Getting things started, 9/30
Hey everyone. I guess we can get started with my story that appears in Tuesday's editions and, for reasons that are beyond me, ran on the front page of the newspaper. Tommy Tuberville was in Montgomery and Nick Saban was not.
MAIN STORY: Auburn coaches talking offense
HEEDING THE CALL: I'm now bestowing an Official HABOTN shout-out to Patrick W. for taking the time to splice me a clip of Verne Lundquist's comments from Saturday. Nice work. As Phred also revealed, Lundquist said: "Jay Tate, a writer from the Montgomery Advertiser, said he's the `Master of Mea Culpa.'"
SCHEDULE UPDATE: Players are available for interviews beginning around 10:30 a.m. with Tuberville to follow at 1 o'clock. I'll be providing a Tuberville summary around 1:40 and a video around 2:30 with a few blogs to follow. So stay tuned during what could be an eventful Tuesday. The print and internet reporters on Sunday quizzed Tuberville about Tony Franklin's comments; now it's time for another round of questioning.
NOTES: My daily notebook was tacked on the end of Tim Gayle's reportage from Tuscaloosa. You probably don't care to read what happened in Tuscaloosa yesterday or any day, so I'm reproducing the Auburn information below:
- Catch and release: Offensive lineman Chaz Ramsey has been granted a release from his Auburn scholarship, though his allegiance to the school hasn't yet faded.
Ramsey hasn't participated in football-related activities since March, when he aggravated a back injury during spring drills. Months of rehabilitation haven't yielded significant physical gains.
Though the sophomore is attending classes at Auburn this semester, Ramsey's father, Key, requested a release in August.
``He's trying to figure out what he wants to do," coach Tommy Tuberville said. ``I've talked with Chaz and his family about their options. He's with us and we want him to stay with us. He asked for the release just so he'd have that option available."
If Ramsey's injury is deemed a career-ending development, he'll be permitted to complete his education at Auburn on scholarship.
- Everyday people: Tony Franklin isn't thrilled with his offensive options.
Coach Tommy Tuberville says they're good enough.
The team's offensive coordinator has been outspoken in recent days about how he believes Auburn's attack is compromised by personnel issues. He has trimmed away a majority of playbook material and said Sunday that the Tigers can't operate at the fast pace he requires.
``I think we've got the personnel. We don't have the experience," Tuberville said. ``There's so many more opportunities for mistakes in this offense. Instead of just turning around and handing off, each player is asked to make a contribution on each play. We've got guys that can run this offense and make it work."
- Toughing it out: Safety Zac Etheridge suffered a serious shoulder bruise during the Tigers' loss to LSU.
He missed practice time last week. Missing a game, though, is a much different situation. Etheridge participated in 48 of the Tigers' 57 defensive plays against Tennessee.
The Troy native finished with six tackles.
``It's a big game, so I just pushed myself to go," said Etheridge, a 2006 graduate of Charles Henderson High. ``I knew I had to step up and be there for the team. So I just pushed myself and fought through the pain."
Trainers added an extra layer of padding to the left side of his shoulder pads. He also had his arm wrapped to help curb discomfort.
``It was hurting pretty bad out there," he said.
- Deaf to criticism: Offensive tackle Lee Ziemba doesn't have much of an opinion about the boos that have become more frequent at Auburn home games this season.
``I don't even hear that," Ziemba said. ``It's irrelevant to what we're doing -- especially with my job. I have one job and that's the block the guy in front of me. Nothing else matters for me."
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University
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