April 20, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN — They've coached together, even at Auburn, so there's already plenty of game film available for prying eyes to see. But Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee don't figure to open up their playbook in Saturday's 1 p.m. A-Day Game in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
It's not about keeping secrets. Well, maybe it is. But Malzahn and Lashlee have said upon their return to the SEC they're mostly concerned about making sure their players know the basics of their offense before showing everything in the fall.
"I would much rather come out of spring with 10 plays that we know extremely well against any look than come out of spring saying, 'I’ve got 40 plays in, but we can’t run any of them worth a flip,'" said Lashlee, the offensive coordinator.
"If you get the foundation, you can build everything else on top of it. If you don’t have a good foundation, then you just have a bunch of stuff. That’s been our philosophy always, not just this year."
Still, Auburn coaches promise an entertaining A-Day with teams equally divided. The first-team offense will face the second-team defense, and the first-team defense will face the second-team offense. Quarterback Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace will work with both offenses.
It'll be another day to learn. But will there be a tricky play up their sleeves? Probably.
It'll be a big day for the players for the depth chart has been fluid. Things could change today. Or even next week. A-Day will be the highlight of spring work for the fans, but Auburn will work on. The Tigers will practice again on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Lashlee will see how the offense works today in game-like conditions without the close supervision seen in a regular practice.
"How are we going to respond?" Lashlee said. "I told the offense, ‘If we come out and score the first three drives, great. Now what? There’s a whole game left. It’s not over.’ Same thing, you come out and we’re dropping balls, we’re not executing, we’re sloppy – now what are we going to do? How are we going to respond? Do we have that winning mentality that I feel like we’re developing because that’s how football is."
Lashlee said the Tigers might run a little of their Wildcat offense with Trovon Reed and/or Quan Bray taking the snaps.
But, he said, "There hasn’t been a lot of scheming going on. It’s been, 'Let’s just learn to play football with our philosophies and our schemes the way we want to. That’s been our No. 1 goal: get a foundation. We do have some of that in. It won’t be a heavy dose, but you might see that sprinkled in there just a little bit, not to the level it could be or will be."
Follow Auburn on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine