|photo by Randy Comer|
As we head into spring, which will be sooner rather than later, we hope, our thoughts turn to our annual A Day game. That will be when we get our first glimpse at our newest version of Auburn football. Many changes usually accompany a new season, yet, this coming season will feature many of the same faces that took the 2013 Tigers to the final BCS Championship.
We will take a look at those familiar faces, and try to forecast what lay in store for the 2014 season. First we will look at the coaches, and their contributions that made the difference in the biggest turn around in college football history.
Instead of stamping his mark on our football program, Auburn's head coach Gus Malzahn made his mark and is making it stick like the proverbial tattoo. Auburn indeed played with an attitude, and aggression unseen on both sides of the ball since the departure of Tommy Tuberville's teams in the early 2000's. Most fans agree, that is when Auburn last had an edge on the field. That is when we as fans last felt that if you played Auburn, you would know you had been in a fight.
*editors note:For a better look at the Tuberville years, we recommend Orange is Our Color by Josh Dowdy
It takes an attitude to keep your head about you when you fall behind in a game, and keep fighting to get the win. Auburn first did that at home, then pulled that feat on the road at Kyle Field vs. Texas A & M. Those two wins gave the team the confidence that they could really do good things if they kept working. Thanks to Coach Malzahn and his staff.
Everything starts with preparation. It's the same with football. That preparation started with off season workouts. Coach Ryan Russell did an amazing job getting a team that had floundered the previous year, to commit to getting better. They got much better!
Then the unenviable task of turning around the players. Their thought process, their practice habits, and their off the field habits were all addressed by this coaching staff. For the most part, it worked like a charm.
In our next post, we will look at the offense, and those coaches. We will also take a stab at where we think the improvements will be on offense. Until then...