What We Learned, v 2.0
Wait. I think Tony Franklin's Mea Culpa Project is affecting me.
It's interesting how different people interpret Franklin's MCP so differently. Some think it's admirable to acknowledge faults and work hard to fix them. Others consider it a show of weakness and a symptom of underlying incompetence. I can see both sides. I'm still in the "admirable" camp -- I have a difficult time admitting mistakes -- but shortcomings have to be rectified.
Anyway, here are some issues/ideas/developments that I find intriguing:
- Chris Todd's arm: It's interesting how everyone at Auburn now is in agreement that Todd's throwing power isn't what it once was. We all knew that in spring ball. He threw like my daughter. She's 6. A summer of proper rehabilitation allegedly corrected everything. He looked better in two-a-days without a doubt. Four games into the season, though, his arm strength is regressing. He's probably 25% better than he was during the spring right now. I told you guys then and I'll say it again: Grade 3 shoulder separations strain the "AC" ligament to a point where it often doesn't regain full tightness. The result is a shoulder that can't relay full power from his upper body to the arm. It's anatomical inefficiency.
- Auburn's defense isn't perfect: LSU showed the Tigers a weakness or two. Fatigue seemed like a problem during the third and fourth quarters the other night, which surprised me. I hadn't seen that before. I never thought I'd see an Auburn roll up yards in chunks of 20s and 30s. Anecdotal evidence suggests Paul Rhoads may need to be more frequent with his substitutions, though I'm not sure examining that on a player-by-player basis makes sense. Sen'Derrick Marks and Jerraud Powers can play more consecutive snaps than other guys. Then again, you know, Spencer Pybus was in there plenty for Craig Stevens. Surely that was a fatigue-related swap.
- Lots of misinformation on Burns: I heard more than one "expert" report last week that Kodi Burns would play a much bigger role against LSU. Unless he grabbed three water bottles instead of his usual two, Burns' role didn't expand. These "experts" spoke with such conviction, too. So persuasive. Breaking news: You can't believe everything spoken on radio. I know this is the first time you've heard that advice. Take a few minutes to breathe before you react.
- Tony Franklin's "Mea Culpa Project" is fun: He apologized again Sunday for not passing enough against LSU. Remember that he already has apologized for: Rotating quarterbacks, not rotating quarterbacks, not properly utilizing Tommy Trott and relying too much on scripts in the red zone. I don't think all of these apologies are heart-felt, but at least he's breaking orthodoxy (again) by coming clean with what he considers faulty production.
- Ryan Shoemaker has work to do: First, he lost his job to a freshman who never had played football before. When the neophyte (Clinton Durst) was sick last week, Shoemaker did little to strengthen his reputation. He averaged 35.4 per punt. His final kick traveled 25 yards and gave LSU possession near mid-field down one point. Not good.
- The last play: That was supposed to be a tricky play. It almost worked. The pass was supposed to go to Rod Smith, who then was going to pitch the ball to Mario Fannin on a hook-and-ladder deal. Smith caught the ball. Fannin was in position. The problem is that LSU had two defenders on Smith's back the moment he caught the pass. Smith had no chance to make a toss. Still, Fannin would have been gone (like GONE) had things unfolded according to plan.
This has nothing to do with Auburn, of course, but the HABOTN HOTTIE No. 1, Jenna Fischer, added a shot of herself on the ol' MySpace page. I feel an obligation as a warm-blooded American male to pass along this kind of visual goodness. I share because I care.
The Office season premiere is Thursday, by the way. I'm sure we'll all be watching.
Also, iTunes now peddles NBC shows in HD. I downloaded a free episode of Tina Fey's 30 Rock and, well, it rocked my 15.4" screen in HD.
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University (top) and Jenna Fischer's MySpace page (bottom).
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