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Monday, November 22, 2010

Live blogging Gene Chizik's press conference

Gene Chizik has come and gone. Here's what he said:
  • "Obviously very excited to be hear for Iron Bowl week. It's going to be a really exciting game for our fans and coaches. This is the kind of game you love to play in. This is what college football is all about."
  • On Bama's passing game, he cited stats: No. 3 scoring offense in league, QB throwing 70 percent completion. "He has some great receivers to throw it to. The quarterback is really doing a good job of throwing the football. And (Greg) McElroy has only thrown five interceptions."
  • Chizik on the possibility of a high-scoring game: "I'm never into a track meet. I'd like for it to be a track meet for our offense, but this is the No. 1 scoring defense in the country. They're giving up under 13 points a game, which is unbelievable."
  • On the rivalry: "Certainly this is one of the greatest in college football. It's important to everybody."
  • Went out of his way to say he would only talk about Cam Newton in the first 11 games when asked an innocuous question about the quarterback's preparation for this game.
  • On Saban and his staff: "It's a very talented team on the defensive side of the ball. There's no question about that. They're very well coached. There's no question about that."
  • The top-five SEC West teams are 34-1 in SEC games when they're not facing each other: "This is one of the years where it's brutal to survive in the West. You've got great coaches. You've got great players. This year might be the best it's been in some time."
  • On Nick Fairley being off limits to the media: "Don't really know the answer to that." Then he said he makes the decisions about who talks. OK then ...
  • He elaborated some: "That's up to my discretion and we have a lot of different reasons. But if someone's not talking, I assure you there's a good reason."
  • On LT Lee Ziemba: "That's one guys we probably don't speak about enough. He's been a rock. He's been great."
  • On playing on the road: "We have to be cognizant of the fact that it will be distracting if we let it be distracting."
  • On Mike Blanc understanding he hurt the team with his ejection: "I think all our players understand."
  • "There's nothing more important in my opinion than making sure your guys are mentally and physically fresh."
  • Asked about rivalries he grew up with. Gave vague answer about state rivalries and didn't mention anything specific. Eventually coaxed into saying Miami, Florida State, Georgia. (He went to Florida.)
  • Fear or doubts about Newton playing in the Iron Bowl? "I'm not talking about Cam Newton unless it's about his play or performance in the first 11 games." It's a recording at this point.


Anonymous said...

Is Cam going to speak today?

Andy Bitter said...

I'm not liking our chances of getting either Newton or Nick Fairley today.

It's dumb. But Auburn approves interview requests. Not much we can do.

Anonymous said...

Chizs commment about Cams sounded weird to me? Does anyone know if he will play?

Jvo said...

I count 38-3, not 34-1.

"The SEC West is 34-1 against teams not from the West: "This is one of the years where it's brutal to survive in the West. You've got great coaches. You've got great players. This year might be the best it's been in some time.""

Andy Bitter said...

Stat is actually about top-five teams in the West.

Johnny Smith said...

I don't think it's dumb to not grant access to Newton or Fairley. If all the media wants to focus on with those two is Cecil Newton and Mississippi State boosters, or whether Fairley should be benched by the conference for being too rough with the opposition, leave the interviews to players that have nothing to talk about but the game. Auburn doesn't need the distractions.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Putting players up there to field questions before this rivalry game is we-todd-did. You can interview them after they steamroll Oregon.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone asked if Trotter is getting any additional reps in case they have to sit Cam at the last minute?

RW said...

Yeah, I know it makes a journalist's life harder, but I would question the sanity of Auburn's coaching staff and administration if they let Cam and Nick answer questions at this point. Nothing good could come of it.

Nancy said...

These players are students too and the idea that any of them has some obligation to speak with the press or answer questions they don't want to answer borders on arrogance. I hate to say it because I like your work AB but frankly what's dumb is for you or other writers to act as if the players owe you their personal time.

Andy Bitter said...

I don't say they owe me their personal time. But I don't respect people who soak in the glory when they do something well but hide from questions when there's anything remotely controversial going on.

And to be clear, I don't pin this on the players. I think it's clearly Auburn's doing not to have them speak to the media. And I don't agree with it. But again, there's nothing I we can do about it. It's the reality.

Anonymous said...

i smell an Auburn Beat Hack Uprising led by Mr Andy Bitter in the making.

viva la Bitta!

Anonymous said...

why is everybody avoiding the question? Will Cam play and was he practicing last night? I mean doesnt anybody know the answer to this crap?

Andy Bitter said...

Nobody answers the question directly, especially Gene. But from what the players have said, it sounds like Cam is at practice.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bret Moore said...

Of course he will play. Why would he NOT play?

Re: letting players answer questions - understand the journalist's frustrations. But I think you have to concede it's not "dumb." It's smart coaching. Maximize the good, minimize the bad, avoid distractions.

Andy Bitter said...

Hey, I understand why they do it.

Doesn't mean I have to agree with it.

Anonymous said...

Why would Cam not play? Becuz of the comment Gene made today, thats why. He said Im not answering questions about Cam Newton unless it pertains to games 1 thru 11? I mean that sounds weird to me. like he mighht not play Friday.

Andy Bitter said...

That has been Gene's go-to non-answer line for a week and a half. It's nothing new.

tptoomers said...

Its strategy folks. If there is even a question in Alabama's mind about Cam's elidigibilty it could distract them from thier other preparation. This strategy is commmon in the NFL. If one thing should be clear, if the SEC or the NCAA, or Auburn had decided to make Cam inelidgible, you would have heard it already. Coach GC doesnt have to announce every day that Cam is playing. He is playing until you hear otherwise and the only people who think differently are those that think that Coach shoudl make a daily announcement.

Also, we all need to lay off the media. They can help us get better recruits you know and your not going to win.

Also, Also, everyone needs to study the circumstances and outcome of the Means case at UAT. Worst case scenario is that Cam is declared ineligible at MSU (who cares) and that is under the NCAA's spirit of the rules interpretation that makes soliciting money an offense despite the fact that it is not specifically mentioned in the text of the rules. That is all. No wait. Auburn 29 - Bama 21. WDE.

MikeP said...

Not that Andy would do it, but for a while everything any Auburn representative said was picked apart and twisted by a certain few national uh, jerks.

"No Comment" and limited access has shut them up, so let's stick with it.

Were Cam Newton to be declared ineligible it would most likely come from the SEC office, as was Bruce Pearl's suspension and that would be very public.

My opinion is that if there were any chance of Cam having eligibility problems he would have been benched long before now. Bamzo sweet dreams to the contrary the whole "scandal" is smoke, mirrors and wishful thinking by a jealous few.