Gene Chizik and Friend
Sorry for the delay.
- FITZHGERALD on the weather: It's been 50 degrees warmer than is in in Chicago, so the kids are happy about that. We saw the sun today.
- CHIZIK on today's practice: ``I thought the tempo today was much better. The focus was much better. They got the message. It was about getting our team re-focused."
- FITZGERALD on thriving despite rigorous academic standards: ``We've been able to attract high quality players and world class student-athletes. With that comes the expectation that we're going to do well in the classroom. You can have that balance. It all starts with recruiting. Once you have that, it's like a vacuum that pulls everyone else up. It starts and ends with the way our kids are raised in their home."
- CHIZIK on Derek Winter, who is from Tampa: ``He is the epitome of hard work. In the Auburn Creed, it talks about hard work. He is what the creed says. He is what Auburn believes in. He knows what his role is right now."
- CHIZIK on why practice was better today: ``The effort was good yesterday. It wasn’t about effort. When you have practice that doesn't go the way you want it to, it's usually focus. I addressed it after practice. Today, everybody was good. Our guys -- it's never about effort. It's about if they're locked and loaded on the task at hand."
- CHIZIK on Walt McFadden's career: ``He was probably immature when I got here. That's the cool thing about coaching -- you get 'em when they're 18 and they leave you at 22. You can see how much you've changed their lives. He's grown up. He's matured beyond his years. He's been absolutely phenomenal for our football team. Everybody could take a lesson from his story -- there's a bunch of 'em out there."
- CHIZIK on how Auburn's offense runs these days: ``It's not always fast-paced. We try to do it at the right time. Every time is not the right time for us, individually."
- CHIZIK on the appropriate label for Auburn's offense: ``I don't have a name for it."
- CHIZIK on the offense, part III: ``It was kind of an up-tempo but starting with: How are we going to run the ball? Let's run the football and see what we can do off the running game. What was attractive to me was that it was going to let us run the football but it still was up-tempo. It's different than most. We start everything from trying to run the football.
Going back to being a defensive guy and having a defensive mentality, that's what I believe in. That's where my roots are."
- CHIZIK on his defensive philosophy: ``Don't trick yourself. Who are you? Once you know who you are, that's how you play. That's what you do. You don't guru it up every week. I know that sounds simplistic. If you get them to line up and play fast, that's what you want defensively. Don't trick yourself."
- CHIZIK on Onterio McCalebb: ``The cool thing about college football is that they come from everywhere. You have the rich ones, the poor ones, the white ones, the black ones. His background was tough. When he didn't make it coming out of high school, people probably told him he couldn't make it. The ones who keep doubting him are the ones who motivate him. He wants to get his degree because I'm sure everybody is telling him he can't. I'm not near as proud of any of (his football accomplishments) as I am seeing him getting his eductation. That's where he is that's light years ahead of where he was."