Well, alrighty then, Carl Lawson, and let’s take this time to salute your bluntness.
Football lovers appreciate the bluntess of your quarterback stalkings and captures … when you’re healthy and transforming Auburn’s defense with your presence, that is.
Fans and media alike appreciate your bluntness.
No, really. Don’t feel like you have to pretend to enjoy media availabilities. No comment is a comment, of sorts. Short-and-sweet non-answers can be an art form, and you seem to have gone to your head coach’s school of non-answering.
What’s this? You’re degree is in communications? And you want to be a sports broadcaster someday, after you’ve played your last?
But, but … that would mean you’d have to hang with the folks asking the questions.
“Maybe, and I’ll have some insight on what it is to be a player,” he said to the huddle around his table Monday, opening day of SEC Media Days, “so I might be able to trick me to answering some of the questions that you all want me to answer.”
One thing about someone like Lawson, at least we know the answers he gives come with honesty. We also know he won’t be tricked off messaging.
What he let loose and others echoed during Auburn’s turn at SEC Media days pretty well revealed the internal messaging of an Auburn team that’s disappointed the past two seasons.
First, the theme is “earn it,” fourth-year head coach Gus Malzahn revealed, and that should start with a $4.725-million-a-year coach who’s gone 8-5 and 7-6 after leading Auburn to major college football’s national championship game in 2013.
Secondly, cue the montage of “win close games” and “execute” and “one day/game at a time” and “the little things.”
Malzahn said those things. Marcus Davis said those things, and so did Montravius Adams.
If it sounds clichéd and coached, well take heart. Lawson said it, which means it must be blunt and true.
And believe it. That No. 55, widely seen as the most consequential player on Auburn’s roster and a professed more vocal leader this year, sees it as the answer.
“Just, the little things add up,” Lawson said. “Going to class on time, being to workouts on time, just little things really do add up to having a successful team, so that’s what we’ve been preaching.”
Simple, straight-forward and straight out of the mouth of the guy who came with a gameplan to show how untrickable he can be.
Lawson’s diagnosis of last season was all of those things, too.
“Complacency,” he said. “Let that creep into your program, and that’s not what we’re trying to … that happened this year.
“We’re going to be held to a standard. No matter what happens that season, we’re going to be held to that standard the entire season.”
Whoa! Wait a minute?
Did Lawson give too candid a picture of what it was like on the inside last season? Did the standard change in season, or was he speaking generically?
Maybe Candid Carl’s confirmation of all that simple talk just shows how far Auburn has come since 2013 … a long way from messaging that sets the ultimately successful goal of staging college football’s greatest turnaround.
Contact Sports Columnist Joe Medley at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter, @jmedley_star.