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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Early notes: O-line accepts the physical challenge

Light afternoon for player interviews. Hopefully we'll get some more later, but here are the early notes and quotes:

(Quick Twitter and Facebook plug)
  • Gene Chizik publicly challenged his veteran offensive line to be more physical at the point of attack today. Left tackle Lee Ziemba didn't seem surprised at the comments. "I've seen the same film he has," Ziemba said. "We definitely need to be more physical up front to win ballgames. That's showed up big time."
  • "It kind of hurts a little bit, but you can't get down on yourself about it," right guard Byron Isom said. "You just have to respond to it. Through adversity, that's how you become a better man. So we're definitely going to respond to it."
  • Ziemba and Isom said there's no trick for coming out with a more physical attitude. It starts in practice. "I think the attitude is there," Isom said. "It's just really putting it out there on the field and really showing what we can do. We haven't done that up to this point."
  • The obvious question is can the Tigers be as physical as they want to be in an offensive scheme that doesn't seem like it's catered to that style of play. Chizik disagreed with the premise. "We run the exact same plays that every I-back team runs," he said. "The exact same plays, powers, counters, zones, inside zones, our run game is exactly the same.”
  • Understandably, both linemen felt bad for right tackle A.J. Greene, who is out for the year with a serious ankle injury. "That's tough, but that's the nature of the game," Ziemba said. "He worked his tail end off to get that starting spot. He did a good job for us. I'm glad I got to play with him."
  • Ziemba didn't seem to think replacing Greene with either John Sullen or Brandon Mosley will affect the dynamic of the line too much. "It's all the same calls," he said.
  • Here's how Chizik addressed a question about the right tackle spot today: "Our plan is on Tuesday to be able to rotate those guys and find the combination that fits us best. I don’t know how we’ll do it in the game but both guys will have equal opportunity to be the guy. We’ll start looking at that today.”
  • Auburn scored 21 third-quarter points. Ziemba thinks that prove what this offense is capable of. "We always know that we can do it," he said. "We're down 17 points but we know we're not out of it. It's just kind to kind of click. If we can get all four quarters like we played one quarter the other night, I think we'll be on the right path."
  • Big stakes going up against No. 12 South Carolina. "It's a lot to prove," Isom said. "We go out there every week trying to make a statement. When you get this type of attention for this type of game, it's really a statement game."
  • Defensive end Antoine Carter tries to ignore the hype. "I really don't pay attention to the polls," he said. "I really don't understand it. It's just another chance for us to go out and prove ourselves. We'll stay under the radar for now. We don't like to be the talk. We'd rather just go under the radar and prove ourselves on the field."
  • Odd response from Carter about South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, when asked to compare him to Auburn's Mike Dyer: "I don't think you can compare an Auburn running back and a South Carolina running back. That's just my opinion. I'm an Auburn man, so I don't see the comparison."
  • Obviously there are heavy hearts at South Carolina today, after news broke of the apparent suicide of beloved former wide receiver Kenny McKinley. Chizik spoke about it being difficult to monitor the mental health of players. "It’s a tough question," he said. "You know you really try to keep a good eye and try to monitor your guys, and that’s why with us personally we’re always trying to be involved with what’s going on in their lives, with what’s going on in their family life. You don’t know. It’s very tricky. It’s tough to know what’s going on at one time in every guy’s world. We try to do our best to stay up on what’s going on in 125 guys’ lives. And that’s tough, but we do our best to do that. Again, that’s a tough situation."
  • South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier commented on McKinley today. "Certainly, this is a tragic loss for all Gamecocks, especially his teammates, coaches that knew him very well. Our players will hopefully do our grieving here the next day or so. We will remember Kenny for the good times, and, again, it is hard for us to comprehend how this all happened."
  • Signee Shon Coleman, who has battled leukemia since the spring, attended the Clemson game. "It was just awesome to see him smiling and just back being himself, and I think it was neat for a lot of our coaches to see him again and his mom," Chizik said. "We keep in touch with them on a daily basis and we want them to come back as often as they can get back. We know sometimes that gets a little taxing, but it was just awesome to see him back here and us recognize him. It was a cool deal.”
  • Chizik didn't speculate on if he expects Coleman to play football at Auburn. "I can’t make that call," he said. "I expect him to be at Auburn. Whether he’s playing or not, I don’t know, but I expect him to be at Auburn.”

9 comments:

Walker said...

"Odd response from Carter about South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, when asked to compare him to Auburn's Mike Dyer: "I don't think you can compare an Auburn running back and a South Carolina running back. That's just my opinion. I'm an Auburn man, so I don't see the comparison." "

If by odd response, you mean amazing response, then yes. Sure it is partisan, but I like that.

Also, what is up with making fun of Chizik being boring or never giving insightful answers. Sure it is true, but it just seems like a broken record.

tptoomers said...

I like Chizik's personality. Loose lips sink ships, but unlike his in state counterpart, CGC can dodge a question with a smile and a boring answer instead of berating the media or getting pissy. Its all about controlling the flow of information, and thats why CGC is a good fit at AU.

Tar Heel Tiger said...

odd response? as in odd that he didn't take the bait? Or odd because you didn't expect such an excellent reply?

Andy Bitter said...

It wasn't a baiting question. Dyer and Lattimore are different kinds of backs. We were looking for insight.

jim said...

Andy. I have a question: I notice that the coaches often remark that we have to make considerable adjustments to our game because our opponents often catch us off guard. That was said about ark state and Clemson. I rarely hear an opposing team make the same comment about us. Are we too predictable and/or we being out coached at times?

Andy Bitter said...

I think every coach says that. It's just that Auburn fans pay more attention to what their coaches are saying.

I've heard it a lot in the past at other schools too, so I don't think it's unique to Auburn.

ron mexico said...

I thought Shon Coleman was considered a recruit again because he didn't enroll. And coaches aren't allowed to talk about recruits. Not sure he is supposed to be doing that.

Andy Bitter said...

I've been told Auburn received an NCAA waiver to be able to talk about Coleman, considering his situation.

He is technically a recruitable athlete still.

MikeP said...

I'm shocked that the NCAA used good judgment and intelligence with regard to Shon Coleman. I'm glad they did, just surprised that that outfit demonstrated common sense for a change.