Quarterbacks Busy Learning New Offense

The competition to be Auburn's starting quarterback is secondary to learning new offense this spring.

Auburn, Ala.-- If there was any doubt where the competition stood between quarterbacks Clint Moseley, Kiehl Frazier and Zeke Pike heading into Auburn's spring practice, new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler quickly removed it.

"If he says it's wide open, it's wide open," Moseley said. "He don't beat around the bush about anything. He's pretty direct. You can take it to the bank if he says it.

"He says it's wide open, so I can promise you it is wide open because he doesn't owe me anything, he doesn't owe Kiehl anything, he doesn't owe Zeke anything," Moseley says. "He really doesn't know us so he's going to pick the best one. That's how it should be."

Moseley throws a pass in Saturday's practice.

However, the race to be named starter isn't the top priority for Auburn's quarterbacks at the moment, a point on which both Moseley and Frazier agree.

"It's just spring right now, so it's probably going into August, so really we're more worried about getting better right now than who's going to start and all that," Frazier said.

"You know there's going to be competition in the new offense and everything," Moseley said. "It's the least of our worries, really. I think I speak for the rest of the guys--we're trying to learn the offense and we can't really look at it that way."

Moseley said Loeffler is stressing that the quarterbacks are one unit.

"If one person messes up, we all pay for it, which, I mean, I complain about it when I'm running, but it really helps," Moseley said.

Frazier, who said he gained some velocity on his throws because of offseason workouts, noted that the competition between he and Moseley has only strengthened their friendship.

"It probably made us closer friends actually because since we're learning this new offense together, we're together all the time," Frazier pointed out. "So we've definitely kind of built a bond."

Loeffler's offense will likely look very different from the offense Auburn ran under Gus Malzahn, who is now the head man at Arkansas State. It will include something that became a rare sight when the Tigers went on offense under Malzahn—a quarterback taking a snap from under center.

"I like it," said Frazier. "I haven't done it much ever in my career, but we worked on it a lot with Coach Loeffler, and I'm getting the hang of it."

"It's completely different," said Moseley of Loeffler's offense. "I mean completely different pretty much sums it up."

One difference that Frazier noted is Loeffler's willingness to give the quarterbacks more latitude in calling audibles at the line of scrimmage based upon what they see the defense doing, instead of looking to the sidelines for direction.

"It's different because last year we didn't really make any calls at all, so this year, going from just saying ‘black, black, go,' to doing all this, it's a lot different," Frazier said. "I think we'll have a little more freedom at the line to kind of pick the play. But definitely Coach Loeffler's calling 95 percent of the plays, but we'll have more leniency."

Kiehl Frazier throws a pass in Saturday's practice.

While Frazier was used almost exclusively as a running option at quarterback last season, he expects to have a much different role in Loeffler's offense, saying he hopes he won't be running as much as he did last year.

"I'm not anticipating having to go in and run the sweep every time, but we'll see," Frazier said. "Whatever Coach Loeffler thinks will be best."

Moseley describes Loeffler as an intense coach who makes practice fun and finds a good balance between criticizing and praising his quarterbacks' performances.

"He knows what he's doing for sure," Moseley said. "The thing about him that's really getting to everybody is he's serious and he makes sure our work is done. He makes it fun, he makes it interesting.

Clint Moseley said the competition is wide open to be AU starting quarterback.

"He's honest, but he finds a pretty good medium of not stressing himself too much," noted Moseley. "If he notices somebody is having a hard time, he doesn't pound it. That's when he kind of steps back. He tells us when we're doing good."

The Tigers' quarterbacks will hit the field again Monday morning for the third of Auburn's 15 spring practices.

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