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Chizik has a plan

  • One thing we know about Chizik is that he has a plan for everything he does. He's kinda famous for it. His "blueprint" was discussed at length when he made the move from Iowa State, especially since it had yielded on five wins.

    This doesn't mean that he can't change his plans, but I think that what we know about him is that he isn't likely to abandon plans flippantly and certainly not in a knee-jerk-reaction type manner. Chizik's plan was for Trotter to be the starting quarterback for this 2011 team. While the patience of fans has worn thin, rather quickly in some cases, Chizik has stuck it out, hoping the plan would not have to be changed. He (rightly) assumed that Trotter might need a little time to grow into his role as starter. After all, he's not new to us, but he is new to his role as lead man. Giving him time to get comfortable has been the right decision.

    But now we're half way through the season. We're six games in. I can't speak for Chizik, but I would have to think that maybe he had hoped we'd be further along in Trotter's growth and comfort level. And to judge what he's seeing now and to react to it is no longer a knee-jerk-reaction situation. He's had 6 full games to observe, and to reevaluate now isn't flippant, but is instead prudent and necessary. It's appropriate to stop and have a look at what he thinks gives the team the best chance to win. The original plan has run long enough to give him ample information on which to base a new plan, if he deems that necessary. For what it's worth, I trust whatever the decision is. Stick with the plan, or implement a new one...either way, I'm going to trust it's best. After leading us the way he did last year, he'll have to make a whole a lot of bad decisions before I start to doubt him.

    So in our humble, worthless, message-board bound opinions...what are his options? Does he stick with Trotter, limiting what we do in the passing game and continue to rely on the running game (using Frazier as a big part of that)? Does he turn to the back up, Mosley, who, by most accounts, was at least Trotter's equal leading up to the season. Or, if Frazier is thought to be the future, does he go ahead and get a shot, with the assumption that the passing game surely can't get any worse?

    Here are just some random thoughts and guesses (certainly nothing more) on each option...

    ***Trotter***
    As most Auburn fans, I really like him. And as most Auburn fans, I'm not sure how we can't look at other options. To be fair, he hasn't been standing surveying the field from behind a wall-of-China line of protection. He's been rushed, he's been flushed, and he's been hit on occasion. But that isn't unusual in the SEC. A lot of pressure is put on a lot of quarterbacks. But some guys just have a knack for "making a play" even when the original play breaks down. Some guys can find the open man when they scramble. Some guys can move around within what little pocket there is and stand in there and find someone. Some guys can get out of the heat and use their feet...which helps save a play, and affects how the defense pursues him the next time. Unfortunately at this point, I don't know which of those strengths Trotter possesses when the pressure comes. He's done well on a couple of drives that involved mental pressure. But it's the physical pressure through the course of the game that seems to eat him up.

    ***Mosley***
    They always say the back-up is always the most popular guy on the team. I'm not sure if that's Mosley or Frazier at this point, but either way, I think a lot of folks feel Mosley, if he was neck-and-neck with Trotter in the QB battle, certainly deserves at least a shot at game-time action. After all, any of us who have ever participated in sports know that everything changes from practice to game time. I've been on plenty of teams where several guys all seemed relatively equal in practice, but as the unpredictability and chaos of an actual game comes, some guys have a way of excelling in that environment. Some guys rise above, some guys have more "it" than other guys, and sometimes you can't see that until the game presents the opportunity. Don't forget, Cam Newton was named starter 10 days after spring practice last year. So giving Mosley a shot might reveal some things we don't know about him.

    ***Frazier***
    He's been viewed as the future for a while now. A lot is assumed about what he'll do and where he'll lead us. And with good reason, the talent is there by all accounts. The last two weeks have seen his involvement increase substantially. The reason for the increase is anyone's guess. Is he being eased into taking over? Is he just getting game experience for the future? Is he just supplementing the running game with his own wild cat package? Who knows? Maybe all of the above? But with the increase in snaps came a few pass attempts. They didn't go well, and now a lot of fans seem to perhaps be knee-jerking back the other way, declaring he obviously isn't ready.

    While I don't necessarily disagree with that (after all, who am I, I have know idea if he's ready or not based on a few passes), I don't know that it is as clear cut as we might think. The Arkansas safety that made the second pick on Frazier is a veteran. He knows that watching a QBs eyes can tell him a lot...especially a young QB. But just imagine if Frazier had pump faked a screen pass or slant to his left before turning to Lutz down the right sideline. Imagine if he had used his body language and eyes to take the safety out of the play. Lutz would have caught the pass perfectly in stride. I have to imagine that teaching / reminding Frazier of those basic kinds of things wouldn't be too difficult. To me, he can overcome that kind of thing a lot easier than if the game was just too big for him. But he seems to be comfortable overall, and he's very confident at the line and running the ball. Maybe he's not as far from being ready to manage a conservative passing game (which is where are already), while also gaining experience and continuing to be a running threat.

    So in the end....there are some decisions to be made....by guys who get paid a lot to make them. And while we all like to see what we see and think what we think, it's important to remember that we have probably 10% of all the necessary information needed to make such a decision. Not only do we have 10% of the information, we also have about 1% of the knowledge (if that) needed to comprehend and process that information. Even being so close to the program and watching practices and games for decades, there is a reason Phillip rarely tries to suggest what how to fix what appears broken. We simply don't know what we think we know most of the time. So I for one trust that they will do what's best for the team. But discussing it and guessing can be interesting.

    Thoughts?

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by jadennis 3 years ago

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  • Interesting and well thought out post.

    One of the things that we dont know is what are the kids like? Cam had an intangible that basically said, 'come on boys... climb on my back, we're gonna go get us a win and I know the way!'

    It's one part cocky, one part confident, one part competent. A teacher that I had at AU referred to someone who was like that as 'confident in their competence.' In whatever arena you find yourself, the best of the best in that arena are people who have that unique mindset.

    Randy Campbell had it. A very, very limited skillset but an unwavering belief that he could get the job done working with his team. Jason Campbell developed the very same attitude. Of all the things that a QB must have..... THAT is the most important.

    Having said that, I have no idea who has that or doesn't on our team. CM and BT are more alike than different skills wise. KF brings a running ability to the puzzle. But the piece that matters most is who thinks, 'I can gither done!'

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  • jadennis said... (original post)

    One thing we know about Chizik is that he has a plan for everything he does. He's kinda famous for it. His "blueprint" was discussed at length when he made the move from Iowa State, especially since it had yielded on five wins.

    This doesn't mean that he can't change his plans, but I think that what we know about him is that he isn't likely to abandon plans flippantly and certainly not in a knee-jerk-reaction type manner. Chizik's plan was for Trotter to be the starting quarterback for this 2011 team. While the patience of fans has worn thin, rather quickly in some cases, Chizik has stuck it out, hoping the plan would not have to be changed. He (rightly) assumed that Trotter might need a little time to grow into his role as starter. After all, he's not new to us, but he is new to his role as lead man. Giving him time to get comfortable has been the right decision.

    But now we're half way through the season. We're six games in. I can't speak for Chizik, but I would have to think that maybe he had hoped we'd be further along in Trotter's growth and comfort level. And to judge what he's seeing now and to react to it is no longer a knee-jerk-reaction situation. He's had 6 full games to observe, and to reevaluate now isn't flippant, but is instead prudent and necessary. It's appropriate to stop and have a look at what he thinks gives the team the best chance to win. The original plan has run long enough to give him ample information on which to base a new plan, if he deems that necessary. For what it's worth, I trust whatever the decision is. Stick with the plan, or implement a new one...either way, I'm going to trust it's best. After leading us the way he did last year, he'll have to make a whole a lot of bad decisions before I start to doubt him.

    So in our humble, worthless, message-board bound opinions...what are his options? Does he stick with Trotter, limiting what we do in the passing game and continue to rely on the running game (using Frazier as a big part of that)? Does he turn to the back up, Mosley, who, by most accounts, was at least Trotter's equal leading up to the season. Or, if Frazier is thought to be the future, does he go ahead and get a shot, with the assumption that the passing game surely can't get any worse?

    Here are just some random thoughts and guesses (certainly nothing more) on each option...

    ***Trotter*** As most Auburn fans, I really like him. And as most Auburn fans, I'm not sure how we can't look at other options. To be fair, he hasn't been standing surveying the field from behind a wall-of-China line of protection. He's been rushed, he's been flushed, and he's been hit on occasion. But that isn't unusual in the SEC. A lot of pressure is put on a lot of quarterbacks. But some guys just have a knack for "making a play" even when the original play breaks down. Some guys can find the open man when they scramble. Some guys can move around within what little pocket there is and stand in there and find someone. Some guys can get out of the heat and use their feet...which helps save a play, and affects how the defense pursues him the next time. Unfortunately at this point, I don't know which of those strengths Trotter possesses when the pressure comes. He's done well on a couple of drives that involved mental pressure. But it's the physical pressure through the course of the game that seems to eat him up.

    ***Mosley*** They always say the back-up is always the most popular guy on the team. I'm not sure if that's Mosley or Frazier at this point, but either way, I think a lot of folks feel Mosley, if he was neck-and-neck with Trotter in the QB battle, certainly deserves at least a shot at game-time action. After all, any of us who have ever participated in sports know that everything changes from practice to game time. I've been on plenty of teams where several guys all seemed relatively equal in practice, but as the unpredictability and chaos of an actual game comes, some guys have a way of excelling in that environment. Some guys rise above, some guys have more "it" than other guys, and sometimes you can't see that until the game presents the opportunity. Don't forget, Cam Newton was named starter 10 days after spring practice last year. So giving Mosley a shot might reveal some things we don't know about him.

    ***Frazier*** He's been viewed as the future for a while now. A lot is assumed about what he'll do and where he'll lead us. And with good reason, the talent is there by all accounts. The last two weeks have seen his involvement increase substantially. The reason for the increase is anyone's guess. Is he being eased into taking over? Is he just getting game experience for the future? Is he just supplementing the running game with his own wild cat package? Who knows? Maybe all of the above? But with the increase in snaps came a few pass attempts. They didn't go well, and now a lot of fans seem to perhaps be knee-jerking back the other way, declaring he obviously isn't ready.

    While I don't necessarily disagree with that (after all, who am I, I have know idea if he's ready or not based on a few passes), I don't know that it is as clear cut as we might think. The Arkansas safety that made the second pick on Frazier is a veteran. He knows that watching a QBs eyes can tell him a lot...especially a young QB. But just imagine if Frazier had pump faked a screen pass or slant to his left before turning to Lutz down the right sideline. Imagine if he had used his body language and eyes to take the safety out of the play. Lutz would have caught the pass perfectly in stride. I have to imagine that teaching / reminding Frazier of those basic kinds of things wouldn't be too difficult. To me, he can overcome that kind of thing a lot easier than if the game was just too big for him. But he seems to be comfortable overall, and he's very confident at the line and running the ball. Maybe he's not as far from being ready to manage a conservative passing game (which is where are already), while also gaining experience and continuing to be a running threat.

    So in the end....there are some decisions to be made....by guys who get paid a lot to make them. And while we all like to see what we see and think what we think, it's important to remember that we have probably 10% of all the necessary information needed to make such a decision. Not only do we have 10% of the information, we also have about 1% of the knowledge (if that) needed to comprehend and process that information. Even being so close to the program and watching practices and games for decades, there is a reason Phillip rarely tries to suggest what how to fix what appears broken. We simply don't know what we think we know most of the time. So I for one trust that they will do what's best for the team. But discussing it and guessing can be interesting.

    Thoughts?

    Thought provoking post...thanks Johnathan....One thing that has puzzled me since the beginning of the season...Gus's history shows that he will stretch the field several times a game..The long ball has not been part of our offense this year, outside a few trick plays..I have my own thoughts on that...Just thought it was interesting...

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    Orange and Blue like the Auburn sky, War Eagle till the day I die.

  • jadennis said... (original post)

    One thing we know about Chizik is that he has a plan for everything he does. He's kinda famous for it. His "blueprint" was discussed at length when he made the move from Iowa State, especially since it had yielded on five wins.

    This doesn't mean that he can't change his plans, but I think that what we know about him is that he isn't likely to abandon plans flippantly and certainly not in a knee-jerk-reaction type manner. Chizik's plan was for Trotter to be the starting quarterback for this 2011 team. While the patience of fans has worn thin, rather quickly in some cases, Chizik has stuck it out, hoping the plan would not have to be changed. He (rightly) assumed that Trotter might need a little time to grow into his role as starter. After all, he's not new to us, but he is new to his role as lead man. Giving him time to get comfortable has been the right decision.

    But now we're half way through the season. We're six games in. I can't speak for Chizik, but I would have to think that maybe he had hoped we'd be further along in Trotter's growth and comfort level. And to judge what he's seeing now and to react to it is no longer a knee-jerk-reaction situation. He's had 6 full games to observe, and to reevaluate now isn't flippant, but is instead prudent and necessary. It's appropriate to stop and have a look at what he thinks gives the team the best chance to win. The original plan has run long enough to give him ample information on which to base a new plan, if he deems that necessary. For what it's worth, I trust whatever the decision is. Stick with the plan, or implement a new one...either way, I'm going to trust it's best. After leading us the way he did last year, he'll have to make a whole a lot of bad decisions before I start to doubt him.

    So in our humble, worthless, message-board bound opinions...what are his options? Does he stick with Trotter, limiting what we do in the passing game and continue to rely on the running game (using Frazier as a big part of that)? Does he turn to the back up, Mosley, who, by most accounts, was at least Trotter's equal leading up to the season. Or, if Frazier is thought to be the future, does he go ahead and get a shot, with the assumption that the passing game surely can't get any worse?

    Here are just some random thoughts and guesses (certainly nothing more) on each option...

    ***Trotter*** As most Auburn fans, I really like him. And as most Auburn fans, I'm not sure how we can't look at other options. To be fair, he hasn't been standing surveying the field from behind a wall-of-China line of protection. He's been rushed, he's been flushed, and he's been hit on occasion. But that isn't unusual in the SEC. A lot of pressure is put on a lot of quarterbacks. But some guys just have a knack for "making a play" even when the original play breaks down. Some guys can find the open man when they scramble. Some guys can move around within what little pocket there is and stand in there and find someone. Some guys can get out of the heat and use their feet...which helps save a play, and affects how the defense pursues him the next time. Unfortunately at this point, I don't know which of those strengths Trotter possesses when the pressure comes. He's done well on a couple of drives that involved mental pressure. But it's the physical pressure through the course of the game that seems to eat him up.

    ***Mosley*** They always say the back-up is always the most popular guy on the team. I'm not sure if that's Mosley or Frazier at this point, but either way, I think a lot of folks feel Mosley, if he was neck-and-neck with Trotter in the QB battle, certainly deserves at least a shot at game-time action. After all, any of us who have ever participated in sports know that everything changes from practice to game time. I've been on plenty of teams where several guys all seemed relatively equal in practice, but as the unpredictability and chaos of an actual game comes, some guys have a way of excelling in that environment. Some guys rise above, some guys have more "it" than other guys, and sometimes you can't see that until the game presents the opportunity. Don't forget, Cam Newton was named starter 10 days after spring practice last year. So giving Mosley a shot might reveal some things we don't know about him.

    ***Frazier*** He's been viewed as the future for a while now. A lot is assumed about what he'll do and where he'll lead us. And with good reason, the talent is there by all accounts. The last two weeks have seen his involvement increase substantially. The reason for the increase is anyone's guess. Is he being eased into taking over? Is he just getting game experience for the future? Is he just supplementing the running game with his own wild cat package? Who knows? Maybe all of the above? But with the increase in snaps came a few pass attempts. They didn't go well, and now a lot of fans seem to perhaps be knee-jerking back the other way, declaring he obviously isn't ready.

    While I don't necessarily disagree with that (after all, who am I, I have know idea if he's ready or not based on a few passes), I don't know that it is as clear cut as we might think. The Arkansas safety that made the second pick on Frazier is a veteran. He knows that watching a QBs eyes can tell him a lot...especially a young QB. But just imagine if Frazier had pump faked a screen pass or slant to his left before turning to Lutz down the right sideline. Imagine if he had used his body language and eyes to take the safety out of the play. Lutz would have caught the pass perfectly in stride. I have to imagine that teaching / reminding Frazier of those basic kinds of things wouldn't be too difficult. To me, he can overcome that kind of thing a lot easier than if the game was just too big for him. But he seems to be comfortable overall, and he's very confident at the line and running the ball. Maybe he's not as far from being ready to manage a conservative passing game (which is where are already), while also gaining experience and continuing to be a running threat.

    So in the end....there are some decisions to be made....by guys who get paid a lot to make them. And while we all like to see what we see and think what we think, it's important to remember that we have probably 10% of all the necessary information needed to make such a decision. Not only do we have 10% of the information, we also have about 1% of the knowledge (if that) needed to comprehend and process that information. Even being so close to the program and watching practices and games for decades, there is a reason Phillip rarely tries to suggest what how to fix what appears broken. We simply don't know what we think we know most of the time. So I for one trust that they will do what's best for the team. But discussing it and guessing can be interesting.

    Thoughts?

    Very thought-provoking, and well thought out. We seem to be on the same wave-length on the situation. Thanks for putting into words what I've been trying to make sense of for past few weeks.

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