Gene Chizik speaks about a lot of things


(Photo credit: Todd Van Emst)

Gene Chizik, Auburn football coach, said a lot about stuff today. I listened, and with the help of an audio recorder, have a full transcript.

Here are the highlights.

(His second spring on the Plain)
It’s much easier at this point in time. Don’t try to read into that. It’s just easier for everybody. There’s a lot of variables in there that a year ago we didn’t know. Personalities of players and players trying to figure out the personalities of coaches. The new terminology of offense and defense, you’re second go-around is so much easier for everybody. I think it’s been smooth since we’ve come back from the bowl game. They’ve done a great job. We’re going into our seventh or eighth week since they’ve come back. It’s been smooth and it’s been much easier for everybody.

(Spring schedule)
Right now, the tentative plan, and as we get closer we’re going to solidify everything. But the tentative plan is to go the first Wednesday after spring break. Typically, I’d like to make it a Monday, Wednesday, Friday during the week practice schedule and Saturday being, if we’re ready, being a scrimmage day. That’s always subject to change with weather and other issues. That’s how we want to start it and as we get moving through it just go from there.

(You and your staff got PAID)
It’s not about me. The administration has been phenomenal for me. It was really important that there was a vote of confidence there in our administration that they see and understand the importance in the continuity of our coaching staff. If you just look around the league, there’s been a lot changes. Of course we’ve only been here one year but when you have very talented guys as assistant coaches there’s going to be a lot of people that are interested in hiring them. It was very important and huge administratively that we made that step forward to say, ‘Hey look, we want to be proactive on the front end of trying to keep everything intact.’ Really important to our coaches and what that means to our coaches but also don’t forget the huge impact that has on your players when they don’t have to change coaches. I think that’s big.

(Did the staff staying together help in recruiting?)
I hope it was an advantage. They guys we had recruiting a guy a year ago is the same guy we had recruiting him on February 2 before signing day. I think that’s a huge impact. Anytime you don’t have change, that’s a big deal. That just ties into the huge impact all the way around of not having any changes in your staff. That’s a huge deal—including recruiting.

(Aairon Savage)
I’m really, really proud of having him back on our football team. It’s not always easy to get a sixth year. That’s not a gimme. I’m really, really happy to have him—not just for what kind of player he has been but what he brings to the table in terms of leadership and maturity. He’s going to finish him master’s degree before he starts his last season. It’s big to have him on the team. Where are we going to play him? He’s been at some different places. Wherever he can help our team best. I don’t know that I could give you a definitive. I know he can play either or because he’s done it.

(Zac Etheridge)
Really good. He’s a day-by-day progression of getting to the point where he can play again. I don’t want to over-step my boundary; I’m not a doctor. I feel very encouraged about the progress that’s been made here in the last couple of months.

(Daren Bates available for spring?)
That will be questionable. When you talk about being ready for spring, ready for what? That’s the issue. Are some of them going to be able to have contact? Off the top of my head, anyone I think is totally going to miss spring, nobody I can think about that can’t at least do something for us. I feel good about most of our guys being able to do something.

(The tailback situation)
Well, obviously Mario (Fannin) is somebody we’re looking at that, again, we feel like can do that because he’s done it. We feel like Eric Smith can do it because he’s done it. Onterio (McCalebb), those are the guys that we’re going to look at. They’ve all got some sort of, one way or the other, they’ve all got experience at that position in this offense, one time or another, even dating back to the last spring, so they’ve all three done it at some point.

(Kodi Burns)
He’s a wide receiver. He’ll still play Wildcat, but his predominant position is wide receiver.

(Has anyone left?)
Off the top of my head, no. Nobody that you guys wouldn’t know about.


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