Lashlee: No Timetable For QB Decision

Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee talks about the quarterback battle for the Tigers heading into fall camp.

Auburn, Ala.--When the Auburn Tigers hit the practice field on Aug. 2 there is no question that much of the focus will be at the quarterback position. With less than a month until the season opener against Washington State on Aug. 31, finding the trigger man for the offense is a huge part of things for offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.

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With Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace back after playing last season and newcomers Nick Marshall and Jeremy Johnson in the mix as well, Lashlee said they would like to make a decision as soon as possible but they're not going to rush things.

"There's no cutoff line," Lashlee said. "We have on our mind a date that, 'Hey, we'd like to know by now.' As quick as we can make that decision, we're going to make it. When it becomes evident that this is the individual that needs to lead our football team and gives us the best chance to win, I don't think you wait. I think you make that call and you give your team as much time leading up to that first game as you can, to develop continuity and give them all the reps with the right guys.

"Fall camp is what, four, four and half weeks before your first game? So I think a couple of weeks in is reasonable. But at the same time, we've done it before and I know of plenty of other people that wait until the week before the first game. If you have to, you'll do that, because I think the most important thing is getting it right. If you get it right, then everything else will fall into place. What you don't want to do is try to rush to get it done so quick that you get it wrong."

While Frazier and Wallace have a big advantage on the two newcomers after going through spring practice, Lashlee said in the end it's not going to be a huge deal because of the summer workouts. Getting to learn from the two veterans as well as their teammates in the "Captain's Practices" three days a week this summer, Lashlee said that both Marshall and Johnson should be up to speed with the basics when they hit the field next month.

"I think if you get in during the summer and you can have a couple of weeks -- which they're all getting -- to work out with our guys, then they're at least going to be exposed to the basic things that we do," Lashlee said. "Being with the older guys, they're out there working on their own and they'll be doing the stuff that they learned during the spring, that way those young guys will get to be exposed to it. So when they come into my meeting on day one, it's not like it's the first time they've ever heard it.

"You know how it is with anything. If you've learned it once -- even it wasn't in detail -- you still learned it. There's exposure. There's quicker recall, there's quicker pick-up. I think the fact that coming in either summer session is big. To me, if you didn't come in during a summer session, that's when you'd be at a real disadvantage. So the fact that all four guys have been here since about June 18, I think will bode well going into fall camp."

The toughest thing for Lashlee to deal with in fall camp may be the distribution of reps for the four quarterbacks early in the practices. Because Frazier and Wallace are more familiar with things it would seem reasonable to give the two newcomers more work early to see what they can do, but Lashlee said they're going to divide things up as equally as possible until someone steps forward and takes the job.

"I don't know if it will necessarily be more reps, I'm going to have to be creative on the way we put them in certain situations just to make sure," Lashlee said of his two new players. "At the same time in fairness to Kiehl and Jonathan, from what I hear they've worked extremely hard this summer. I would think that they've made great strides since the spring. All four guys are going to get a fair and equal shot."


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