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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Late notes: Chizik, AC have productive meeting

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn defensive end Antonio Coleman followed through on his promise to have a sitdown with head coach Gene Chizik to discuss a litany of things related to Auburn’s defensive shortcomings.

Both sides agreed Tuesday that the meeting was productive.

“Him and I had a great conversation the other day just about him personally, production, and things of that nature,” Chizik said. “I am really proud of him for playing through all of the issues that he has had to play through.”

“It went great,” Coleman said. “He’s a very understanding guy.”

Coleman, an All-SEC lineman who started the season strong, has been shut down the last two games while dealing with a variety of ailments, most notably a right wrist injury that has required him to wear a protective cast.

Although Coleman was credited with zero tackles in road games against Tennessee and Arkansas, Chizik isn’t taking that as an indication that the defensive end is struggling.

“The stat sheets don’t tell the story,” Chizik said. “I have seen some guys who maybe have two sacks in a football game but become All-Americans because the guard blocked the wrong one, and that’s all anybody sees. So, it’s very overrated.

“He is doing what we are asking him to do within the defense. Don’t look or read into whether he had a sack or he didn’t. We have to play within the structure of the defense and that’s what we tell the guys. And he is doing what we are asking him to do and he has been the ultimate teammate.”

Coleman said he'll take a more vocal role if he has to.

"I'm going to be in peoples' faces, anything I have to do to help this team win," he said. "I didn't come back to have another season like I had last year. I came back for a reason -- that's to play football because I love Auburn."

Follow the blog on Twitter. And read these other notes from the late round of interviews Tuesday ...
  • Some more on the Coleman-Chizik meeting. Coleman gave the impression that things weren't fun for him lately, but cleared it up that that's not the case. "I was having fun," he said. "Anything you need me to do, I'll do it. I'm a team player. I love playing football here. The first five games were great -- flying around and having fun. The sixth game was a tough loss. We didn't go out and we weren't prepared. I went up and talked about what our mindset was and how I thought the guys on the team were reacting to that loss. That opened our eyes. We're a much better football team just learning from that loss."
  • Wide receivers Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachery are becoming victims of their early season success. The starters, who had big outputs their first four games, have seen an increased amount of attention coming their way the last two games. “They are starting to tilt the safety over to the boundary more,” Adams said. “I think (offensive coordinator Gus) Malzahn made a good plan this week. I think we’re going to try to hit some more of the field shots to make them respect both sides and then go back to doing what we do.”
  • Adams and Zachery combined for 31 catches and 610 yards in the Tigers’ first four games against Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, West Virginia and Ball State. They caught nine passes for 106 yards against Tennessee and Arkansas. “It feels good in a way and bad in a way because everybody wants the ball,” Adams said. “Sometimes when you get a double-team or you’re covered well and you can’t get the ball, sometimes it gets you upset. But sometimes it does help out your teammates to get more catches and helps out your offense. By them focusing on one player, we’ve got too many options on our offense. They focus in on one thing and we always got something else to go with.”
  • On whether Adams, who leads the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns, is seeing more double-teams, Malzahn said this: "They know where he's at. Let's put it that way."
  • Perhaps a third receiver emerging would help them out. "The longer you go the more you have to have a third guy or even a fourth guy," Malzahn said. 'Some guys to get involved and take some pressure off our main guys. We're working hard to do that and we're hoping we have some guys in the wings that can do that." So far, the receiver (not counting tight ends) with the third-most catches is Jay Wisner, with three receptions for 56 yards.
  • Malzahn said injuries have been a factor in Auburn not running as much Wildcat as it did at the beginning of the season. Kodi Burns had to deal with a thigh injury. Onterio McCalebb has been battling an ankle injury.
  • Malzahn didn't want to say too much about who the backup Wildcat QB is, not wanting to "incriminate" the team, but McCalebb told us Mario Fannin has been working behind Burns. That doesn't seem too shocking. It's always been my impression that Fannin was the backup Wildcat option.
  • Malzahn had this take about the team's third-quarter success at Arkansas: "At every halftime, you evaluate the first half and you see how they're playing you, what they're taking away, what they're giving you and we were able to do that in the third quarter. Of course we put the ball on the ground and the turnover going in was a huge part of the game. Like to think if we put that in with the other ones, the game's a little closer and things could be a little different. Overall, we were just sloppy and that's my responsibility. I've got to make sure that our guys are focused, I've got to make sure that our guys are ready to play and we protect that football. That's the No. 1 thing."
  • I wrote about Ben Tate for tomorrow's paper and this quote would have been good to get in there, but I got it too late. Anyway, here's what Malzahn said about Tate's speed. "He's faster than I first thought. He's really been a warrior for us, running extremely hard and has done a good job like our offensive line has."
  • It's going to be around 65 degrees for the game Saturday. McCalebb thinks that's cold. "I'm from Florida," he said. "I ain't used to playing in some cold like this. I'm used to playing in the heat. But I'm adjusting to it well and I'm ready to go."

1 comment:

James said...

much respect for the "we talking about practice" label...

check out this remix of press conferences on youtube.