Voice Of The Tigers Bramblett Talks Auburn's Offense
By Dan Harralson
It's preparation for game week — finally.
After spring ball, summer workouts and fall camp, it's finally time for teams to showcase their hard work on the football field come Saturday. For the Auburn Tigers, it's about unfinished business and trying to do something no SEC school has been able to do since 1997-98 — win the conference in consecutive seasons. Tennessee did it those two seasons with a strong offense, and Auburn will look to do the same this fall.
A lot of people considered Auburn as being one-dimensional on offense a season ago, but Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn was able to disguise his passing game through a successful run game in 2013. That is not being one-dimensional. That is being well coached.
One thing that is certain and which won't be disguised is Auburn's passing game. I sat down with the voice of the Auburn Tigers, Rod Bramblett, about how explosive the defending SEC champions are now through the air.
"I think it will be a lot of the same stuff, but different if that makes any sense," Bramblett said. "I think Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee are shooting to be more balanced. Teams have had an entire offseason to try and come up with ways to slow down Auburn's run attack.
"It was good being dominant on the ground last year, but I think they are preparing to be more balanced, and I think they will be.
The Tigers may be aiming for more balance, but their ground game will still be a focal point and catalyst for Malzahn's offense.
"There's no Tre Mason, but there's really four or five guys," Bramblett said. "Cameron Artis-Payne, Corey Grant are returning, Peyton Barber and Roc Thomas are true freshmen, and (there is) a physical back in another true freshman, Kamryn Pettway. There are weapons back there.
With a plethora of weapons in Auburn's backfield, it should only continue to open up the passing game. with Malzahn's ability to disguise the passing game around his ground game, it's a telling point how much better the 2014 Auburn offense will be.
The passing game should flourish with the stockpile of talented Auburn wide receivers.
"Sammie Coates comes back," Bramblett said, "then you have Duke Williams. He can play just about anywhere, they'll flank him out and place him in the slot. They (Coates and Williams) are two big, physical receivers, and then behind them you have terrific playmakers in Quan Bray, Ricardo Louis, Marcus Davis, C.J. Uzomah. I think, in a lot of ways, Auburn will be better on offense this year.
Auburn's offense also has the luxury of having probably the best offensive line in the conference. It is centered around experience and leadership. You can read former Auburn center Cole Cubelic and I break down the offensive line from spring ball back in May. It also helps that Malzahn brings back his first returning quarterback at Auburn in Nick Marshall.
Projected Offensive Depth Chart
1. Nick Marshall 2. Jeremy Johnson 3. Sean White 4. Jonathan Wallace
1. Cameron Artis-Payne/Corey Grant 3. Peyton Barber/Roc Thomas/Kamryn Pettway
1. C.J. Uzomah 2. Brandon Fulse
1. Brandon Fulse 2. C.J. Uzomah 3. Jakell Mitchell
1. Shon Coleman 2. Braden Smith
1. Chad Slade 2. Devonte Danzey
1. Reese Dismukes 2. Xavier Dampeer
1. Avery Young 2. Devonte Danzey 3. Jordan Diamond/Will Adams
1. Pat Miller 2. Robert Leff
1. Sammie Coates 2. D’haquille Williams 3. Tony Stevens
1. D’haquille Williams 2. Melvin Ray
1. Marcus Davis 2. Stanton Truitt
1. Ricardo Louis 2. Quan Bray