Malzahn and Chizik speak, 12/29
I'll be live blogging the event. It begins at 5:30 p.m. CST.
GENE CHIZIK SPEAKS
- "The hires have to be part of your plan. One of the guys I was very adamant about was Gus. It was really neat how the plan unfold exactly the ways the steps were ordered."
- "He's a guy who can relate to players. He can take a group of players, evaluate those players and get them in a position to win."
- "Philosophically, we had to be on the same page for what I feel like is important for Auburn. In this league ... we've got to start with the running game. That's very important to me. As Gus and I talked through this process, it was clear that I had the right guy in all ways."
- "As this process unfolded, I was extremely excited about Gus Malzahn."
- "Over the course of the past two years, I've had a chance to watch Tulsa on film. There was no previous relationship between Gus and myself. I can speak semi-intelligently about him because I've seen him on tape so many times."
- Will Malzahn pick assistants?: "We're going to be on the same page about that. I want the transition for Gus ... to be as comfortable as can be. You can't strong-arm guys in there."
- "What's more important to me is finding the right fit now. Does that mean someone who is more familiar with the system? I'm going for the right fit. There is no timeline. Gus will be in on every facet."
- "When you hire great people, you let them do their thing. I will havea working knowledge of everything. I don't want to micro-manage. That's why you hire great people. With Gus, I know what I'm getting. I've done the homework. I feel good about Gus running the offense."
- On Antonio Coleman and Sen'Derrick Marks: "We've had some conversations. At the end of the day, they have to do the best thing for them. We'd love to have them back."
- Need more coaches named immediately?: "What you can't let happen is letting the urgency override you getting the right fit. If I could, I'd have them all here already. That's not realistic. I'm not putting a timeline. I've got to get the right guy."
GUS MALZAHN SPEAKS
- "A lot of people categorize me as a spread team. We're going to be smash-mouth. We're going to throw the ball vertically down the field. We're going to do that quite often."
- "That's what I did today -- spent time evaluating our strengths."
- "I'm also working on recruiting to fill our needs. We started looking at film, assessing things, assessing our needs."
- On the season at Arkansas: "I got a chance to see the actual speed of the SEC. That's very important when you're out looking for players."
- On Ziemba and Burns: "I recruited both of them at Arkansas." He talked with Burns today.
- Will this be like Tulsa?: "You'll see a lot of similarities. We'll assess our strengths, see what we have here. You'll see the same philosophies, same pace, same play-action."
- Play calling?: "Well, you got to be balanced, and you've got to take what the defense gives you. People tell me, hey, do you want to run more than throw? Really, it matters on what the defense is going to give you. Obviously, like I said earlier, you've got to be able to run the football. We are a run-play action team. You won't see a whole lot of straight drop-back pass. It's just not who we're going to be. We're going to run downhill. We're going to have a physical, hard-nosed approach. I'm not talking about just the offensive line and just the backs. I'm talking about the receivers and quarterbacks, and I think that's very important to establish that early."
- "This situation was ideal for me. This is one of those dream fits for me personally. It's a chance to coach in the SEC. There are certain places you go away from and say: That's an awesome place. We actually won that game. It was a classy place. I knew it was something special. Anytime you hear anything about Auburn, it's positive. That's part of it."
- Does Auburn have talent?: "There definitely are some strengths. It's early. I've been on this for only about 8 hours now."
- When did you hear from Auburn initially?: "Just before Christmas."
- How long did that decision take?: "About an hour."
- What are your plans?: He's assessing Auburn recruits tonight, back to Tulsa tomorrow and will stick with them until the bowl.
- On Tony Franklin: "I've never met him. I don't know much about (his system)."
- "I'll be explaining everything we'll do. We'll have a good, sound plan. We'll have extremely high goals. We're going to achieve them and achieve them quickly."
- On Burns: "I know a lot about him. I know his family well. We know each other well. I really think he's got a lot of potential."
- He said it's important to be in on the "front" of a coaching change and not have to meld into an existing staff.
THAT'S A WRAP