Loeffler Talks Offensive Style, Quarterbacks

Auburn Offensive Coordinator Scot Loeffler discusses his philosophy, his plans at Auburn, what he's looking for in a quarterback, and much more.

Auburn, Ala.—With one year of experience as an offensive coordinator under his belt and years of experience as an assistant running several different systems, Auburn's first-year coordinator Scot Loeffler still isn't sure which direction the Tigers will be heading in as they prepare for spring practice. Scheduled to begin March 21, this spring will be an important one for the players and coaches as Loeffler tries to get a feel for what he has to work with at quarterback and the other 10 positions on the field.

"The one thing that I know we're going to do is we're going to run the football," Loeffler said. "We're going to have sound protection schemes to take advantage of all the en-vogue fire zones and great schemes you get out of these coordinators. We'll have a quick game and play-action and we're going to tailor the whole thing around what our offensive line and our quarterback can do and the skill players we have. I wish I could give you more than that right now, but we're in a process of evaluation.

"We just started that process earlier in the week," he added. "That's an ongoing process and it will be an ongoing process through spring. Obviously I have the feedback of all the coaches and what they think. What we're going to do is going to be an everyday process to get us to where we want to be."

With junior Clint Moseley and sophomore Kiehl Frazier both gaining some valuable experience last season and incoming freshman Zeke Pike already enrolled and ready to go through the spring, the quarterback position is one that will get a long look from Loeffler. He said there has been no talk of naming a starter at this time and it's something he and Coach Gene Chizik will sit down and discuss throughout the spring.

Instead his focus has been on trying to get spring plans together and ready to start working on the offense. Still with way more questions and answers about what he's got to work with, Loeffler said the one thing he knows for sure is that he has to be able to adapt what he's doing to suit the talent he'll see on the field.

"You need to make sure that you have a system that is very flexible so you can go in whatever direction in the middle of spring ball or the end of spring ball that you think you're at," Loeffler said. "That's what we're doing right now is trying to create a system that is extremely flexible, extremely user-friendly. We're going to tailor it to what our kids can do, particularly the offensive line and the quarterback, and what kind of skill we have."

One of the biggest questions marks surrounding Loeffler's hire is what style of offense will he run? Coming from a spread system at both Florida and Temple and running more of a West Coast system at Michigan, he has the ability and knowledge to do both. He said because of that he sees some of both influencing what he'll do on the Plains.

"The protection schemes and the route principles are West Coast," Loeffler said. "Those are what they are. I don't even know what West Coast is anymore. I don't know what Digit System (similar to West Coast system ex. Don Coryell) is anymore. I watch the New England Patriots, who are the en-vogue offense, and they are running West Coast principles. I watch the three-digit teams and they are running West Coast principles. I don't know what that stuff means anymore. The purest West Coast people are not purists anymore. Everyone is dibbling and dabbling what is best and coming up with a system. They might use a little different terminology, but a stick route is a stick route is a stick route."

Known as a quarterback coach first and foremost with names such as Tom Brady and Tim Tebow his most famous pupils, Loeffler said because of the time spent on the recruiting trail and in the film room he hasn't gotten much of a chance to sit down and talk with Moseley, Frazier and Pike. With so much potential waiting to be coached he said it's hard for him to wait until spring practice begins to see what they can do.

"I've gotten to meet them, but I haven't had any hands-on work because of the rules," Loeffler said. "That's something I'm really chomping at the bit to get going with. I want to get out there with them. It's always fun when you take a young guy and see where you can take him in a short period of time. I want to get going right now with that. I wish it was different, but unfortunately we have to wait for another month when spring ball begins.

"I have watched several games and they all have different characteristics," he added. "They all bring a little bit of different things to the plate."

Because of his history around some of the best quarterbacks in the game Loeffler should have a very good idea of what he's looking for in a quarterback both on campus and on the recruiting trail. He said while ability and arm strength are very important, in the end Loeffler said the quarterback position is sometimes about guys who just have the ability to get the job done and make his teammates better. That's what he wants at Auburn.

"The ‘it' factor," Loeffler said. "The ‘it' factor, intelligence, toughness, and the ability to run and throw. At the end of the day I would love a 6-4, 235-pound guy that has a high SAT score, is a leader in every sense of the word, the kind of guy that when you walk into a school and ask the janitor, the teacher and the counselor what kind of guy he is and they all say he's a five-star guy. We're looking for a guy that has the ‘it' factor. At the end of the day the ‘it' factor is how we win at that position. You better have talent of course, but talent without the ‘it' factor and you're not going to win too many games with that guy."

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