The goal is still to get their edge back.
At his National Signing Day press conference, Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn stated the main goal of the Auburn football team was to get their edge back, and at SEC Media Days Malzahn said much of the same.
"The number one thing that our players have to do to be successful is to get our edge back," Malzahn said. "That is the mental and physical toughness, the blue-collar, hard-nosed, hit-you-in-the-mouth Auburn style football that is what made Auburn great ... History shows that if Auburn can regain their edge, they compete for championships and win games."
When the Auburn Tigers hit the practice fields August 2, regaining confidence after a three win season will be key to the future success of this team, and Malzahn said he and his coaches will be demanding of the squad until he feels they are full of confidence.
Malzahn also spoke highly of his new staff, who will be with Malzahn for at least one full season.
"I feel like we have one of the top staffs in all of college football," Malzahn said. "They're all men of character. They're great examples for our players, which is the number one thing for me. And they're all very good coaches. Most college staffs have good recruiters and good coaches, and I can honestly say that we have nine guys who can flat out coach. And they will be very good coaches in the future."
Malzahn first spoke about his offensive coordinator and protege, Rhett Lashlee, who he claimed to have the utmost confidence in.
"Our offensive coordinator is Rhett Lashlee, a guy that I coached since seventh grade," Malzahn said. "He knows this offense like the back of his hand. I'm going to be working with the offense and I have a lot of confidence that (Lashlee) is going to allow me to do the things that the head coach needs to do in this league."
As Malzahn delved into the status of his relationship with the offensive coordinator, he spoke of how the offense itself would work.
"Offensively, we're a two back run-passing team that will run at a two-minute pace the entire game," Malzahn said. "Our goal is to be faster than anybody in college football and we feel like if you can execute your offense at a fast pace it's a big advantage."
While the Tigers coach gave credit to the pace of his offense, he admitted that Auburn does not yet have a for sure quarterback to run it.
"Offensively our biggest challenge going into this year is going to be our quarterback," Malzahn said. "We don't know who our quarterback is. We've got four guys and we're going to give them an equal shot. We're going to figure out who gives us the best chance of winning. Ideally, we'll figure that out sooner rather than later in fall camp, but we will not make the decision until we are 110% sure. The positive offensively is that we've actually recruited guys specifically for this offense."
Malzahn also spoke of former South Carolina defensive coordinator and Southern Miss head coach Ellis Johnson. Johnson will be changing the Auburn defense from a 3-4 to a 4-2-5 scheme- a measure he hopes will transform the Tigers for the best.
"Our defensive coordinator is Ellis Johnson, one of the best defensive coordinators in all of college football. He's very sound, fundamentally sound ... We'll be running a 4-2-5 defense which allows us to put three safeties on the field. It allows us to put a little more speed on the field, and a little more athleticism."
Malzahn later said the team has a lot of seniors, which is obviously good for the team experience-wise. He also said there are a lot of freshmen and while they are talented, they need to grow up to contend in the ultra-competitive SEC.
Malzahn ended his statement with, "we need to improve each practice, and we need to improve each game, and if we can do that we have a chance to have a successful season."
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