Power Boost From An Old Pro?

Tommy Tuberville is bringing in a former NFL player and coach to evaluate Auburn's offense, which has struggled in two of three games this season.

Auburn, Ala.--Head football coach Tommy Tuberville has brought in former NFL coach and quarterback Zeke Bratkowski to study the Auburn offense during an off-week for the Tigers.

"Zeke is someone I have known for a long time and respect his opinion on offensive play," says Tuberville. "I have called him from time to time over the years and decided this is a good time to have him come in and evaluate everything we are doing--running, passing, formations, everything."

Although he is officially retired after an NFL career as a quarterback for the Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers and later as a coach in the league, Tuberville says that Bratkowski still does consulting work with National Football League teams.

"Zeke came in today and started looking at cutups of our offense," Tuberville said. The Tigers' head coach said he had discussed Auburn's offense with Bratkowski in past years and considered bringing him in to consult in previous seasons, but says this is the first time the former University of Georgia star has been to Auburn to study the AU offense

After being shut out by Southern Cal in the opener and scoring just three points in game two at Georgia Tech, the Tigers were ranked near the bottom of the national statistics for scoring offense and total offense. A 45-point outburst against Vandy last week, which included 483 yards of total offense, improved those numbers. However, the Tigers are averaging just 16 points and 292.3 points per game. Last year Auburn averaged 29.8 points per game along with 387.5 yards per contest.

"He wasn't involved with anything we did last week against Vanderbilt," says Tuberville. "He is just getting started." Tuberville says he is very interested to find out what Bratkowski has to say about the Tigers' offense after having enough time to form opinions. "He is considered a very good evaluator of offenses and quarterbacks and that is why we brought him in," Tuberville adds.

Bratkowski, a native of Danville, Ill., led the nation in passing at the University of Georgia. He also led the nation in punting and was captain of the 1953 team as a senior. A second round pick of the Chicago Bears, he played one season before spending two years in the Air Force prior to returning to football. He later played for the Rams, where he was a starter, and was traded to Green Bay in 1963 where he had his greatest pro success, including two Super Bowl champion teams.

Auburn does not have a game this Saturday and will be back in action on Sept. 27th vs. Western Kentucky. A week later the Tigers face a major SEC test vs. Tennessee.


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