AuburnFamilyNews.com

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Seven Main Topics Gus Malzahn Covered at SEC Media Days

SEC Media Days 2018 are in the books. And Gus Malzahn was the first to take the podium on the last day of the event. Here’s the seven main topics the Auburn coach spoke to on Thursday.

1. Auburn is a hungry team.

Not surprisingly Gus said he wants his 2018 team to take that next step i.e. get to the College Football Playoff. He said Auburn finished the season as an “almost” CFP team after winning the SEC West before losing to Georgia in the championship game. 

He didn’t make any excuses even though Auburn had to play both teams that were in the finals, and one of those twice, in a span of three weeks. Instead Gus said it has made his team hungry. “I really like our team. I like our leaders. There’s nothing like experience in our league,” Malzahn said. “And we experienced some highs, some lows, and, like I said, we were close. I just really sense urgency and a hunger from that group.”

2. Likes a change in a new rule change.

A few weeks ago, Malzahn came out strongly against the new headset rule restricting how many coaches and players can wear a headset on the sidelines and in the box during games. Previously the NCAA rules committee had proposed limiting the number to 20 but now has relaxed the total to 23. 

Gus had called the rule change a joke and reinterated Thursday that if it was up to him, it would remain the same as it has always been. [But]”I think it’s better than what it was. “Like I said [before] my biggest concern was being able to function to be able to coach the game at the highest level … and make adjustments during the game and probably more importantly, at halftime.”  

3.
 Gus and Nick on the same side of an issue.

Malzahn came out in support of a nine game SEC schedule that heretofore was only championed by Nick Saban. After being strongly against the idea Malzahn said, “I’ve changed my tune I think Nick has been the only one for it. But I’m to that point I think is best for us moving forward to make the schedules more equal across the conference.”

“Looking at our conference and everything that goes with it: East, West, two new teams added to the league. My big thing,” Gus said, “Is for the equity within the conference, the strength of schedule and trying to be fair.” 

Transalation: Solve the “unfair” scheduling problem of Auburn  having to play both Georgia and Alabama on the road at the end of the season every other year.

4. Jarrett Stidham to be his first quarterback to do audibles.

Malzahn said he plans to, “turn Jarrett Stidham loose.” The signal caller will be the first quarterback in Malzahn’s 12 year college coaching career to be able to regularly make checks and change plays at the line of scrimmage. This is a big move for Gus. Not even Cam Newton was granted that freedom. But Gus has put his trust in Stidham saying, “He’s [Stidham] is ready for it.”

5. Running back position is Kam Martin’s to lose.

In a backhanded compliment, Gus said, “If we played today, Political Violence and Terrorism in Modern America: A Chronology (Praeger Security International) would be the first one out there,” But he went onto say, “We’ve got four or five other talented young men. It’s just going to be a matter of who steps up.” He compared the upcoming competition to a couple of years ago when, “Kam Pettway unexpectantly stepped up and did a good job.”

6. Defensive back Jeremiah Dinson will return from injury.

Defensive back Jeremiah Dinson will be, “ready to go full throttle,”said Gus. Dinson is probably Auburn’s best DB and he will be needed in the lineup whrn the Tigers face Chris Peterson’s high flying Washington attack in the Kickoff Classic. 

Center Kaleb Kim is also expected back but receivers Eli Stove and Will Hastinjs may not be fully recovered from ACL surgery till later in the season.

7.  Why he brought JB Grimes back on the coaching staff.

When offensive line coach Herb Hand left for Texas after last season, Malzahn quickly rehired former assistant J.B. Gimes. The reason? He needed someone that he had confidence in to get an O-Line back to champioship caliber. “J.B. Grimes is a super teacher,” Malzahn said. “Probably the best teacher of offensive line coaches that I’ve been around.”

On an unrelated note …

There wasn’t any jabs between coaches at this year’s Media Days. In fact there was little controversy save for a swipe at new Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruit The Kingdom of Heaven Is at Hand! (one from CBS and one from ESPN). The two former Georgia players said Jeremy Pruit wasn’t fit to be a head coach.

While I’m no fan of Coach Pruit, it seems to me that anyone clamming to be a television analyst who derides an opposing coach of a school they used to play for … makes themselves look like they are “not fit to be impartial TV analyst.

The post Seven Main Topics Gus Malzahn Covered at SEC Media Days appeared first on The Gift Of Tai Chi .



from Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog http://trackemtigers.com/seven-main-topics-gus-malzahn-covered-at-sec-media-days/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=seven-main-topics-gus-malzahn-covered-at-sec-media-days

Auburn hires Georgia's Evin Beck as associate athletic director

  1. Auburn hires Georgia's Evin Beck as associate athletic director  AL.comFull coverage


from Jay Jacobs Auburn University - Google News https://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2018/07/auburn_hires_georgias_evin_bec.html

Auburn hires away Georgia assistant athletics director

  1. Auburn hires away Georgia assistant athletics director  247SportsFull coverage


from Jay Jacobs Auburn University - Google News https://auburn.247sports.com/Article/Auburn-hires-away-Georgia-assistant-athletics-director-Evin-Beck-119913838/

This Weekend's Kids & Family Activities in Bronx

  1. This Weekend's Kids & Family Activities in Bronx  NY Metro ParentsFull coverage


from Jay Jacobs Auburn University - Google News https://www.nymetroparents.com/article/This-Weekend-s-Kids-Family-Activities-in-Bronx-20180718

Mets sign three draft picks

  1. Mets sign three draft picks  SNY.tvFull coverage


from Jay Jacobs Auburn University - Google News https://www.sny.tv/mets/news/mets-sign-three-draft-picks/282600344

Auburn hires Georgia's Evin Beck as associate athletic director

Evin Beck is the latest hire in new AD Allen Greene's restructured athletic department.

from Auburn Sports Impact http://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2018/07/auburn_hires_georgias_evin_bec.html

Kam Martin leads, but Auburn wants to identify 3 running backs to step up this fall

Kam Martin entered the offseason atop the depth chart at running back, but the Tigers have yet to settle on a starter for 2018.

from Auburn Sports Impact http://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2018/07/auburns_fall_plan_at_running_b.html

Auburn going to turn Jarrett Stidham loose, Gus Malzahn says

Gus Malzahn plans to give Jarrett Stidham more flexibility and freedom to make checks at the line of scrimmage and "turn him loose" this fall

from Auburn Sports Impact http://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2018/07/auburn_going_to_turn_jarrett_s.html

Auburn's Gus Malzahn changes tune on SEC scheduling model


In a change of heart, Gus Malzahn is -- somewhat surprisingly -- siding with his biggest rival.

After previously being staunchly against the SEC expanding its conference slate from eight games to nine games, Malzahn did an about-face on Thursday at SEC Media Days when he expressed his opinion that the league should add an additional conference game as a means of balancing the schedule across the SEC.

"I've changed my tune," Malzahn said, according to USA Today. "I think Nick (Saban) has been the only one for it. But nine, I'm to that point now. Nine I think is best for us moving forward to make the schedules more equal across the conference."

According to the report, Malzahn said he does not believe any coaches in the SEC, other than Saban at Alabama, hold the opinion that the conference should expand its schedule. As currently constructed, the SEC is one of only two Power Five conferences that maintain an eight-game league late, with the ACC being the other one. The Pac-12, Big 12 and Big Ten all play nine conference games annually.

If the SEC and ACC were to move to a nine-game format, it could create a more balanced playing field across the college football landscape, particularly when it comes to the College Football Playoff. Malzahn said he hasn't considered the bigger picture, according to the report, though he has addressed the issue in the past.

Back in January, while making an appearance on the Triple Threat radio show in Houston, Malzahn expressed his belief that the CFP should expand from four teams to eight teams. In doing so, he acknowledged, it would require uniformity in scheduling nationwide. That would mean eliminating FCS games and requiring every conference to play nine league games annually.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said on Monday that, following a year-long review back in 2014, the league's current 6-1-1 scheduling model was the "clear preference" among its members. The results of that format have been fruitful for the SEC, which was been the only league to have at least 10 teams qualify for bowl games in four consecutive seasons (2013-16), with nine bowl-eligible programs last season. As a result of that 2014 review, the league also mandated that its teams play a nonconference game against another Power Five program beginning in 2016.

While Sankey said he does not expect "any major change" in the SEC's approach to scheduling, Malzahn's change of tune on the subject is certainly noteworthy as he and Saban now stand on the same side of the issue.

"I've kind of done a 180, just recently," Malzahn said, according to USA Today, "(after) looking at our conference and everything that goes with it: East, West, two new teams added to the league. My big thing is for the equity within the conference, the strength of schedule and trying to be fair."

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.



from Auburn Sports Impact http://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2018/07/auburns_gus_malzahn_changes_tu.html

Jarrett Stidham: 'Probably recruited myself' to Texas A&M harder than Aggies

Jarrett Stidham led Auburn past Texas A&M in what will likely be his lone return to the Lone Star State for the Tigers

from Auburn Sports Impact http://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2018/07/jarrett_stidham_probably_recru.html

Hear what Jarrett Stidham, Deshaun Davis, & Dontavious Russell said at SEC Media Days 2018


Auburn team representatives quarterback Jarrett Stidham, defensive tackle Dontavious Russell, and linebacker Deshaun Davis addressed the media Thursday at SEC Media Days 2018.

 

Deshaun Davis:

Dontavious Russell:

Gus Malzahn:



from Auburn Sports Impact http://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2018/07/hear_what_jarrett_stidham_desh.html

Here’s to Gus Malzahn, U2 concert-goer: 10-song motivational playlist

Gus Malzahn met with reporters Thursday at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta and said a lot of things you would expect and didn’t divulge things you wouldn’t expect him to. Most Auburn fans can rattle off things they know about the Auburn football coach. And we’re talking about the things you knew before the […]

Here’s to Gus Malzahn, U2 concert-goer: 10-song motivational playlist - Fly War Eagle - Fly War Eagle - An Auburn Tigers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.



from Fly War Eagle https://flywareagle.com/2018/07/19/gus-malzahn-auburn-football-coach-u2-concert-fan-playlist/

Greg McElroy: Auburn might have best roster in SEC

Without a doubt, the Auburn football team will be good in 2018, but the Tigers got a large dose of praise from an unlikely source Thursday at SEC Media Days. Former Alabama quarterback and SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy was strong in his comments about how good the Tigers can be this season. He really […]

Greg McElroy: Auburn might have best roster in SEC - Fly War Eagle - Fly War Eagle - An Auburn Tigers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.



from Fly War Eagle https://flywareagle.com/2018/07/19/auburn-football-greg-mcelroy-defense-roster-best-in-sec/

Jarrett Stidham: 'I will never get sacked 11 times again'


In his second game at Auburn, Jarrett Stidham was brought down more than any quarterback in any FBS game last season.

Yet Stidham takes getting sacked 11 times in last year's loss at Clemson as a learning experience, albeit an unpleasant and painful one.

"I'm glad Clemson happened," Stidham said at SEC Media Days on Thursday. "I'm glad I got sacked 11 times because that's never going to happen to me again, I promise you that."

The 11 sacks by a vaunted Clemson defensive line tied for the most sacks in a game for Clemson since 2004 and was one shy of a program record.

It was also tied for the most sacks allowed in an FBS game over the last five years.

Stidham, who Gus Malzahn has promised will have more "flexibility" and freedom too change plays at the line of scrimmage this season, believes that will help him avoid any repeats of last year's outing at Clemson.

"It was good; I learned a lot," Stidham said. "I like to look at things, whether if it's Clemson, LSU, SEC Championship, (Peach) bowl game, there's a lot of things you can learn from and I learned a lot from the Clemson game. I can promise you I will never get sacked 11 times again."

James Crepea is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCrepea.



from Auburn Sports Impact http://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2018/07/jarrett_stidham_i_will_never_g.html

Auburn's Deshaun Davis: UCF claiming national title is 'a little extra'


Any way you slice it, Auburn played the national champion last season -- whether it was College Football Playoff champion Alabama or undefeated UCF, which claimed the title despite being left out of the CFP.

In the eyes of Auburn linebacker Deshaun Davis, though, only one of those teams has a rightful claim to the championship.

"Personally, you know, I thought that was a little extra," Davis said of UCF's claimed title on Thursday at SEC Media Days in Atlanta. "Really, there's only one national champion, and that's Alabama. As much as I hate to say it, they are national champions."

UCF staked a claim at the title after finishing the 2017 season as the only undefeated team in the nation, going 13-0 on the year. The Knights won the American Athletic Conference and earned a New Year's Six bowl berth as the nation's highest-ranked Group of Five team -- but wasn't enough to make the four-team CFP field.

That led to a New Year's Day matchup with Auburn -- the only team to defeat Alabama last season -- in the Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where UCF knocked off the Tigers, 34-27 to complete its undefeated campaign.

"It was kind of hard to get up for that game knowing that we should've been playing in the College Football Playoff while two teams that we, like I was just saying, we beat convincingly were playing in the College Football Playoff and ended up playing in the national championship," Davis said. "They took that game way more seriously than we did. That's not taking any credit from them; they're a good football team and they have every right to walk around with their head high.... You can't take anything from them; they won a game and we lost."

What followed was a months' long campaign of UCF touting itself as the national champion, complete with a victory parade at Disney World, a decree from Florida governor Rick Scott recognizing the Knights as national champions, a banner on the wall of the team's practice field and state-sanctioned license plates calling UCF "undefeated champions."

"When I was a little kid my dad always told me to take respect for the teams that beat you," Auburn defensive tackle Dontavius Russell said. "UCF beat us, so I respect them for that. But it's hard to really give you an answer for that. You have to respect that Alabama won the playoff, but you also have to acknowledge the fact that UCF won all their games. It's a sticky topic to get into."

It was a little more cut and dry in Davis' mind.

"I'm not a moral victory type of guy, so even if we were to go undefeated and not win it, I wouldn't be walking around saying we were national champions," Davis said. "Obviously, we didn't do something to be the only national champion. I don't really say we're SEC West champions because we didn't strap up every day to say we're SEC West champions; our goal at the beginning of the year was to win the SEC and we know that if we won the SEC we would have a huge right to say we deserved to be in the College Football Playoff, and Georgia did, which is why they were in there. We fell short of that goal and we're trying to get back there."

Alabama, meanwhile, rebounded from its Iron Bowl loss to Auburn and defeated Clemson in the national semifinal followed by an exhilarating win against Georgia in the CFP championship game to take home another national title.

For Davis and many of Auburn's players, that championship game between the Tigers' two biggest rivals -- both of whom they claimed convincing regular-season wins against -- was particularly difficult to stomach.

"It was extremely tough, man," Davis said. "I can tell you that was really hard to watch knowing that we played those two teams and we beat them kind of convincingly, but you can say Georgia won when it counted. You give them all the credit. They bounced back and they prepared for us very well and got the win when it counted to put themselves in position for the national championship. I tip my hat to both of those teams. They're two great universities and they're two of our biggest rivals. Hopefully we can be in that position next year."

Davis was also asked about whether he thinks a team should have to win its conference to make the CFP -- something Alabama, which didn't even win the SEC West, didn't do last season -- and whether he thought Auburn would be afforded that same opportunity if the shoe was on the other foot. The senior linebacker said the former issue is tough to speak on because he's not on the playoff committee, though when pressed for his thoughts, he admitted he believes a prerequisite for making the four-team field should be winning your conference championship.

As for whether Auburn would have made the playoff if it was in Alabama's situation last season?

"Honestly, I would have to say no, but that speaks volume on Alabama's program and the things that Nick Saban does for that team," Davis said. "Over the years they've always been one of the best teams in the country, they always have one of the top recruiting classes and they have a lot of respect in our league and around the nation, so I mean, we just have to get to that level. Honestly, I don't think if we were in that situation -- if we were undefeated and lost the last game -- we would've got that same respect to play in the College Football Playoffs.

"How you control all that is by winning. If you win every game, you don't have to worry about it and put it in the College Football Playoff committee's hands. Hopefully we can do that this season."

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.



from Auburn Sports Impact http://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2018/07/deshaun_davis_ucf_title_claim.html