Offensive Staff Busy Getting Better

Offensive coordinator Al Borges talks about keeping an offense from becoming routine by studying opponents.

Auburn, Ala.–-This week will be a long one for both Blake Field and Calvin Booker as both are trying to lock down the back-up job at quarterback behind Brandon Cox for the Auburn Tigers. After two weeks of practice time the two are locked in a tight battle for the position and offensive coordinator Al Borges said that having to make the choice and tell the kids isn't a fun job.

"It's tough," Borges said. "The only thing about it is, all of our kids there's a light at the end of the tunnel. It's not like ‘that guy's just terrible, get him out of there'. Every guy has shown flashes of brilliance and flashes of inexperience. Regardless of who you decide on, I think the kids, in time, have a chance to play in this conference. Whether it's next year or two years, they have a chance.

"Whoever you choose that doesn't mean they're going to (stay there), because things are ever changing. Guys get hurt and you get new recruits in, some guy plays better in a game than he does in practice. I see the ability to play in the conference, but with the younger guys I just don't see the consistency you've got to have. But, that's natural."

Redshirt freshman Blake Field is currently battling for the back-up quarterback job.

No matter who is taking snaps under center for the Tigers this season chances are they'll have some different offensive packages than Jason Campbell did last season. Not content to sit back and do the same things, Borges and the offensive staff took a trip to Indianapolis to visit the Colts over the summer to study their passing game. Also long hours were spent in the film room watching offensive units throughout the country. Borges said you do that to avoid becoming stale.

"My ultimate horror in football, my ultimate nightmare, is to let the game pass me by," Borges said. "I don't ever want anyone to say ‘oh God, that Borges is still doing the same stuff he did in 1986'. So I, and the rest of our coaches, are constantly trying to stay up on contemporary techniques whether it be in college or pro ball.

"We visit pro teams, we get pro tapes and college tapes. I study everybody we play's offense once I have been over all of our cut-ups. I look at Tennessee, I look at Georgia, every team we play, the Citadel, every team we play because somebody has got a good idea in there that may fit our personnel. As long as I think it fits the personnel then it's a legitimate idea. If it doesn't fit the personnel then I'm not interested."

In addition to the trips Borges also talks to coaches from around the country such as Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow and former San Francisco 49er coach Mark Trestman. While peers such as those two help iron out some problems on offense, Borges said that most of the time he gets all the help he needs from within the Auburn staff.

"Fortunately I've got a lot of real experienced football coaches who also offer some great input with regards to how to use our players," Borges said. "They do the same thing I do. They're looking at plays all the time and coming in ‘hey, what do you think about this?'. Greg Knox came in and drew up a little vice route scheme. I have a great sounding board on this staff, both running game and passing game."


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