Auburn fans itching to find out more about the team’s quarterback plans for the 2017 season are going to have to wait.
New offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey doesn’t feel any pressure to name a starter this spring, and structured the team’s competition at the position accordingly.
“I think it’s a continued evaluation throughout spring ball,” Lindsey said of making a decision. “We don’t play until September.”
Through Auburn’s first five spring practices — the team has this week off for spring break — Lindsey dedicated a significant amount of time to working on fundamentals with his healthy quarterbacks.
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“I think that’s important to build that base and that foundation of that, especially during spring ball,” Lindsey said. “This is the time where you are getting your guys fundamentally dialed in with the footwork and the mechanics of throwing the ball and all that stuff. I just felt like it was really important to start with that and build a base with these guys.”
Lindsey’s back-to-basics approach is much different from how previous offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee structured last year’s quarterback competition.
“We want to make sure they’re doing certain things the right way so they can throw accurately and on time,” Lindsey said. “I think it’s important to start with a foundation and build on it each day. Some of these drills we’ll do early on and maybe not do them again until right at the end or maybe fall camp. I think it’s always important to start and build that foundation.”
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, who is giving Lindsey “autonomy” over the quarterbacks, is happy with how the competition is slowly progressing.
“It's been good for him to work with those guys and evaluate those guys,” Malzahn said. “We've got a lot of reps, more 7-on-7 reps probably the first five days than we've had in the past. That's by design. He's getting a feel for them, they're getting a feel for him also. I think it's good competition. The guys, you can tell each day, they're getting better.”
Lindsey’s next big decision will be whether to have the quarterbacks go live during one of the team’s upcoming scrimmages.
“There have been places where we have gone live,” Lindsey said. “When I was here the first time we didn’t do that because we only had two at that time. I think each year is a different situation. I’m not really sure which way we’ll go with that yet. At some point they got to be tested for sure but I think you have to be smart about when and how you do it.”