War Eagle Extra has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 4 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

LIVE Gene Chizik press conference

I'm LIVE blogging Gene Chizik's weekly press conference. Here's what he's had to say:
  • "Moving past Tennessee and getting the fist road game under our belt was huge. There' just a lot of room for improvement. But to go to Arkansas and win an SEC road game is going to be tough if you don't take a lot of these areas to another level."
  • On Arkansas: "They're really, really good. You can't be averaging almost 450 yards a game and not be good at what you do."
  • Says Ryan Mallett looks like a lot of quarterback Bobby Petrino coached at Louisville.
  • Mallett's strong arm puts a lot of pressure on the D. Chizik was at Texas while Mallett was in high school. "He's got a cannon on him," Chizik said. "He makes a world of difference in the offense. A lot of time he puts the ball in places where the DB can't get them."
  • DE Nosa Eguae (foot) remains "day-by-day." Chizik said he still thinks Auburn is in the window of the season where if Eguae gets healthy, he'll still play. But as the weeks drag on, that will go the other way.
  • On the SEC offenses resembling those in the Big 12 last year: "It's unbelievable right now when you play these types of offenses, just the explosive capabilities of scoring points. If you look at the high-powered offenses across the country, it'd be hard to ignore the SEC."
  • On a potential shootout: "I don't think it changes your approach. It's going to be a game of execution. This time of the year, it's about executing better than the other guy."
  • On the 11 a.m. start: "This is kind of uncharted waters for us. It'll be interesting. That shouldn't have an affect one way or another."
  • Proud of how PK Wes Byrum came back from his first miss to make two more field goals that were crucial at Tennessee.
  • Byrum takes some pressure off the offense: "If he continues to kick like he's been kicking, it's a lot of pressure off (the offense). You feel like any time you get to the 30, 35-yard line, you have a chance to score points. It's good to have that in your back pocket if you feel good about it, and we do feel good about it."
  • Chizik likes to use a boxing analogy for the season, that this is a 12-week heavyweight fight. "You take every round one round at a time."
  • On why Gus Malzahn's no-huddle offense has been successful: "Sometimes when you go to the no-huddle world, it's not as physical. Where this is really the opposite. It's a faster tempo, still really trying to run the ball downhill and be physical with it."
  • He also said it's hard because it wears on defensive linemen and makes it hard to sub. "You've got to get lined up," he said. "When you see guys calling timeout, it's two-fold. Guys are tired and they need to get lined up."
  • On RB Ben Tate: "I think Ben has really run into the physical, downhill-type mentality that we need to have. He's run for a lot of tough yards. I think he's bought into it."
  • On Tate running over S Eric Berry on one play last week: "He's got to come to expect it. He needs to do it again."
  • Arkansas has an artificial surface and if Auburn is ready for that. "I don't see why not," Chizik said. "We have that on our practice field here. Both teams have to play on it."
  • "We've got a long road ahead of us. We're just starting on this thing."
  • Safety Mike McNeil (leg) is doing well. He's (all together now) "day-by-day." Chizik didn't say one way or another whether he'll redshirt this year. "I don't want him to go out and play at 85 percent," Chizik said. "I don't want to put a young guy in his position not to do his best."
  • "We need all hands on deck for us to win any of our next seven games."
  • On S Daren Bates and his physical mentality: "I think to a large degree, it's kind of built in. He's one of those guys who I think has got it."
  • More on Bates: he transferred his senior year flew under the radar. Chizik saw him play basketball. Had a few conversations with his football coach. "It's my belief that he was being very under-recruited," Chizik said. "We thought this was definitely one you take a chance on. And it's definitely paid off."

No comments: