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9.12.2007

News of the day, 9/12

Hey everyone. Another day, another blog for you Auburn fans who are going crazy about the team. I did three radio shows yesterday. The questions were astounding to me. You'd think Auburn was in some kind of free fall right now. I hate sounding like a sunshine pumper because I'm not, but I do not believe Auburn is in free fall at all.

Read below for more on that.

As always, thank you for making this fine editorial product the HOTTEST Auburn blog on the 'net.

First things first. I think Kodi Burns has a real chance to participate. The coaches are playing this one close to the vest. I don't think anyone will know what's going to happen until Saturday. My best guess, based on the factual information I have, is that Kodi will get a chance to play if Brandon Cox struggles again. If Cox goes out there and commands the game like he has in the (increasingly distant) past, then I think Al Borges lets Cox keep rolling. I'm 100% positive that something is going on. The MSU game may not allow us to see what's been designed, but I'm positive something has been designed.

I personally don't see why Burns is creating such a buzz. Neil Caudle is a more refined quarterback right now. He also was a hyped recruit. He also is new to casual Auburn fans. He also has a strong arm. It's probably not as strong as Burns', but Caudle can burn a defense with the deep ball. I've seen it happen against Auburn's defense many times. If Caudle hadn't gotten hurt in the first fall scrimmage, you wouldn't be hearing much about Burns right now. It'd be a Cox-Caudle conundrum. Caudle is an underrated property right now. He was cleared for contact on Sunday. I think he'll be up to speed before long.

Another frequent email topic is Mario Fannin. Yes, he's a stud. Yes, I agree with the coaches' decision to bench him after the second fumble. Coaches must trust the players on the field. Fumbles irk assistant coach Eddie Gran like no other. It's telling to me that Fannin wasn't griping about being sent to the bench. He knew it was coming. He knew he deserved it.

Tuberville fielded questions about the backup situation during the weekly SEC teleconference. He reiterated his position that Blake Field is Auburn's backup. Tuberville also said (as he has before) that he's hoping to redshirt Burns this season. He's been pretty staunch on this throughout. It's just that I heard a different story from some players yesterday. I tend to believe them more in this situation because they're (usually) more unfiltered.

Here's what Tuberville said: "We haven't given up on the thought of Kodi being a player this year for us. He's a couple of plays with injuries away from being possibly even our starter. We have a good quarterback in Brandon. Brandon is our quarterback. Blake Field is No. 2. When you get to No. 3, it's either Kodi or Neil Caudle."

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay,
I could be wrong, but didn't Caudle miss most of his Junior year and almost all of his senior year with serious injuries?

And then in the first scrimmage (and first time QB's were hit maybe) this fall he goes down for a month?

That doesn't lend well to someone making it through an SEC schedule.

Couple that with the fact that he hasn't been able to beat out Blake Field for 2nd string, nothing against Blake but if Caudle has any kind of unusual talent he should be ahead of him by now.

I think this general lack of buzz is the reason AU fans seem to bypass Neil Caudle. For right or wrong.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

You make a good point about Caudle's durability. It's an unknown. As I recall, Caudle's high-school injuries were to his knees. This was his first Auburn injury, and it was to his shoulder.

Tuberville said at Media Days that Caudle was the No. 2 guy. The "backup race was open" during two-a-days, but I'm 100% sure that Caudle would have gone into the season as Auburn's No. 2 guy had he not separated that shoulder.

I think he's a good player. Honestly, I thought he and Ensminger were about even during the spring. I liked Ensminger, too.

My issue with Blake as a player is his throwing technique. He seems to have a slow release. It's certainly max-effort. I don't know enough about football to tell you exactly what's up with Field's motion (I have no desire to be a coach and couldn't handle the job) but it looks awkward to me.

One thing about Blake that people either don't know or don't remember -- he's pretty fast. He's an athletic kid for sure. I wouldn't say he's as fast as Kodi Burns, but Blake could be a two-way threat.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous chris said...

The coaches have shown absolutely no confidence in Field whatsoever. For Cox to be as ineffective as he was last year and continue to take every snap proves that. This fall also seemed to be an "anybody but Blake" effort to find a 2nd string QB.

I get the feeling the coaches are on the verge of repeating the Jason Campbell comment of a few years ago. When asked why JC wasn't playing instead of Daniel Cobb, either Tubs or Petrino (I forget whcih) basically said they would have to dumb down the offense to a "high school" level for JC to play.

I get that feeling when they talk about Field.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Yea. I also get that feeling.

Don't know what else I can say about that.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really have no idea what to think at this point.

Players make it sound like they are working on something, Tuberville says no way. Of course I believe he also said last week that Blackmon was definitely playiing.

If Cox struggles again - and I fully expect him to because this is, in my mind, the best defense we have faced by far - and they do not at least sit him for a series or two, then I may need to take the rest of the year off from watching.

I can't take the pain of watching that offense for 26 games in a row, with what is sounding like absolutely no plan to make a change.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I agree that the offense doesn't seem to change. It's weird because Borges was so innovative in 2004. Where is that innovation now?

Again, as I said in today's blog entry, I don't think it's panic time for the Auburn peeps. This team has an outstanding defense, a very good tailback in Mario Fannin, a very good wideout in Robert Dunn and an offensive line that made a lot of improvement from KSU to USF.

I haven't changed my initial forecast of 8-4, 5-3.

11:32 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I do think there is way to much panic going on. I may be dumb, but I still have faith in Cox. When you look at the lack of receiving talent he has had, I think he has had trouble finding open receivers. Admittedly, he needs to learn when to just throw the ball away, but in most games, he seems to make good decisions. Both KSU and USF are better than their names make them seem. This Auburn team is young, but has a huge amount of potential. The weak areas are the offense and kickoff return coverage. The other parts seem outstanding, including the rest of the kicking game, which has been a pleasant surprise.

It does trouble me that Auburn never seems to get a backup quarterback reps in a game. Putting a backup in for one series occasionally isn't uncommon. We have talented backups. Getting some experience there is crucial when you starter is getting the crap kicked out of him.

I don't pretend to be a coach, so I leave the decisions to them, although I do think it would be a huge mistake to waist this year for Kodi Burns. Redshirt him and look to the future.

As for Fields, if he doesn't have the talent and knowledge to be the starter now, should Cox go down, they need to get Caudle some experience as soon as possible.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous chris said...

I don't understand the thought that it is a "waste" to play a freshman QB in certain circumstances if said freshman is going to compete for the starting job the next year. Caudle and Burns should both get meaningful snaps this year as a means of both preparation and evaluation.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you slacking today jay!! your blog is COOLING off by the minute

1:38 PM  

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