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Friday, January 7, 2011

BCS title game media day: Auburn coach Gene Chizik touches on a variety of subjects

It was hard to make it around to everyone at Auburn's media day, especially while trying to shoot video. Here are a few quotes from Gene Chizik that I picked out of the transcript, though:
  • Chizik, as you would imagine, thinks highly of Cam Newton: "Can he take a game into his own hands and does he want to have the ball in his hands when the game is on the line? Yes. There's no question about it. And there's nobody I rather have than to have Cam as the guy that has it on when the game is on the line."
  • Oregon uses some crazy play-calling cards on the sideline, with four different pictures of weird things to signal in the play. "We have quit trying to figure those out," Chizik said. "We are not sure what they mean. We just know they are really good at what they do."
  • A lot of questions about balancing focus and fun this week. "The great thing about our team, if you really watch our team close, they love to have fun and they love to do -- they love to kind of be on the edge out there," Chizik said. "But when it's time to start playing football, they lock in and it is time to go and they know how to switch it on when it is time to go to work and practice and get the work done that they need to do and there is no question."
  • The game is a hot ticket, in case you haven't heard. "I know it costs a lot of money to get here and get one of these tickets, supposedly, now," Chizik said. "But to me it starts with a great testament to college football. I mean, if you look around at this, is it not obvious to everybody the enormity of college football and what it's become? I'm not really sure why this game really has been kind of tagged as the hottest ticket maybe ever or whatnot, I'm glad it is, because you know what? These guys who work so hard all year, they deserve a lot of recognition. And they get it. This is a once-in-a-lifetime deal."
  • Like everyone else on Auburn, Chizik is getting slammed for ticket requests. "You get a lot of brand-new good best friends," he said.
  • Chizik was asked about if he thinks it will be a high-scoring game: "Going into these games, you know what? I will take a 10-9, 8-7, 15-14, 65-64. Don't care as long as Auburn wins by one, you know?"
  • Past Heisman Trophy winners have struggled in the big game. Chizik said he hasn't talked about it with Newton. "Cameron knows this is a huge game and he expects to play well," Chizik said. "We expect him to play well. If he didn't get the Heisman Trophy, this conversation would never have been had. So our expectation to him doesn't change because he won the Heisman Trophy."
  • Chizik was asked about the negative reaction from some fans when he was hired. His response: "When I flew in the night I took the job, there was about 800 fans at the airport that were awesome. So I don't know what the appearance was on the outside. I know that the Auburn fans have been awesome. And that's all myself and my family have experienced since I got there, just like when I left."
  • Who pioneered things for big, physical running quarterbacks in the Cam Newton mold? Vince Young, for one, according to Chizik. But he also mentioned Missouri's Brad Smith. "The offenses have now been expanded by ten because they have all kinds of different quarterback runs and misdirections," Chizik said. "They are taking a tailback running game and remove the tailback which removes somebody from being able to play the run and do the same thing with the quarterback. That's where it became very challenging. So the Brad Smiths and the Vince Youngs and the things of that nature, those are probably some of the earlier guys that have really kind of pioneered this thing."
  • What position would Cam have played 50 years ago? "If they didn't put him at quarterback, he could have played tight end, defensive end," Chizik said. "He could have played anything he wanted. But he's just that athletic."
  • One the recruiting rivalry with Alabama: "You know, the challenges that we've had are like any in-state rival. You've got two people in the state that are vying for the same players. You got two people in the state on the same side of the conference that arguably if you don't beat them, you are probably not going to win your side in most cases. It is a lot of fun. And so very challenging for your guys. We love that challenge. We take that challenge 100 out of 100 times. And we have since we have been there. We will continue to do it. We enjoy it. So it is what it is all about."
  • Chizik had high praise for wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor. "People are going to arguably say he is a great recruiter and things of that, that's all fair," Chizik said. "But what he does behind the scenes that people don't know from a football team in terms of the way he handles our football team and these kids, he's as good as it gets."
  • Running back Eric Smith said he appreciated Auburn sticking with him despite his arrest for assault last year. "Everybody is going to make a mistake," Chizik said. "Every case on our football team individually is different. And if a guy makes a mistake, he has got a good heart. And you know that it was that single mistake, we don't throw him under the bus. It is just not what we do."
  • Chizik said he owes a lot to Texas coach Mack Brown. "Mack Brown is the best football coach that I've ever had the privilege to work with and be around," he said. "And I took a lot of things from the way he approaches game, from the way he approaches his players, the way he recruits.
  • And so I give a lot of credit to Mack and my two years of being with him and being with a guy that knows how to do it right, a guy that does it right."
  • Someone asked Chizik what it would mean to win the national championship. "I'm just going to be so happy for our players, so happy for our coaches," he said. "Just the work that goes into this. The outside world will never know, they really won't. Y'all don't know, no one understands the work that it takes to get to this."
  • Chizik was very forceful with his words when someone asked about Nick Fairley's reputation as a dirty player. "I think it is absurd, to be honest with you," he said. "The bottom line is -- and it is real simple. You have a 315-pound defensive tackle and you can't block him, sometimes he's going to be very aggressive and people are going to get hurt. We don't want that. We don't want to see anybody get hurt. But when you can't block a guy that's 315 pounds, that happens. He plays hard for his school. And he plays hard for his teammates. And there is no mention, no talk of, no -- never, never anything that has to do with any dirty play. The first time I heard that, again, it is absurd. That's not what we teach. That's not who we are. That's not who he is."

3 comments:

spratman said...

Chizik said he owes a lot to Texas coach Mack Brown. "Mack Brown is the best football coach that I've ever had the privilege to work with and be around," he said. "And I took a lot of things from the way he approaches game, from the way he approaches his players, the way he recruits.

And so I give a lot of credit to Mack and my two years of being with him and being with a guy that knows how to do it right, a guy that does it right."

Just curious if anyone asked him about the influences xCTT had on him?

David said...

CTT definitely had an influence on Chizik. Every winter during recruiting season, CTT always went Duck hunting!

AUsome04 said...

Damn, I love that comment by Chizik on Fairley. That was a reporter beat down right there. WDE