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Lindsey has ‘a lot of autonomy’

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oanow.com
 

Chip Lindsey has ‘a lot of autonomy’ as Auburn’s offensive coordinator

Josh Vitale | AU Writer Follow on Twitter Like on Facebook
 

Gus Malzahn has responded to nearly every question about Auburn’s quarterbacks this spring with a similar answer

“Chip, in time, will narrow it down.”

“Chip will have a recommendation.”

“I’m leaving that up to Chip.”

In a lot of ways, Rhett Lashlee was an extension of Auburn’s head coach. He played for Malzahn at Shiloh Christian School in Arkansas and served as either a graduate assistant, quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator under him in 10 of his 11 years as a coach.

Chip Lindsey, nearing the two-month mark of his second tenure on the Plains, seems to truly be Auburn’s offensive coordinator.

“I’ve got a lot of autonomy,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey has been on Malzahn’s staff before — he was an offensive analyst at Auburn during the 2013 season — but he made his mark in coaching outside of Malzahn’s shadow: He was a successful head coach in the Alabama and Georgia high school ranks, and spent the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator at Southern Miss (2014-15) and Arizona State (2016).

Malzahn made it clear when Lindsey accepted the job in January that it would be his offense, and that fact has been evident through Auburn’s first five spring practices

Whereas Malzahn might have spent a lot of time around Lashlee and the Tigers’ quarterbacks during past practices, the two open media viewing windows this spring have seen Lindsey working with the quarterbacks alone while Malzahn oversees the bigger picture.

When Malzahn has been asked about the quarterbacks or about how the offense might change in 2017, he’s always deferred to Lindsey. Malzahn has even allowed quarterbacks to work with independent coaches when they’re away from the team, something that he’s been reluctant to do in the past but that his new offensive coordinator supports.

“We kind of talked about that even before he was hired. He’s very familiar with what we’ve been successful with and he’s just going to add some bells and whistles and some flair to what we’re doing,” Malzahn said. “I really expect our offense to start taking on his personality.”

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That new personality is expected to be more pass-heavy. Auburn’s offense has passed on no more than 37 percent of its plays over the past four years under Malzahn, while Lindsey’s last three offenses all passed on more than 50 percent of their plays.

Those changes are still months away from being seen on the field in a real game, but they have been felt in practice: Tight ends, which are expected to see in an increased role, have added more routes to their playbooks, and running backs have worked more on catching the ball out of the backfield than they have in the past.

“He’s a quiet guy and he’s going to teach every itty bitty step, every yard marker, every left, right, everything that’s important to you and your success,” running back Kerryon Johnson said.

“He's an easy going guy,” right tackle Braden Smith said. “He's trying to get everybody knowing the system better. It's a little bit different with the terminology. It's a little bit different with the wrinkles that are going in. But, I mean, basically, he's trying to get that all installed. I think he's going to do really good things for the program.”

It remains to be seen what effects the new approach will have on Auburn’s offense. But through the first three weeks of spring practice, it appears Malzahn is content to allow Lindsey to run the show on offense.

“I think we’re just trying to find the right mix of what we want to do,” Lindsey said. “When I was at Troy we were a certain way. When I was at Southern Miss running the offense we were a certain way. At Arizona State we were a little different than Southern Miss. It’s all about the team you have. You build the team around your quarterback and your playmakers, and that’s what we’re trying to do here.”

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Gus is starting to trust and act like a HC. This could be the beginning of great things .

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1 hour ago, DAG said:

Gus is starting to trust and act like a HC. This could be the beginning of great things .

This is assuming he doesn't immediately revert to his old ways as soon as the offense sputters. One can hope that is not going to happen, but I'll believe it when I see it. I really hope I get to see it 🙏

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10 hours ago, DAG said:

Gus is starting to trust and act like a HC. This could be the beginning of great things .

seems too good to be true

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57 minutes ago, WFE12 said:

seems too good to be true

Gus has shown in the past that he (sometimes) learns from his mistakes. He recognized after the 2014 season that a change needed to be made at defensive coordinator and made it. He recognized after the 2016 season (albeit with an alleged bit of prodding) that a change needed to be made on the offensive side of the ball and made it. I should hope that the Auburn faithful would at least wait until the season starts before deciding that Gus is the proverbial "old dog" in this instance. 

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On 3/19/2017 at 11:36 AM, FoundationEagle said:

This is assuming he doesn't immediately revert to his old ways as soon as the offense sputters. One can hope that is not going to happen, but I'll believe it when I see it. I really hope I get to see it 🙏

I'm of the same opinion. I'm not expecting Gus to say nothing but I certainly hope CL is entrusted to a large degree when the real games kick off. 

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There won't be a huge difference in the offense.  Things I expect is more balance especially on first down, not going nascar to just go fast, slightly expanded route tree with the TE involved some, but the biggest difference you will see is the RPOs.  

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8 hours ago, corchjay said:

There won't be a huge difference in the offense.  Things I expect is more balance especially on first down, not going nascar to just go fast, slightly expanded route tree with the TE involved some, but the biggest difference you will see is the RPOs.  

And passes to the backs that aren't wheel routes

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9 hours ago, corchjay said:

There won't be a huge difference in the offense.  Things I expect is more balance especially on first down, not going nascar to just go fast, slightly expanded route tree with the TE involved some, but the biggest difference you will see is the RPOs.  

 

I have not seen a need for the offense to be radically different.  Lack of balance and a versatile passing attack have been its biggest weaknesses.  Give me those two plus better red zone performance, and I will be quite happy.

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Sounds wonderful.  When the real games start, we will get a better indication.

 

wde

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