Tigers Still Have A Lot To Learn On Offense

Auburn's new offensive coordinator says the Tigers are still in the early stages of learning the West Coast Offense.

Auburn, Ala.--New offensive coordinator Al Borges says the Auburn Tigers are "just scratching the surface" on installing his version of the West Coast Offense.

The Tigers have eight more spring practices remaining and after that they won't be able to practice again until two-a-days start in August.

"What we are doing here is we are putting in kind of a starter set West Coast Offense," Borges says. "As the kids learn more about it, and understand it, we will build on it. We are a long ways away from the whole package."

Borges says it is much too early for him to know how much of the system will be installed by the start of Auburn's 2004 football season. "There is no way to tell," says the coach, who notes that he won't be able to answer that question until close to game time.

"You could get to a point where you have to throw some stuff out," he says. "If you feel like you are just not executing certain plays, you have got to pull back.

"If we are still being paralyzed by analysis, we have got to throw some plays out," the coach says. "There is nothing more difficult to deal with than a comfortable, talented player. If he is comfortable and talented you have got problems. You can paralyze a great player by confusing him. We are increasingly aware of that as coaches."

Al Borges

The Tigers are scheduled to have their second major scrimmage of the spring on Saturday. The annual A-Day intrasquad scrimmage will be played a week after that.

After a two-day layoff, the Tigers returned to the practice field on Tuesday for the seventh of 15 spring practice dates. "We put in our bunch series," Borges says. "It is a series of shallow crossing plays, which is a stable of our offense. It is still kind of embryonic. We don't really understand it yet and we kept them after practice a little bit and took them through some of the paces.

"For the first day they didn't do too bad a job," he adds. "We will go back and review a lot of that stuff this week and hopefully iron out some the kinks."

Borges, who also coaches the quarterbacks, says that there is plenty of room for improvement from that group. "We are a ways off a well-oiled machine, but I will say this in fairness, too, we showed some flashes of brilliance at times. The kids did some really nice things.

"There are so many little things we are not doing well," Borges notes. "In this style of play, the little things are just so critical--footwork flaws, stepping into the target, timing flaws on throws. We are still not there and we are not going to be in six or seven practices, but hopefully by the end of the spring we will have a clue how to do it and we can refine it in two-a-days."

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