Tonight was offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee's first appearance in front of the media this spring, and he spoke for about 25 minutes according to the beat writers. Let's unpack what we can see from Twitter.
That first note on practice Tuesday being "sloppy" is the only time I've seen something on that. Also, I can't help but wonder if Lashlee misspoke or if it was transcribed wrong and meant to be today, which is Thursday. After that comment, there are comments on Lashlee being impressed with attitude and effort. Which sounds great, but it's also coach-speak.
I do like that John Franklin III has gained some weight; I just hope it's good weight and not fat. Still, it's a bit disconcerting to think that even coming up 10 lbs only puts him in the 180-185 range. That's... not big. I'm planning on an article to address that, soon, though. I'm not 100% sure when, but it'll be by this time next week, I'm sure.
As for the other quarterbacks, the discussion of Sean White's health makes me wonder if he was truly 100% ready for the bowl game. He's supposed to be back to normal, now. Jeremy Johnson having a great attitude this spring is good, but all that will matter is if he can read a defense and throw the ball accurately.
Cox and Pettway are definitely two players I consider to be huge strengths, as Lashlee mentions. They both played well last season, and now have a lot of time under their belts. Mike Horton was on the two-deep last season at Guard, so saying he's "really come on for us" now is intriguing. The offensive line still looks fairly stacked, though, so I suspect we'll see him stay in the two-deep but not start, this year. He's a redshirt freshman, so he's got time. We'll definitely need him next year, as I suspect Kozan and Braden Smith may both go pro if they have good years.
Things are a little bit more complicated than just Auburn not making plays last season, as the last bit says. There's a bit more from that (and other things) in the al.com recap which helps explain the statement. Even with the offensive and defensive struggles, Auburn was still close in every single loss but two last year. The margin between 6-6 and 11-2 is much thinner than you may realize at first glance. Of course, the margin between 6-6 and much worse is almost as thin, too. That's why I'm not near as concerned about Auburn this season as many. I think last year's offensive issues were an exception, and the defense will be much improved. If everyone stays healthy, there is a lot of promise in this team.
The Tigers will return to action Saturday in Jordan-Hare for their first scrimmage. We don't know if QBs will be live in that scrimmage just yet. I also don't know how much we'll really learn about it, either. It will not be open to anyone. We'll cover as much about it as we can, though.
And now to the tweets...
Rhett Lashlee calls Tues. practice "sloppy." Has been pleased overall though. Will know more after Sat. scrimmage.https://t.co/uixv5BDZil— James Crepea (@JamesCrepea) March 24, 2016
Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee on his QBs: 'I think all guys are better than when we started.'— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) March 24, 2016
Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee says he's been impressed with the 'attitude, effort and energy' of spring practice— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) March 24, 2016
Auburn's Rhett Lashlee says quarterback John Franklin III 'is picking up the offense fairly well. He's shown he has a great work ethic.'— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) March 24, 2016
Lashlee says Sean White is healthy again and looking like the guy they saw some of last season— Jason Caldwell (@ITATJason) March 24, 2016
Auburn QB John Franklin III has gained 10 pounds since he's arrived. In the 180-185-pound range, says Rhett Lashlee— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) March 24, 2016
Auburn OC Rhett Lashlee: Saturday's scrimmage will help separate players, give coaches better idea about where offense is at— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) March 24, 2016
The theme in tonight's press conference with Rhett Lashlee: a lot of unknowns and they want to see more in scrimmage Saturday.— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) March 24, 2016
Auburn OC Rhett Lashlee: RB is one of better competitions, Roc had "up and down" year, wants backs to "display toughness" in all areas— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) March 24, 2016
Auburn OC Rhett Lashlee: Jeremy Johnson had a season that was about as hard as it gets, likes his body language this spring— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) March 24, 2016
Auburn OC Rhett Lashlee: "We aren't reinventing the wheel here" talking about rebounding from last year— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) March 24, 2016
Lashlee on Kamryn Pettway and Chandler Cox "that may be one of the brightest spots"— Jason Caldwell (@ITATJason) March 24, 2016
Lashlee "Mike Horton has really come on for us"— Jason Caldwell (@ITATJason) March 24, 2016
Auburn OC Rhett Lashlee: You can just boil last year's struggles down to "we didn't make plays"— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) March 24, 2016