Friday, August 21, 2009

Assorted afternoon newslinks

Let's get this out of the way. Here's to hoping Eric Smith's timing in hitting the hole is better than his timing in getting freaking arrested. Eric, some of us are trying to get our holier-than-thou on out here, all right? This isn't helping.

Punishment depends on whether the details go any further beyond a quick round of wrasslin' or fisticuffs or whatever in the bar. If not, he misses the La. Tech game, and we move on.

Worth noting: I believe this to be Auburn's first player arrest of any kind in two years. All good things, I guess.

Running backs on the loose! OK, wait, I should probably change that after the item above ... but ah, screw it, that's the been the theme of a couple of stories this week as Andy Bitter's looked at the way Malzahn's offense will get its many playmakers on the field and Luper's talked up the backs as "a strong point for our football team." It's not a shock, of course, and it would be tough not to be a strong point on this team the way the LBs, secondary, receivers, etc. are shaping up, but if Luper's happy I'm happy.

Your most intriguing Luper quote comes from Bitter here:
"This offense will enable you to put Ben Tate, Mario Fannin, Kodi Burns, Onterio McCalebb all on the field at the same time."
Bitter's skeptical, but as a commenter points out, it's not hard at all in the Wildcat. And if Burns is at WR and McCalebb in the slot--not unimaginable--you could do it in what should be Auburn's base set. In any case, the point is this: for all the hand-wringing over the receivers, Malzahn does have some shiny toys he can play with.

The Low-down. As you've probably seen by now, Chris Low paid Auburn's camp a visit yesterday and today. There's his talk with Zimeba, his two-parter with Chizik, the "depth is a concern" overview, and the Niffer's corn nuggets shout-out.

The "overview" post mentions that Hawthorne and McNeil both aren't expected back until well into the season--it's the closest we've gotten to confirmation of that, I guess, but I wasn't expecting anything different. Low also dropped in that last post that an Auburn coach told him that Rollison is "exactly what you're looking for in this offense." Again: not news, exactly, but good to hear.

As for the Chizik interview, most of it's the same boilerplate we've been getting from Chizik since Day 1. (Which , you know, fine.) But his argument for closing practice is a bit sharper than we've heard before:
Things over the last few years have gotten so out of control with technology. It's changed the whole world. The world right now is different, so I do what I think is in the best interest of our football team at all times. That's our players. That's injuries. That's rumors. That's whatever gets out there. I want to be able to have control of whatever's out there. I still won't always have control, just like no coach has complete control. But to the best of my ability, I'm here to protect and do what I think is best for our players, and that's the bottom line. I don't close practices because I want to close practices. I close practice for a reason, because the people I need to be at practice are the ones I want to know what is going on in depth with Auburn football, and I don't need it in 200 chat rooms 15 minutes later.
Oh, coach ... trying to control the flow of information these days is like trying to hold back a river with a fishing net. But keep trying.

Look, I don't want to read about this. Andy Bitter's piece on John Sullen and his push for playing time is a good read, and if there's any freshman that would be able to handle the mental aspect of all his recent position-switching, I would hope it would be one who's supposedly got a good head on his shoulders.

But it's not really possible to read about your overweight true freshman project offensive lineman and how he's an injury away from starting and not get the heebie-jeebies. I mean, even his weight loss isn't an unambiguous positive:
It’s a balancing act for Grimes, who wants to get Sullen and Bostrom to a weight where they might be able to help Auburn’s depleted line this season. But he’s been informed by the team nutritionist that losing too much weight too fast could lead to pulled muscles and other injuries that would keep a player off the field.

“In an ideal world, you’re talking about redshirting and you’re taking that weight off in the course of six months,” Grimes said. “You try to get them into spring ball as quick as they can and take some more off, and you’re talking about them competing a year from now. But with the depth where it is, that’s where we are.”
The season seriously cannot get here fast enough.

Etc. Todd 2: The Toddening answers five quote-baiting questions without offering up anything too juicy ... I'm not sure whether anyone who hasn't worked at the sports desk will appreciate precisely how hysterical this is, but trust me: hysterical.


bovinekid said...

An arrest is an arrest and it's bad, but "disorderly conduct" is a vague, BS charge that cops can use to arrest people for just about any reason whatsoever or no reason at all.

easyedwin said...

Failure to obey a uniformed police officer (another charge) [BS]