Introducing NFL verbiage – Why it was the right move
Gene Chizik made some shrewd decisions when he got to Auburn. He knew that changes had to be made, he knew who he had to hire, and those particular hires helped win Auburn a national championship. Months after Auburn fans endured the insufferable ‘Tony Franklin spread’ – which eventually led to the firing of Tuberville – Chizik went out and hired renowned spread genius Gus Malzahn, a hire that was right at the time.
Almost three years later, Auburn prepares to enter the 2012 season with two new college coordinators, both with extensive backgrounds in the college and the NFL. The changes were absolute musts. Cam Newton wasn’t going to walk through that door again, and Auburn had to find a way to get past that and find new ways to win. Every year, Auburn goes up against the likes of Georgia, Alabama and LSU – three elite defensive and offensively competent teams. The results had to improve.
VanGorder and Loeffler have both instilled new pro techniques this spring. Regular huddles and under centre snaps were even seen. Chizik said “We have to show clips of a lot of the NFL because when we install something, our kids have to know what it looks like”.
Chizik is victim to being in the same state as a school that churns out a lot of decent NFL talent. This offseason was an important one, the spread wasn’t working anymore, we all saw it. You can blame it on quarterback woes, or a porous offensive line (both of which were actual issues), but a change was needed. Chizik wanted a return to typical Auburn football – tough defence and hard nosed, run up the gut offence. It may mean some short-term struggles, but in the long term, it may churn out better and more responsive results.
A move that I somewhat implored.
VanGorder brings a lot of NFL knowledge to the college game, and knows what it takes to succeed as a college player and as an NFL player. He put six players in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft in his tenure at Georgia, which is a pretty hefty feat. They are both traits that will certainly boost our prospects on the recruiting trail. You walk into a recruits living room, and utter the letters “NFL”. That grabs them.
Attracting talent is a big part of running a successful program, every coach knows that. Bringing in the best and suitable players goes a long way in building not only a strong foundation, but a solid future for a college football programme.
There was a big response to Cam Newton’s appearance on Jon Gruden’s training camp pre-draft special. When asked what Auburn’s play method was like, Cam responded “simplistic equals fast”. Then enters Scott Loeffler, a young, hungry and intense offensive coordinator that brings a refreshing play-style back to the plains. A much more complicated play-calling system, that requires some bright minds to run it.
That’s not to say Cam Newton wasn’t a smart quarterback – far from it. But he won’t be back in an Auburn uniform any time soon.
This new introduction of NFL verbiage means that we can counteract the ongoing, negative whimpers that we can’t get you ready for the NFL because the system is too simple. Sure, it’s not all about draft picks, winning certainly plays a part in being a successful program. But we don’t want to fall behind in something that we should already be stronger at. This move is the first step.