Chizik support still strong in locker room


The calls for Gene Chizik's job began halfway into what can now be considered the worst Auburn team in the program's 120 year history.

After finishing the season 3-9 and going winless in an eight-game conference schedule for the first time ever, those calls may soon be answered.

The players, however, think Chizik can return the program to its not-so-past glory.

After the Tigers were dominated by Alabama in what Chizik called a "disappointing and embarassing" 49-0 loss in Tuscaloosa Saturday, Nov. 24, freshman starting quarterback Jonathan Wallace said he believes Chizik is the right man for the job.

"Definitely, he should be back," Wallace said when asked if Chizik should remain the head coach. "I definitely love Coach Chizik and the whole coaching staff. They know exactly where this program needs to go, and they know what to do. I really hope they are back next year."

Chizik said after the game that he wasn't "going to go into any of the job situation."

"This isn't about me," Chizik said.

Chizik isn't the only coach on the hot seat on The Plains. Highly touted coordinators Scot Loeffler and Brian VanGorder were brought in this season to change what had been a predictable offense and a lackluster defense.

This season, Auburn has the tenth-worst offense in the nation and the No. 76 ranked defense.

Senior wide receiver Emory Blake played his last game for the Tigers Saturday night, but said after the game that the offense still believes Loeffler's system can work.

"He came in with a lot of new stuff that we hadn't seen before and we were confident in it and still am confident in Coach Loeffler," Blake said.

Blake also said the team's losses this year stem from lack of execution and not talent or play calling.

Although he's not returning to the team, Blake agreed with his quarterback and said he thinks Chizik is still the answer for Auburn.

"I do," Blake said. "I really do, but that's not my decision to make."

With the Iron Bowl loss, the Tigers' offseason has begun and the organization must decide what moves will get the program back in the upper echelons of the SEC and the nation.

Numerous names have been thrown out as candidates to assume control of the floundering Tigers, but Wallace said a new coach would not help the team.

"I really don't agree with that at all," Wallace said when asked if a new hire would turn the program around. "I don't even have a comment for that.

"Coach Chizik knows what to do, and it's going to change. A lot of things are going to change. We had a bad year, and now we've got to do something to change it. I really believe...we're going to buy into this thing and get this thing rolling."

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