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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The day after: Live blogging Gene Chizik's post-BCS championship press conference

Gene Chizik has come and gone. Here's what he had to say:
  • Chizik will officially accept four national title trophies today: the AP, the FWAA, the National Football Foundation and the BCS. They're all here on the podium.
  • Every trophy has a rep who comes up and gives his spiel to Chizik. It's a mini-history lesson/PR stunt at the same time.
  • "Obviously this has been tremendous for the Auburn family. Couldn't be more proud of our young men, the way they handle themselves on the field, off the field."
  • "Just very blessed to be a small part of something very big."
  • How long does he get to enjoy this: "It's expired," he joked. "The great thing about college football, especially our league, there are no days off."
  • On playing for more than just this team: "I've been very privileged, very blessed to be a part of many different programs. Never seen anything like the Auburn family."
  • Said last night felt like a home game, there were so many Auburn fans.
  • "Everybody thinks they have the greatest fans. But I truly think ours are second to none."
  • "Fifty-plus years waiting for a moment last night that was long overdue. And I"m just glad I can share a part of that with them."
  • On winning the title after only two years: "This was a magical year. For you to have a championship year, a lot of things have to be in place." Said you have to have good bounces, fortunate health, etc. "And all those things happened for us."
  • "We've got a foundation that we'll continue to build on. Got a great group of coaches who are all in. We have a great group of young kids -- very young -- who are `All In,' too."
  • On the SEC stranglehold on BCS titles: "I don't know about that." Gave very diplomatic answer that wasn't too boastful about the SEC. "If you look at it from 10,000 feet, it looks like a very dominating conference over the others, but I don't know if that's necessarily the truth." Said it cyclical.
  • No update on QB Cam Newton's status today. He had a back injury during the game.
  • Asked to compare it to the Texas title in 2006: "I don't think you can have great teams without having some great players at positions, coaches that know how to use them and team chemistry. I think those three things are really important."
  • This is a guy who is a competitor. Whatever pain he was in and whatever difficulty he was in physically, he was going to finish the game. He's probably the most competitive guy I've been around."
  • On NFL decisions: "We'll sit down." Said he was proud of guys like Newton and Nick Fairley, who kept their focus on the game. "It wasn't about what the next move was, it was about what they needed to do to finish what they started."
  • Asked what he might think about the Newton story if he didn't know about it ahead of time. Doesn't really answer. (Not a big fan of hypotheticals.) "A year ago nobody knew who he was. When you look at what he's done, it's a great story. There's no question. I think he got other players to rally around him and up their level of play."
  • Chizik reiterates this wasn't a one-man team: "He wasn't the only thing we've got at Auburn University. We had a lot of great football players who played with a lot of great heart with Cam Newton."
  • More on the SEC: "The confidence level, you believe you can beat anybody in the country. That's not being pompous. There's a lot of confidence that comes with winning this league."
  • "Football in the Southeast is king. It's the way of life. It's what you do."
  • On reflecting on the journey: "When you go into the locker room last night and you see 100 guys that nobody would have given a dime for to win a national championship, which is a fact, and the coaches are saying thank you to the coaches, that's family. I get a lot of joy out of that."
  • "For the last two years I can emphatically say without question I'm proud of how far these guys have come on and off the field."
  • On the senior class: "I have a very high level of respect for our seniors, and it's not because they won the national championship last night." Said they reacted well to the change of the coaching staff two years ago. "We're changing everything you do, and you have to be all in. If I did that to everyone in this room when you go to work tomorrow, you'd look at me like I had 10 heads."
  • On Auburn: "If you don't have a grand desire to come back after you leave, then we haven't done our job. And I think most of them feel the same way."
  • On Mike Dyer's potential: "He certainly has not arrived yet, but I think he's got the potential to do whatever he wants to do if he'll work at it."
And that's a wrap. I'll have video up soon.


Clint Richardson said...

Dee Ford posted this on his facebook. "Chiz grabbed all of his young players hugged us on by one and said "remember how it feels cause we'll b back"

Anonymous said...

Haha, awesome. Yeah maybe make a run in 2013? Will need some lineman talent to develop fast, though... but rest of the pieces seem already in place.