Offensive Coordinator In Better Mood

Tony Franklin discusses the play of the quarterbacks as well as the offense as the Tigers prepare to play their annual A-Day Game.

Auburn, Ala.--Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was not a happy coach after Tuesday's football practice, the first session for the Auburn Tigers following a layoff for spring break.

On Thursday, Franklin's mood was better as the Tigers finished their 12th of 15 spring practices. The offense spent a good bit of the session polishing the running game and spent less time passing the football.

"There were a lot of good things today," he says. "We were very simple. We spent eight periods working on short yardage under the center stuff, which we needed and the defense needed us to do it.

"The goal line period was good, something we needed. We were very simple in our passing game today. I just wanted to get Kodi and Chris a lot of reps of the same stuff so I keep watching them and try to see them improve and kind of compare them a little bit."

The Tigers will tune up on Friday at 4 p.m. with a workout in shorts in preparation for their annual spring A-Day Game that will kick off at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Commenting on what he hopes to see from the offense on Saturday, Franklin says, "Play hard, play fast and don't get hurt and be successful. That is the main thing. We are going to be very simple and not do hardly anything--just our base stuff and that is about it."

The spring game will be an opportunity to evaluate quarterbacks Kodi Burns and Chris Todd, who are competing for the starting spot vacated by Brandon Cox. Franklin said on Tuesday that those two QBs will get the bulk of the snaps in practices and scrimmages.

"I think they will both get better every day now," he says. "I think today Chris probably had a lot better day than Kodi did throwing the football, but Kodi will come back tomorrow and he will do well then and it will be good competition.

"Kodi is never as good when he is not a threat to run," Franklin states. "When he is a threat to run he is a lot better player and you just have to understand that and know it. You just have to call a different game when those two guys are in the ball game."

Ben Tate (44) looks for running room at Thursday's practice.

Todd, who missed the first scrimmage of the spring with a sore arm, threw the ball with more pace on Thursday because of a lighter throwing load, Franklin says. "He would have normally thrown about 120 more balls before we got to the team stuff today--the skelly and the team," Franklin points out. "We did this other stuff (running game installation) so we didn't have to throw a pass.

"What happens as the day wears on, it gets worse," he says of Todd's arm. "We have got to start counting his throws a little bit and let him get off a little."

Franklin says it is common for QBs to have days when they need to rest their arms. "It is very seldom that you have one that doesn't sometimes need a day off or a lot of throws off. You just kind of have to watch them as they go, see how they are doing and then adjust."

After Saturday's A-Day Game, the Tigers will wrap up spring drills with a practice and scrimmage on Wednesday.

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