AUBURN - Trooper Taylor, Auburn's wide receivers coach and assistant head coach, walked into the Rane Room, the venue for post-practice interviews, blowing his whistle. It was his first interview since the start of preseason camp.
Auburn's Trooper Taylor
It was vintage Taylor. He likes to laugh - with his players, with recruits, with reporters. He is seldom lost for words. And he wasn't Tuesday after the first of two practices.
Taylor will talk football, Auburn football, for as long as anyone wants to talk. And that's when he gets serious.
As Auburn heads toward Wednesday's scrimmage, the first of the preseason, Taylor wants to find out who will join senior Emory Blake as go-to receivers in first-year offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler's scheme.
Working with Loeffler, Taylor said, has been a rewarding experience.
"He's a really intelligent guy," Loeffler said. "He really plays a lot of attention to the details. I really like the way he coaches the whole offense into understanding why we run a play, why we are doing something, why we are doing something. He's a situational guy - red zone, two-minute, coming out. We even work on taking a knee. Our kids know right now every way there is to stop the clock in a two-minute drill."
The time is coming for Taylor to make some hard decisions. He has more depth than at any time since he arrived at Auburn before the 2009 season.
Besides Blake, the contenders are seniors Travante Stallworth, Anthony Morgan and DeAngelo Benton; sophomores Quan Bray, Trovon Reed and Jaylon Denson; redshirt freshmen Sammie Coates and Melvin Ray; and true freshman Ricardo Louis.
"We haven't had enough time to say 'Here's our next go-to guy,'" Taylor said. "Quan Bray has made some plays. Trovon Reed. Sammie Coates went up over the top and made a play on some guys. That's what I mean by the depth. They need to understand I have to trust them.
"They say Emory Blake is a known commodity. That's because I trust him. He's going to do things right and he's going to make a play when he gets a chance. When there's another guy that shows me in practice he can do those same things or similar and there's not a big dropoff when Emory comes out and he comes in, then I'll have another guy to play and Emory is going to be fresher in the fourth quarter. Just from what I've seen - we'll know a lot more after this scrimmage - I think we have some guys that can do those things."
More from Taylor:
On Morgan's move to wide receiver
"He can fly. That bubble screen is a whole lot different when you've got that speed. He's a guy I look to run those things with that can help us win."
On newcomers Louis and Ray
"They're both big guys. They're lost right now with knowing all the intricacies of the offense, but the size and speed and what you'd like for a wideout to have, they seem to possess that. What we need to get them better at is pad leverage, speed of the game. Melvin is like what D-Lo was - he hasn't played in a long time.
"For Ricardo coming from high school to college, that transition is a lot tougher just because of the speed of the game. There's a reason Ricardo was recruited. He has the ability to put it all together and understand where he belongs in this offense. I like what I have seen so far. He's showed me some flash -- and so has Melvin."
On how many receivers he will play in the season-opener against Clemson
"As many as they will allow me to. I had a freshman ask me that question. I told him as many as I trust. Unless you are a senior, you definitely have to help on two special teams. Whether they help us on special teams might decide whether they get on that bus or not."
For a video of Taylor's full interview, follow the link.