AUBURN, Ala. -- Following their coaches’ lead, Auburn’s players were bound and determined not to let anything slip to the media after the team’s 70-play scrimmage at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Wednesday.
To wit: a reporter asked quarterback Barrett Trotter who stood out.
“A lot of guys jumped out to me,” he said. “I’m just not allowed to tell you who.”
An air of secrecy shrouded the Tigers’ first scrimmage of August, with players and coaches speaking in generalities about what transpired outside the media’s view at the closed workout.
Reporters sought specifics. Players answered vaguely.
Quarterback Clint Moseley went to comical lengths with his answers. Asked how many touchdowns he threw, the sophomore initially said one before peeking around a group of cameras to ask a member of Auburn’s sports information staff if he was allowed to say anything.
Told that he shouldn’t, his revised answer was zero touchdowns.
“I had a pretty good day, I guess,” he said.
The coaches weren’t much more forthcoming. Coach Gene Chizik was pleased with the effort, saying it’s the best film the staff has to work from all August.
“Overall, great effort back and forth, got a lot of things to clean up,” Chizik said. “I think there’s going to be some learning moments from that.”
“It’s a matter of seeing live bullets in the stadium and that’s good for coaches to be able to evaluate,” offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said.
All three quarterbacks -- Trotter, Moseley and freshman Kiehl Frazier -- got equal reps, each working with different units to give the coaches an idea of how they’re grasping the offense.
Malzahn echoed Chizik’s statement that the scrimmage did little to establish a pecking order among the three. Still, he said it offered some insight on the race that has no timetable for a conclusion.
“We learned some things from this scrimmage,” Malzahn said.
Chizik said all three moved the offense well, although, Malzahn, always watching with a discerning eye, was more critical of things.
“We’ve got to stay out of the negative plays,” he said. “In my mind as offensive coordinator, I’m always trying to find things we can improve on. As soon as you see the film, there’s a lot of things going through your mind, most of them of what we can correct. And there’s a lot of things we need to correct.”
For Moseley, the scrimmage wasn’t about the numbers.
“I just want coach Chizik and coach Malzahn to trust me 100 percent in the offense,” he said. “How I’m going to react to everything. Hopefully it helped a little bit today.”
Frazier, who has gone through eight college practices now, is still trying to get up to speed.
“I’ve still got a lot to learn,” he said. “I can tell by being out there what I need to work on. So I’m going to go back in and watch the film and get better.”
Auburn’s coaches want to give him ample reps in the first weeks of camp to see if he’ll be able to contribute as a freshman.
“He had a good attitude,” Malzahn said.
“He’s eager. That’s half the battle.”