New Offense, New Opportunities For Dunn

Auburn senior wide receiver Robert Dunn talks about the offense in Auburn's first spring scrimmage.

Auburn, Ala.--Last season Auburn wide receiver Robert Dunn caught 14 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games leading up to the bowl game against Clemson.

In Saturday's first spring scrimmage, Dunn caught eight passes for 63 yards and one score on the heels of a five-catch performance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Those are the kinds of numbers Dunn says he expects every time out under new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin. In a no-huddle attack that is expected to feature many more plays than the Tigers ran last season, Dunn points out the difference for him as a receiver has been night and day in the new offense.

"I'm having a lot of fun," Dunn says. "I have been having a lot of fun since November. It's a whole lot of fun coming out and competing with the guys every day. We've got a lot of young guys. Q (Quindarius Carr) made some good plays and Charles Olatunji made a great catch over the middle."

While the scrimmage wasn't perfect, there were plenty of positives to build on as the offense threw for 431 yards and four touchdowns. There were also some mistakes with two interceptions as well, but Dunn notes that overall he was pleased for a first dress rehearsal since the bowl game.

"I think it went pretty good," he says. "We're not where we need to be right now. We've got a long way to go, but for the first scrimmage I think we did pretty decent. We've come a long way since the bowl game. We're learning the offense a lot more. We've got a lot more plays in now so we're more versatile as an offense."

Robert Dunn makes a catch in Auburn's victory at Arkansas last season.

One of Auburn's more versatile performers with his ability to play inside and outside, Dunn has bounced around under Franklin and now has made another move. Outside to start the spring, Dunn has moved back inside with the injury Tim Hawthorne (broken bone in his arm) that will keep him out the remainder of spring practice.

"I'm back inside now," Dunn says. "They're really trying to make me learn the whole offense so if anybody ever goes down they've got a guy who can come in and play all the positions. I think that's good for me because I kind of like the outside, but I like inside too. Coach Franklin is just trying to use me in all aspects."

It's obvious that Auburn's offensive players are excited about the potential of their new offense to put up big numbers with its up-tempo style of play. Dunn says playing fast is something he and his teammates like about the Tony Franklin spread offense and the junior says he believes it gives the offense an edge.

"I feel that way because a lot of the receivers are in great shape," Dunn says. "Coach Yox (Strength and Conditioning Coach Kevin Yoxall) does a great job in conditioning with us. The defense is kind of trying to get their plays so by the time they're ready to go we're snapping the ball. We catch them off guard. The faster the tempo was the more we succeeded in the play we were running.

"We're just working on right now getting into the habit of constantly going fast. Some plays we'll be on the ball and snap it as soon as the whistle blows. There were other plays where we were kind of moping around. There toward the end we kind of got tired, but for the most part we did pretty good."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories