend, and I think he's very good at what he does."
  • That's not to say Auburn can't forget about RB Noel Devine and Brown's running capabilities. "Do you want your eyes poked out or your nose cut off," Chizik said. "I mean, which one do you want? I mean they do them both really, really well. ... It'll be a great challenge. This offense can get it cranked up."
  • Chizik was quick to downplay what McCalebb did in his first game, but wasn't too worried about keeping the freshman's ego in check after he topped 100 yards for a second straight game Saturday. "He's great, because he's a very humble kid," Chizik said. "I don't think we need to temper that at all with him because of his personality, but we're certainly going to not let that get out of hand in any way. But he's just not like that. That's not something that we really worry about. He's played in two college football games. He's done well in both of those games, but that's nothing we're going to jump overboard with and say that he's going to be the same caliber of some of these other backs that have come through here. We're a long way from that."
  • LT Lee Ziemba lined up out wide in one formation Saturday, although Chizik assured everyone he WILL NOT get the ball. "He looked like he was hungry for that thing," Chizik joked. "Just let me assure you that will never happen, no matter how much he yells for it out there."
  • Special teams continues to be a problem for Auburn, which muffed yet another punt and had a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown against Mississippi State. "I’m never into excuses," Chizik said. "We’re just not playing well. I think it’s a problem right – well, I don’t want to use the word 'problem' – it’s a situation right now where there are some issues that are personnel related and there are some other issues that are kind of first couple of games and continuity issues with a guy getting injured or things of that nature. A lot of new faces and names on those teams right now and we’re trying to iron out some of those growing pains. It’s a combination."
  • Some pretty good stuff on the Wildcat formation, which resulted in four touchdowns Saturday. I'd like to write about it at some point this week, so I won't spoil too much, but here's a sampling. "Right now it's effective simply because there are some new things off of it that we can do," Chizik said. "OK. After four or five weeks, now, you run out of things and you just got to execute better than the other guy."
  • As mentioned before, the offense line has done very well so far, although Chizik is still holding back any judgment on them. "I told them and I say that facetiously that not buying stock in them," Chizik said. "I say that tongue in cheek and joking because they really have come a long way. But I just don't want anybody to get ahead of themselves now, starting with the o-line or anything else with our football team. I don't want anybody to get ahead of this whole thing. It ain't as good as it seems and it ain't as bad as it seems. We're just trying to be realistic and that's really how I feel."
  • Chizk has a defensive background. Asked if he could stop Gus Malzahn's offense he had this response with a smile. " Probably not," he said. It's a lot of moving parts. It's good stuff. Again, he's very good at his trade."


Anonymous said...

good stuff. i'm liking where this is headed.

and i bet Chizik doesn't often say things that are tongue-IN-cheek.

Andy Bitter said...

Went through the transcriptions quickly. It's fixed now.