Auburn offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler met with members of the media Thursday afternoon to recap the spring practices. Already into his cut-ups of Auburn’s film from the 15 practice sessions, Loeffler reiterated that Auburn has no starter at quarterback yet.
And he’s just fine with that.
“I don’t think so at all,” Loeffler said. “There’s particular situations that I’ve been a part of, numerous situations where the competition last all the way through the last week of training camp.”
Loeffler cited Chad Henne, the former Michigan quarterback who won a training camp battle, took over the job and promptly turned into one of the Big Ten’s best quarterbacks over the next couple of years.
Finding a quarterback, Loeffler said, takes time, because so much is riding on the summer months and the work put in by Kiehl Frazier, Clint Moseley and Zeke Pike.
“That quarterback position, you’re never established, you’re never where you want to be,” Loeffler said. “And that’s what the great ones do – they find out the things that they need to improve on and they master them or try to make strides to improve their areas of weakness during the voluntary area and the training camp.”
In short, Loeffler doesn’t think naming a starter early would help.
“I don’t know if there’s any significance whatsoever in terms of it we wait til the last week of August – I don’t see any relevance in that – unless we have an established guy that has started for two to three years,” Loeffler said. “Then there’s some value to it. But that’s not our situation right now.”
- On Frazier, specifically, Loeffler said the coaching staff has enough throws to direct his summer improvement. “They didn’t throw him very much last year in the previous system,” Loeffler said. “That was one where you got to see his running ability, but you never got to see him truly throw the ball numerous times. … Kiehl had a tremendous amount of throws this spring, so you got to assess where he’s at, what he needs to improve on.”
- Frazier’s comfort level in the offense didn’t surprise Loeffler, largely because of Frazier’s youth. “He’s young. It’s a totally different deal if Kiehl was involved in that system for three or four years, then the transition, I think, would be extremely difficult,” Loeffler said. “He wasn’t, he was in that system for five months or however long he was here. To answer your question, he’s young, so transition is generally quite easy, in my opinion.”
- At the beginning of the spring, Loeffler told the beat writers that he wanted to go through nine or 10 installations of the offense. He told us today that the offense completed 10 or 11. “The base foundation of some principals in the run game, protections in the throw game have been established,” Loeffler said. “We need to grow and will continue to grow.”
- Asked about the running backs, Loeffler said he can use almost any type of runner. “We’re diverse enough in the run game that I think he’s going to fit in our offense, period-end,” Loeffler said. “We do enough in different schematics, different schemes, that we can play with a big running back, we can play with a fast running back that’s smaller.”
- Jovon Robinson, Loeffler thinks, will fit in the offense right away. “We’re diverse enough in the run game that I think he’s going to fit in our offense,” Loeffler said. “He’s a big back, strong kid, smart kid, and we’re looking forward to him coming in in the fall.”
- On Patrick Miller, Loeffler was pleased with the young player’s progress. “He’s got a long way to go, just like all the other players that we have, but it was fun to watch him out there. He’s a guy that’s got a bright future. He needs to improve. He needs to get bigger, he needs to get stronger, all the things that an 18-year-old kid that’s supposed to be at the prom, you would expect.”
- Loeffler wants to get as many playmakers on the field as possible. “In a perfect world, we’d like to spread the football to as many different playmakers as we can,” Loeffler said. “That’s the objective, to find playmakers at every position, keep the defense off-balance. Whenever they know you just have one wide receiver or one tight end or one running back, it’s quite easy to defend, so the more guys we can get out there, the more guys, and the more diverse, the more difficult it is to scheme.”