Gus Malzahn, the new head coach of the Auburn Tigers, may have just put a lot of unwanted pressure on himself and his new quarterback, without meaning to do so.
At the Southeastern Conference spring meetings in Destin, Florida on Wednesday, Malzahn was asked what type of quarterback he needs to run his fast-paced system. Malzahn’s answer seemed benign enough when he said, “we’ve had a lot of different quarterbacks, and some of them were throwers and some of them were runners.”
Translation: this offense is so good and so structured, anybody can play behind center and we’ll be successful.
With that statement, the pressure is now on the player that emerges as Auburn’s quarterback for the 2013 season. That player has yet to be named, even after the Tigers finished spring drills.
Malzahn, who was the Auburn offensive coordinator during his previous stint at the school, is still living with the fact that he coached Cam Newton to a Heisman Trophy and a BCS National Championship. Now, the Alabama media and likely the Auburn fans expect Malzahn to produce the same type of numbers upon his return.
That doesn’t seem likely seeing as there is no clear-cut leader in the quarterback race at this point. The starter will be selected from the quintet of Kiehl Frazier, Jeremy Johnson, Nick Marshall, Jason Smith and Jonathan Wallace. There’s likely not a Cam Newton in that bunch.
Malzahn and his new quarterback will now be forced to produce. While the head coach will likely hold up his end of the bargain, the new starting signal caller will have quite of bit of pressure on him due to his coach’s comments on Wednesday in Destin.