New Coordinator Comments On AU's QB Play

Al Borges, Auburn's new offensive coordinator, comments on what he has seen from watching video of Jason Campbell.

Auburn, Ala.--Al Borges says that he likes what he has seen on video of the player likely to be calling his offense this fall.

Jason Campbell is the returning starter at quarterback and will be the heavy favorite to retain that status in 2004 as a fifth-year senior. However, to do that he will have to master a new system that will be installed this spring by Borges, who Tommy Tuberville has hired as Auburn's new offensive coordinator. Borges takes charge of the AU offense this week after being hired on Friday.

"First of all, he is a real good looking kid," Borges says. "He looks like you want him to look. He looks like he has got a big arm. He looks like he can make some things happen when there is nothing there.

"There is nothing better as a player caller, when you don't call the play perfectly, the guy can still do something. He looks like he has those type of skills.

"Now, I want to get with him and I want to get in his head a little bit and I want to get a better feel for the kid's makeup, but from what I see on the tapes this kid is good," Borges adds. "The sky is the limit. This kid can be as good as he wants to be."

Al Borges

Borges says he hasn't decided if he will be the quarterback's position coach or leave that job for Steve Ensminger, who coached Campbell last season.

"I am going to handle him with the style that I handle most players," Borges says of Campbell. "I am going to coach him the best I can and get a feel for his personality.

"I have had other kids in that situation and that is tough. It is not easy. I think if you don't try to re-invent the wheel and try improve on some of the things he doesn't do as well and don't screw up the things he does well, I think you have a chance."

One of Borges' success stories as an offensive coordinator and quarterback coach came at UCLA, where he helped Cade McNown develop into one of the nation's top signal callers. McNown passed for 10,708 career yards for the Bruins.

Jason Campbell has 27 career starts as the Auburn quarterback.

"When I got to UCLA, Cade McNown was a real ambitious kid," Borges remembers. "He really wanted to be good, but he was not a real fundamental kid. He thought he could run the ball when he should have passed and sometimes he passed it when he probably should have run it. What we did was we broke his game down and looked at every tape at everything he did--every decision he made.

"What we tried to do was to get him to understand is that when we called a pass play, we are calling it because we want to throw it," Borges says. "We are going to pass the ball for miles and we are going to run the ball for yards. Once I sold him on that, I think he became a better passer."

Borges comes to Auburn from two seasons at Indiana after previous coordinator stops at Cal, UCLA, Oregon, Boise State, Portland State and Diablo Valley, a small college in California, the state where he grew up and started his coaching career in the high school ranks in 1975.


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