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StatTiger

Spotlight on Jeremy Johnson

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Unless something changes, Jeremy Johnson intends to return to the Auburn football team for his senior year. The quarterback position was clearly a liability in 2015, which should heat up the competition for the starting role during the Spring of 2016. If Johnson indeed returns as he stated he would during the Birmingham Bowl post game, expect the senior to be to lay it all on the line to challenge for the starting position. His junior season did not play out the way he wanted but like his fellow teammates, Johnson never quit competing. If Johnson is to regain the starting role again in 2016, several obstacles must be overcome. Obviously, he will have to prove he can execute the offense consistently and under pressure. The coaching staff will have to make some changes in how they prepare Johnson along with the other quarterbacks. One of his attributes was his ability to make plays in the running game when placed in the right situation. If Johnson becomes the starter again, Gus Malzahn must be willing to allow Johnson to operate the offense. The scheme has to be such that Johnson has an opportunity to make plays rather than a plan that will limit his mistakes.

The play...

Mem%20-%20QB%20Power_zpskjo6kisk.jpg

During this play Auburn has a 1st & goal at the Memphis 5-yard line. Auburn spreads the Memphis defense out with a 4-WR look to the right before the snap. Chandler Cox will shift into the backfield just before the snap. At the snap Chandler Cox becomes the lead blocker for Jeremy Johnson on an inside QB-power. Images #4 and #5 show the splendid job of the OL in creating a gaping hole for Jeremy Johnson to score. The Memphis MLB manages to extend an arm out to trip up Johnson but he still makes it across the goal line for the Auburn touchdown.

Another QB-Power play...

QB%20Power%208_zpsusrdb5yj.jpg

Here is an image of both team's alignments before the snap. Chandler Cox like the previous play will shift into the backfield with Auburn facing a 1st & 10.

Mem%20-%20QB%20Power%202_zpstrg6yyvq.jpg

At the snap Chandler Cox and Braden Smith both pull to the left. Jeremy Johnson fakes dropping back before following his lead blockers for the inside running play. Jeremy Johnson came close to breaking this run the distance with Memphis in a Cover-1. The lone safety playing deep in the secondary managed to trip Johnson up, holding JJ to a 17-yard gain.

Johnson is not the type of athlete Cam Newton and Nick Marshall were but it doesn't mean he is not athletic enough to make plays with his feet. For the season, Johnson averaged a 10-yard run or better every 4.7 attempts. During the 2014 season Nick Marshall averaged a 10-yard run every 5.3 carries. Johnson also finished the season with Auburn's longest run of the season (65-yards) and came very closing to registering a longer run against Memphis. Jeremy Johnson might not have the same speed but his running style reminds me of former Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones with his long stride. He did not look like he was fast but those long legs could cover plenty of ground. During his first 3 starts of the season, Johnson compiled a passer rating of 121.1. He finished the remainder of his season with a passer rating of 135.5. He did improve as the season progressed but in a very selective environment arranged to limit his mistakes. If Auburn is to win or compete for a championship in 2016, it will require a leader at quarterback and not one being "protected".

I'm not advocating Jeremy Johnson should be the starter in 2016. I am suggesting Johnson will compete to not only become the starter again but to prove he is capable of competing at this level. There have been other past Auburn quarterbacks that resurrected their careers after struggling early on as the starter. (Stan White, Ben Leard and Jason Campbell). We all know he has the physical tools to compete in the SEC and the majority of his needed improvement will be primarily mental. From what we witnessed this season, Johnson can make plays running between the tackles. This creates many options in the inverted-veer but it would be nice to roll him out of the pocket for pass-run options. He also proved he could make plays on the perimeter in the read-option, especially in short-yardage plays. Setting Johnson up for success in the running game will create more 1 on1 opportunities in the secondary during play-action.

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Nice analysis there. I don't have any idea of who the qb will be next year. I do believe that Jeremy has grown and learned from this last season. If he can move on when a mistake happens and not let it affect how he plays he can be terrific.

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Sounds like there is not a chance that JJ will graduate early and take a look elsewhere?

I don't know where he stands academically but several guys out there last year and this year ....looking around for a better starting opportunity for their last year of eligibility.

The description of where he could fit into the offensive scheme (running off tackle) or perimeter plays on the read option...that's nice but if we continue the practice of sending in "offensive packages" with JJ to run them, how long is it before everyone in the state knows what is coming based on his limited plays. The inability of a QB to run the entire offensive package basically kills the HU part of HUNH since the defense is allowed time to react with substitutions of their own when we send JJ in with his support group. Not saying an occasional "wildcat" or "heavy package" is not nice to have...but man.....that's a waste of talent for a guy like him...JMO.

AND...JMO but if Gus has to design a special and limited offensive package to accommodate JJ's problems with long passes and passes over the middle our offense will look like it did most of this season.

It would be nice for him to pull it all together next season.....and I bet he will look good in practice this spring (like he did last spring) but what does that mean? How many games does he get to prove that his "yips" or whatever are behind him.

I'm just suggesting that JJ will look like our best chance at QB again next fall ....no matter who we bring in or whether SW's knee is back to 100%...like things appeared this past season in August. So what does Gus do against Clemson ? and how long is the leash ?

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Sounds like there is not a chance that JJ will graduate early and take a look elsewhere?

I don't know where he stands academically but several guys out there last year and this year ....looking around for a better starting opportunity for their last year of eligibility.

The description of where he could fit into the offensive scheme (running off tackle) or perimeter plays on the read option...that's nice but if we continue the practice of sending in "offensive packages" with JJ to run them, how long is it before everyone in the state knows what is coming based on his limited plays. The inability of a QB to run the entire offensive package basically kills the HU part of HUNH since the defense is allowed time to react with substitutions of their own when we send JJ in with his support group. Not saying an occasional "wildcat" or "heavy package" is not nice to have...but man.....that's a waste of talent for a guy like him...JMO.

AND...JMO but if Gus has to design a special and limited offensive package to accommodate JJ's problems with long passes and passes over the middle our offense will look like it did most of this season.

It would be nice for him to pull it all together next season.....and I bet he will look good in practice this spring (like he did last spring) but what does that mean? How many games does he get to prove that his "yips" or whatever are behind him.

I'm just suggesting that JJ will look like our best chance at QB again next fall ....no matter who we bring in or whether SW's knee is back to 100%...like things appeared this past season in August. So what does Gus do against Clemson ? and how long is the leash ?

Very nice analysis by Stat. With that said: JJ will not be the starter in '16. There will be "O" packages for him, and evidently that is enough for him to stay for his senior year.

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No matter how good JJ may look in practices, I just don't think any coach would put an offense in his care based on how he performed in actual games. I'm assuming he really wants an AU degree and hopefully that works out for him. I really thought he would drop down to a lower level and try to get his career back on track.

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Thanks for the analysis Stat, I really enjoy reading your perspective on our football team.

It seems to me that the entire year's offensive performance suffered from being scaled back for a variety of reasons, with the possible exception of the first game (and we all know what happened with Jeremy then). After all the interceptions in the first game or so, they scaled back the offense for Jeremy. When they first put Sean in, they obviously were scaling back things due to his lack of experience. By the time Sean started getting more comfortable with the offense he got hurt. When they put Jeremy back in for the TAM game, we obviously ran a very scaled back version of the passing game than they had originally envisioned for Jeremy. When Sean tried to come back, they again had to scale back due to his reduced mobility and ability to push off with his plant foot. CGM basically played almost the entire season with one arm tied behind his back for a number of reasons.

I don't know who the starting quarterback will be next year, but if it is either Sean White or Jeremy Johnson, they will both benefit greatly from this past years experience. If used properly, you learn quite a bit more from mistakes and failures than from successes. If a healthy Sean wins the job, I believe Jeremy could be a very effective wildcat and goal line option like he was used in the bowl. The threat of him throwing makes him a better option than KJ in my opinion.

If we start the season with any of the new people coming in, we will have to start with a much more scaled back version of the offense, in effect starting over.

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JMO....if we have to start the season with a "scaled back" offense against Clemson, it's a sure bet we will be 0-1 after that game.

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JMO....if we have to start the season with a "scaled back" offense against Clemson, it's a sure bet we will be 0-1 after that game.

Maybe maybe not. Even if that is the case, it doesn't mean a bad season. Let's just let things play out.

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JMO....if we have to start the season with a "scaled back" offense against Clemson, it's a sure bet we will be 0-1 after that game.

Maybe maybe not. Even if that is the case, it doesn't mean a bad season. Let's just let things play out.

But dang ...I'm almost 75...I don't know how much time I have to "let things play out".....I need to see some assurances now. :)

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We need to find a QB where we can put the foot on the accelerator and not let up. So scaleback, schmaleback, just find the right guy. ;D

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I think all we really need over the break is to bring in one of those sports psychologists that Bama employs to get Jeremy's head screwed back on right... Maybe he can take a looksee at Jovon Robinson while he's at it.

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JMO....if we have to start the season with a "scaled back" offense against Clemson, it's a sure bet we will be 0-1 after that game.

Who said to start season with a scaled back offense, I know I did not. In fact I made multiple references Auburn should not.

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No matter how good JJ may look in practices, I just don't think any coach would put an offense in his care based on how he performed in actual games. I'm assuming he really wants an AU degree and hopefully that works out for him. I really thought he would drop down to a lower level and try to get his career back on track.

This was another issue I briefly addressed. How is Malzahn preparing the offenses and quarterbacks in Spring and Fall camps?

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House cat nailed it. You wouldn't call Coker a running QB, but if you watch him run he makes his mind up that he is going to get every inch that he can. If JJ ran with that determination, I would say start JJ. If he does not, the field is wide open for someone to start.

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House cat nailed it. You wouldn't call Coker a running QB, but if you watch him run he makes his mind up that he is going to get every inch that he can. If JJ ran with that determination, I would say start JJ. If he does not, the field is wide open for someone to start.

He ran real fast when LSU was chasing him lol

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It will be interesting to see how JJ progresses going forward. He certainly has all the talent to get the job done. Pulling for that young man.

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JMO....if we have to start the season with a "scaled back" offense against Clemson, it's a sure bet we will be 0-1 after that game.

Who said to start season with a scaled back offense, I know I did not. In fact I made multiple references Auburn should not.

referring to post #6....sorry....should have included the reference.... And I agree with you 100% ...and bothers me when Gus seems to do this but maybe I'm misinterpreting his calls or what he feels he has to work with.

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JMO....if we have to start the season with a "scaled back" offense against Clemson, it's a sure bet we will be 0-1 after that game.

Who said to start season with a scaled back offense, I know I did not. In fact I made multiple references Auburn should not.

referring to post #6....sorry....should have included the reference.... And I agree with you 100% ...and bothers me when Gus seems to do this but maybe I'm misinterpreting his calls or what he feels he has to work with.

Gotcha. I would like to see Gus define his base offense and recruit for it moving forward.

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JMO....if we have to start the season with a "scaled back" offense against Clemson, it's a sure bet we will be 0-1 after that game.

Who said to start season with a scaled back offense, I know I did not. In fact I made multiple references Auburn should not.

referring to post #6....sorry....should have included the reference.... And I agree with you 100% ...and bothers me when Gus seems to do this but maybe I'm misinterpreting his calls or what he feels he has to work with.

Gotcha. I would like to see Gus define his base offense and recruit for it moving forward.

at one time the idea that Gus would look at his talent and build his offense around it felt awesome... now it feels like the offense has no specific direction or vision of where it is headed and there are talented offensive players not being fully incorporated consistently... I like the idea of picking an offense and recruiting for that offense

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I hate to say but I feel enough time has been dedicated to JJ. Going forward any time utilized developing him further is time taken from the next QB.

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JMO....if we have to start the season with a "scaled back" offense against Clemson, it's a sure bet we will be 0-1 after that game.

Maybe maybe not. Even if that is the case, it doesn't mean a bad season. Let's just let things play out.

But dang ...I'm almost 75...I don't know how much time I have to "let things play out".....I need to see some assurances now. :)

vultures-patience-my-ass.jpg

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Stat - Some of your better stuff right here - thanks. ...

I truly believe if we can solve the QB problems, the offense is back on track. Let's hope so anyways ...

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JMO....if we have to start the season with a "scaled back" offense against Clemson, it's a sure bet we will be 0-1 after that game.

Who said to start season with a scaled back offense, I know I did not. In fact I made multiple references Auburn should not.

referring to post #6....sorry....should have included the reference.... And I agree with you 100% ...and bothers me when Gus seems to do this but maybe I'm misinterpreting his calls or what he feels he has to work with.

Gotcha. I would like to see Gus define his base offense and recruit for it moving forward.

at one time the idea that Gus would look at his talent and build his offense around it felt awesome... now it feels like the offense has no specific direction or vision of where it is headed and there are talented offensive players not being fully incorporated consistently... I like the idea of picking an offense and recruiting for that offense

I hope Gus has figured this out.He needs to decide what offense he wants to run and recruit players for that O.As for JJ, I hope he gets his degree, because the way he played last season lets face it he is not going to the NFL.

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