SEC Media Days notes & quotes
Auburn had their turn at the SEC Media Days yesterday afternoon, where Chizik – accompanied by Blake, Lutz and Lemonier – took on the local and national media, and found the opportunity to strike down programme negativity, as well as give their thoughts on the Quarterback race.
Chizik was up first, and he took the opportunity to comment on a lot of things, particularly the June shootings:
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank so many people for their outpouring of love and prayers and emails and phone calls to the Auburn family since that tragic night, June 9th when three young men were shot and killed, two of them being former players. I do want to say thank you.” – War Eagle Extra
It’s nice to see Chizik’s first set of comments be about the shootings. It hit a lot of people hard, and I’m glad he got to say thank you. It just goes to show that we have a real man in charge of this programme.
Chizik also responded to questions about the Quarterback race:
“It’s up for grabs, Kiehl is still strongly in the mix, I think he’s grown up a lot as a football player since he’s been here. Clint Mosely has done the same thing, he has a lot of room for improvement, and he knows that, and we know that. It’s going to be a battle.” – War Eagle Extra
Personally, I couldn’t think of another set of three current players I would choose to represent Auburn at media days. All of them took the questions in stride and answered with honesty and authority – especially Blake when asked about who had the edge in the Quarterback race:
“No, but nice try though”
Blake even spoke about Frazier’s development as a quarterback, something which is definitely encouraging as the season grows nearer:
“If I didn’t know Kiehl, I wouldn’t think he was the same guy, because he’s changed that much. He’s always had a big arm. Even last year, he was throwing darts, but his progressions and his reads have been so much better that it’s given us new confidence” – War Eagle Extra
It’s no secret that Frazier – heading into fall practice – is the frontrunner for the starting role. It’s nice to see the star receiver giving him some positive feedback. Which again reiterates Blake’s importance to the team, on and off the field.
Lutzenkirchen also took the opportunity to praise Kiehl:
“Kiehl has gotten better from last fall to where he’s at now. Coach Loeffler’s a big part of that. Kiehl has taken that leadership role. Last year as a freshman, trying to lead the offense, he wasn’t comfortable doing that, but now he sees it as an opportunity. He’s gaining everyones respect.” – War Eagle Extra
Obviously, Quarterback is a big question mark heading into the season. So it’s nice to see the team leaders praising Kiehl which should only boost his confidence.
Blake also believes Prosch will help Lutzenkirchen as a receiver: “He’s going to cause a lot defenses havoc. Now that we have Prosch back there, it’s a totally different system. Coach Loeffler is going to use him more as a receiving threat” – War Eagle Extra
Lemonier also knows he needs to improve against the run: “During two-a-days, I’m really going to be focusing more on my technique.” – War Eagle Extra
Lemonier’s willingness to improve against the run is good to see. I’m sure Chizik and Pelton drilled into him that he’ll become a better player if he improves, as well as shoot up everyones draft boards when he takes the pro plunge. He also got his weight up to 250, which can only help him develop as a player.
They also had the chance to defend the program and strike down any – somewhat apparent – negativity that might be associated with the programme. Emory Blake especially:
“A whole group of guys, their character shouldn’t be questioned because of two or three guys. Our whole team isn’t like that” – War Eagle Extra
All three of these players did a great job representing the programme and University. Yet again, Chizik got it right when he chose these three to speak Wednesday afternoon.
(For more notes and quotes, visit Joel Erickson’s War Eagle Extra blog)