Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Notes on the HBO documentary

* HBO is airing an episode based on Stanley McClovers new charity called Big Brothers United. That may be his leverage.

* Notice how HBO managed to get these interviews from four failures, 2 of whom have beefs with Auburn, and one never played a down at Auburn. Why couldn't they get interviews from guys like Dansby, Groves, TWILL etc?

* Former Auburn players Groves, Kody Bliss, TWILL, Ziemba, Pugh and Kenny Irons have all refuted this BS. Kody Bliss said that he never saw anything close to as if McClover got paid, said Stanley borrowed his truck the majority of his freshman year.

* Ziemba, Pugh have both stated that neither of them got paid. So why would we pay Chaz Ramsey and not the other two? Ziemba is obviously the best and was the highest recruited player of the three.

* NONE of the players that were interviewed mentioned any names in particular. Is HBO worried about getting sued over all of this?

Monday, 28 March 2011

Spring Practice Means A New Start

This is my favorite time of the year, I get to wake up to those warm sunny mornings where you can smell the freshly cut grass and most importantly I get to finally ditch my winter coat. It also means spring practice has begun at Auburn University.

With several influential characters gone (Zac, Nick, Cam and Josh) it means that several new names must step up and raise their games to the potential that they were recruited for. Auburn will need to stay competitive this year, and competitive teams have those big names that can influence games and have their voices heard.

Practice reports have been promising thus far, the coaches are bigging-up several players and that can only be a positive thing. The quarterback race is also ongoing until the end of spring, and I expect it to be either Clint Mosely or Barrett Trotter taking the job. Of course that was obvious since Malzahn said he wanted the quarterback race done by the end of spring and Frazier isn't even here yet (duh).

If walk-on Logan Paul can play well and hold his own then I expect to see Kiehl Frazier red-shirted. Frazier is a player I don't expect to see until Trotter or Mosely graduates (or even jumps to the NFL, who knows?) and what's the point of wasting valuable years where he could develop just so he can see a few snaps against cupcake teams? I do think experience is very valuable but I don't want to see him used in a year that we will be rebuilding at several key positions (especially the offensive line, holy moly!).

This will also be the year to see a new set of wide recievers step up. The remaining guys (Blake, Benton, Carr etc.) will have big shoes to fill with the departure of Adams, Zachery and Burns and I think they are more than capable of doing so. Emory Blake had a solid sophomore season last year, making some big plays and big catches that will be needed once again this year.

Quindarius Carr has always found himself near the bottom of the depth chart, but he gets an opportunity in his final year to prove his worth to Trooper Taylor and the Auburn team. DeAngelo Benton is a player that has been unable to contribute much in the last two years, what with his various injuries and his rustiness of 2009. However with the newly vacated spots he gets to show his true potential and (fingers crossed) he has a monster season. I am rooting for him big time and I hope he lives up to the immense words of Trooper Taylor, who said he can "break records".

Overall I am excited to see how this team will develop and if any of the new guys can step up at several key positions. Chizik has said he will play freshman in 2011, and when you come to Auburn, you need to be able to contribute as soon as you get here.

It is still early days and I think we will see a few more twists and turns heading into september. Lets just hope that these twists and turns make us better, and not deplete our already thin depth-chart.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Are the recent happenings a cause for concern?

First of all, let me just say that this post will not be a bashing of the four ex-Auburn players that did their wrong doing, however I don't want you all to think I'm defending them either.

As you all know the past few weeks have been tough for Auburn fans, the players and the coaches. Four (former) Auburn players Antonio Goodwin, Shaun Kitchens, Dakota Mosley and Mike McNeil all committed a robbery that will most likely have them serving prison sentences for quite a while. They were immediately booted off the team by Coach Chizik and rightly so, because what they did was not a mistake (in my book), and it was totally inexcusable.

I'm still trying to figure out what went through their minds when they thought about doing what they did. Did they need money? That seems to be the common theory on it all, and if they did need money then why don't they do what every other sane human being does and get a part time job? I understand they have full time education, and workouts etc. but since we are in the offseason they must have some time to spare?

Ok, I just digressed there. The last paragraph may have come across as arrogant on my part and I don't mean to come across like that. The point I am trying to make is that this was not a mistake, this was a real instinctive decision made by all four and they are paying for it big time. But that is all in the past now, the team needs to look at itself from a realistic standpoint and think who will stand up and lead this football team next season. Mike McNeil was a senior who was supposed to set examples for the younger players. He was supposed to support and make the right decisions for the sake of the players, and evidently he failed in doing that. You would think that a person his age would know better, but sometimes it just doesn't fall the way it should.

As for the rest of them, they are true freshman who all had a chance to start next fall. The future definitely looked bright for them all and I honestly had high hopes for a few of them. I'm not one of those who thinks its ok to blame Coach Chizik for all of this. Some have blamed his character judgement of these four, and to me that doesn't make any sense. Chizik didn't make the decision for these four to do the serious crime they committed. To my knowledge none of them had any past run ins with the law, and all he can do now is move on and focus on his next task.

Going back to my earlier point, last season we had 24 seniors and had several leaders on the team such as Zac Etheridge, Aairon Savage, Josh Bynes, Antoine Carter, Lee Ziemba, Kodi Burns and Terrell Zachery. They are all gone now, and the current Auburn team has few very seniors. Who will step up next season and lead this team through the good and bad times? Who will make the decisions that others are unwilling to make and who will make the plays that will put us on the best position possible?

Michael Dyer? Dyer had an incredible freshman season in 2010 and I expect his numbers to get even better throughout his career. He has shown a real maturity through his time at Auburn so far and he is someone who I can see stepping up and leading the offense through thick and thin.

Another intriguing name is Eltoro Freeman. At this point, it is hard to currently name any veterans on Auburn's defense that will step up and lead, but his name is an interesting one. In the past he has shown some immaturity with his actions, however if he can put all of that behind him and focus on setting a good example and playing at a higher level then why can't it be him? Eltoro is a real headhunter at linebacker and he has potential to be an NFL prospect.

Those are just a few names I will throw out there, however you can never predict what will happen in 6 months time and I am anxious, but at the same time excited to see how this team will develop.

I am usually a glass half full kind of person, and staying positive is not always a bad thing since I want to think we are in a good position, I believe we are and I think the cause for concern is low at this point. What the four did was stupid, but we will not dwell on it any longer and I hope that the team will put all of this off-field drama behind them.

Buckle up people, drivel season has arrived.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Who exactly is Mike Pelton?

Auburn's search for a new defensive line coach has officially ended, because as of earlier today Mike Pelton has been hired to fill Tracy Rocker's position. So I bet your all wondering, who is Mike Pelton?

Pelton is a former Tiger, who played for Auburn in the mid-90s and was an All-SEC defensive lineman in 1994.

He previously worked under Gene Chizik at Iowa State in the 2007 season, and then moved onto Vanderbilt University a season after. He spent two years there before moving onto coach the defensive ends at Louisiana-Lafayette in January 2010.

Pelton's coaching resume is not glamourous, however as one man has proved your past coaching records/experiences shouldn't matter. As they say, you should never judge a book by its cover.