All 14 SEC head coaches and 42 different representatives (three from each school) invaded the Hyatt Regency in Hoover last week to take part in the spectacle known as SEC Media Days.
Questions were posed and predictions were made.
Gus Malzahn was as relaxed and comfortable as I have ever seen him in a like situation. Still, it’s just in his nature to use coaching lingo.
I shall do my best again this year to translate his comments into plain English.
Quote: “Offensive line, all five starters are back. They are five seniors. They went through some growing pains last year. They got beat up. They kind of got an edge about them. They went through spring against our defensive line and really held their own.”
Translation: We were not very good up front to start the season last year. In fact, we stunk, but we did get a lot better as the season went on. I think it’s fair to wonder if it’s a good thing all five starters return.
Frankly, the guys were embarrassed by the early performance and have worked their tails off this off-season to get better. Our defensive line (which is really good) didn’t completely dominate in the spring, so that’s a good sign.
Quote: “Our running backs are all back. In our league, you can’t have enough running back depth. Kam Martin and Boobee Whitlow are really the veteran guys of that group.”
Translation: Okay, I admit it. I usually find one guy I trust and run him into the ground. It worked with Tre Mason, but truthfully it has backfired recently.
We literally have five guys who are four-star caliber talent and I fully plan to spread the wealth and use our depth at running back. Then again, there’s just something about those veteran guys.
Quote: “You know, this will be my tenth year at Auburn. During that time, we played for two national championships. We won one. We played for three SEC championships. We won two. And when I look at the team that we have this year, there’s some of the same characteristics that those championship teams had, and that’s what’s exciting for me.”
Translation: You all can keep talking about the hot seat and multimillion dollar buyouts all you want, but we’ve had a lot of success here in my tenure. If you leave me alone, we’ll have a lot more.
Apparently, I’m the only person in the conference who can beat Saban and I have taken you to two national championship games. This 2019 team has a real chance to be special, so let’s all get on the same page.
Quote: “When I decided to go back and call plays, that’s really who I am. I’m an offensive guy. That’s what got me where I’m at. Through the years, you get advice and all of that. And of course I made a mistake.”
Translation: If I go down, I’m going down swinging on my own terms. The Purdue game was not a fluke. I still know a little something about offense.