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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chizik: 'We're going to try to play to Cameron's strengths'

Gene Chizik knows Cam Newton is a different style of quarterback than Chris Todd, and Auburn will adjust its offense accordingly.

Chizik admitted during Wednesday's teleconference that there are challenges with easing a new quarterback into a system, but he thinks the Tigers can cater their play-calling to better suit Newton, a transfer from Blinn (Texas) Community College.

"He poses a little bit different problems for defenses than maybe our quarterback did last year," Chizik said. "And everybody's good in different ways.

"It's challenging for a quarterback in this system, but we're going to try to play to Cameron's strengths and every game plan will be centered around that in terms of us being a productive offense. But he's done well. We're proud of what he's done."

Newton, who ran for 655 yards and 16 touchdowns at Blinn, is more mobile than Todd, another junior college transfer who shook a disastrous, injury-plagued 2008 season to throw for a school record 22 touchdown passes last year.

But Todd had a big advantage heading into his senior season.

"What (Cam) doesn't have that our quarterback had last year is being able to go out on game day and be a starting quarterback in this league," Chizik said. "So that's the only unknown with him right now. He's got to get out there and produce and execute the offense."

Some other notes from Chizik's short portion on the teleconference:
  • On Saturday's opponent Arkansas State, a team that gave Iowa and Texas some tough games in the last few years: "This is going to be a tough battle for us. I know they run an offense similar to ours in terms of pace. Defensively, they're arguably one of the tops in the league every year."
  • Auburn plays at Mississippi State on a Thursday next week, which means a short turnaround. Chizik said the team's focus remains on Arkansas State. "The quick turnaround obviously is challenging, but we're focused on one game at a time. and when we hit that week, all our efforts will go into planning and preparing for them, which will be a tough game for us."
  • A lot of questions about non-conference scheduling today, which apparently led to a lively exchange between a New York Times reporter and MSU coach Dan Mullen. Chizik has high regard for the SEC slate, but said Auburn likes to play challenging non-conference games too. "We'll play anybody on our non-conference it it's the right fit," he said. "We don't have any preconceived notions about, do we want an easy one or a tough one. We want what is the best fit for our schedule."

1 comment:

postermom said...

This isn't a criticism AT ALL, but Newton almost seems like a guy who's playing the part of a quarterback in a movie.