AUBURN, Ala. Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham didn’t have to do much scrambling in his first sit down with local reporters.
Stidham enrolled in December, but the program rarely makes its quarterbacks available to the media.
Last year, Auburn’s quarterbacks didn’t speak to reporters during spring camp until A-Day.
The Baylor transfer and injured former starter Sean White didn’t have to that long this year.
Both quarterbacks were part of a small group of players picked to speak with the media following Saturday’s scrimmage at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Stidham, who was still wearing his jersey and pads, sat against a wall in the media room in the south end zone.
Q: How did the first scrimmage go?
JS: “First scrimmage man, it’s good to be back out there. It’s been a minute since I’ve been on the field in a scrimmage situation. It was just good to be out there again.”
Q: How is spring going in general?
JS: “Good, it’s just trying to get everyone on the same page, but that’s what spring is for — just trying to compete everyday and get better everyday, build off each practice we have and go into the next one with a great attitude and great energy.”
Q: Feel like you had to knock off some rust?
JS: “There’s definitely some rust. A little bit. I tried to get most of that off in the first day or two. It was good to just get back out there and scrimmage against a full blown defense with referees out there and everything like that.”
Q: What’s the last four months been like for you?
JS: “It’s been a bit of a culture change. Auburn and the state of Alabama is a lot different than Texas, trying to get used to that. I’ve loved every single minute of being here. I’m glad I did what I did to get to this point, just try to build off it and go into this summer and this fall with a great attitude.”
Q: How did you handle the change of coordinators when that happen? How has that transition been?
JS: “It’s just part of the business. Obviously, whenever I came here, you know coach Lashlee brought me here. Me and him are still tight. We still talk every other week to just check up on each other. When it happened, like I said it was part of the business, but coach Lindsey is a great offensive coordinator and great guy. I’m grateful he’s here with us.”
Q: Are there similarities between his system and what you ran at Baylor?
JS: “There are definitely some similar things, but there’s also some differences. I’m just trying to get it all down as much as I can right now, stay in the film room, stay in the playbook as much as possible, work with the coaches and do everything I can.”
Q: Are RPO’s second nature to you now?
JS: “It was something I was talking to a few of the coaches about yesterday. Some of the RPO we are doing right now is really comfortable. I feel really comfortable with it because most of the offense at Baylor was RPO. I think it’s going to be good for us and add another element to our offense.”
Q: How’s your relationship with Sean (White) and other quarterbacks coming along?
JS: “It’s been awesome. Sean, I mean he’s a great guy. Woody (Barrett), Malik (Willis), Devin (Adams), they’re all great guys. We joke around a little bit with each other but we encourage each other and compete against each other. I think it makes the room a lot better.”
Q: How do you handle this competition mindset wise cause they aren’t naming startering until the end of spring and Sean isn’t out there with you, and you started at Baylor?
JS: “I think you have to take it day by day. You can’t look too far ahead. Really tomorrow is not promised for any of us here right now. Just take it day by day and do what I do and compete, really. I’m a big competitor really in anything. I was playing pool basketball yesterday with Chandler and two of our other buddies and just anything, I‘m going to compete. It’s the nature of who I am and it’s just part of it. It’s like I said earlier, anytime you have competition I think it makes the room a lot better overall; whether you’re first string, second, third, whatever. I think it’s going to make everybody better.”
Q: But you can’t ignore fans and media expecting you are going to be the starter, how do you deal with that? The pressure of people expecting you to be the guy…
JS: “I think it’s, like I said you take it day by day. Obviously, I’m still the new guy here and I’m trying to step up and be a leader as fast as possible but it comes with time, to gain the trust of guys on the team. But I think it’s doing the little things that’ll kind of, hopefully stand out. Like I said, you just got to take it day by day and compete and that’s just how it is.”
Q: What would you say is your primary weakness right now?
JS: “Right now, there’s a lot of weakness. I’m trying to be an all-around better football player right now; whether it’s physical, mental or mechanical, whatever it is, there’s always stuff to improve on. I’m just taking everything day by day and take the film from coach Lindsey and really write down and take notes on what he say I need to fix and try and fix it.”
Q: How much fun has the emphasis on the passing game been?
JS: “It’s been a lot of fun. Some of the similarities he has with what I’ve done at Baylor, some of the deeper passing game, it’s been a lot of fun and a lot of it I’ve done before. Kind of second nature with some of it. He brings a lot of excitement to the offensive room.”
Q: What’s your goal for the rest of the spring?
JS: “I think, like I said earlier, taking it day by day by building off of each practice. So today we had a pretty good scrimmage was not great by any means, a lot of stuff we can fix. Tuesday when we come for practice we got to be better than today. It’s not necessarily just getting better at one thing or this or that, it’s really just all-around building upon the last practice going into the next one.”
Q: How do you think the chemistry has been building between you and the receivers?
JS: “I feel it’s been really, really good. Obviously the more practice you have with those guys the better it’s going to be with timing and the routes and that kind of stuff. So far so good. Those guys really know how to play and I get them the ball and let them do what they do.”
Q: As the new guy here, how do you get the guys in front of you (the offensive line) to buy into you?
JS: “I think it’s just a lot of encouragement because those guys, it all starts with them. They don’t necessarily get as much praise as they should. Everybody talks about receivers and running backs, quarterbacks, none of those can really happen without those guys. I try to love on them as much as I can and encourage them and tell them that they’ve done a great job so far and keep building every single day.”
Q: How hard is it to get accustomed to new place while competing for the job?
JS: “There’s difficulties with it but I just try to stay true to my personality. I try to be a people person, be a light in the room. Whether if we’re in meetings or in the weight room or working out on the field or whatever it is, try to be who I am and not be someone I’m not or who someone wants me to be. I think it comes with time.”
Q: Do you even think in terms of you competing for starting job?
JS: “There’s always in the back of your mind you know you’re competing for the job and whatnot, it’s like what I said earlier, you just take it day by day and do what you can do. There’s only so much I can control on a daily basis, so I just try to control that.”
Q: You’ve been here three months, how do you feel about Auburn? The town? The school?
JS: “It’s awesome. It’s a big difference than Waco, Texas but it’s an awesome place. The people here are very friendly, a family really because everybody here is an Auburn person. It’s a great place to be, great college town great university great students. All the way around I’ve loved it here.”
Q: What’s the biggest difference?
JS: “I mean, uh – there’s just a lot of differences. It’s a little bit more green here I’d say, more trees I guess, there’s a lot of stuff that’s different about it but it’s a great place.”
Q: Where do you want to be come the end of November individually? And as a team...
JS: “At the end of November, I think the way this thing can go, there’s really no reason for us to compete in the SEC. Come the Iron Bowl, you know if – I don’t even want to talk about the Iron Bowl yet. First, we got to take care of Georgia Southern on Sept. 2 I believe.”
Q: Can you envision yourself as the starter for that game?
JS: “Yeah absolutely. I think that’s why I came here. I came here to get a great education from Auburn University and then to be the starting quarterback for the Auburn Tigers.”
Q: How did the offense do today?
JS: “Yeah it was a lot of fun. Those receivers, they worked their butts off today. Granted our defense is really, really good so it only makes us better each practice but it’s good to go out there and sling it around a little bit.”
Q: How is the chemistry with the running backs?
JS: “It’s been really good. The first day just trying to get used to the steps and whatnot but really after that first day we just hit it off and just like it’s always been.”
Q: Did you throw any touchdown passes?
JS: “I don’t I think threw any, had some big explosive plays down the middle of the field. I think one could have gotten in if Will (Hastings), I think he said he would’ve dove, he said he was kind of scared too. I think all around we’re going to build off this scrimmage and Tuesday get the ball in the end zone.”
Q: Are you comfortable running the ball?
JS: “Yeah I’m comfortable with it. I’m not going to lie; I’m not going to be Cam Newton or Nick Marshall and take it 75 to the house. I’m probably going to get caught from behind. It’s just not my game. I like to run around a little bit, keep the defense honest and I think we’ll have some of it.”