Franklin Sees Good and Bad In Final Scrimmage

Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin talks about the play of his quarterbacks in the final spring scrimmage and the big plays from the wide receivers.

Auburn, Ala.--On a night when the offense had several big plays in the passing game, it was the steady play of the quarterbacks that caught the eye of offensive coordinator Tony Franklin. With Kodi Burns and Chris Todd both playing mistake-free football in Auburn's final scrimmage of the spring, Franklin said he was encouraged by what he saw out of the offense as a whole.

"It's like everything there was good and bad," Franklin said. "I'm sure when I see the film I'll never be as sad and never be as happy. Generally I was pleased. I wish we had started a little earlier, the defense got after us good and had three good series in a row. I never get flustered or frustrated because I know eventually it's going to work. It might be the second quarter or it might be third, but it's going to work sometime. As long as everybody stays patient and they play hard it will start to work.

"I thought they both played very well," Franklin said of his two first-team quarterbacks. "I was tickled with Chris and I was tickled with Kodi. Kodi has made a dramatic improvement playing and throwing the ball. He's made a dramatic improvement as a leader. He made a couple of calls out there where he changed things. I was tickled with that. Chris moved the team and did some really good stuff too. We've got a great problem. We've got two really good quarterbacks. That's a good thing not a bad thing."

Finishing the night 14-18 for 213 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, Burns had his best practice of the spring and the best since he's been at Auburn. Running the team flawlessly, Burns even checked against the blitz as he hit Terrell Zachery for a first down after changing the play. Franklin said he liked what he saw out of Burns on Wednesday night.

"It's great because we work on a drill every day that we call zero drill," Franklin said. "Zero drill means they've got one more guy than we can block and you're going to get hit in the mouth. You have to throw it early and you have to put air under it. That's always good to see when your drills pay off and that they do it under fire. He actually changed the play. He signaled it, he saw it, and he got rid of it. It was a great job."

Tommy Trott goes up high to catch a pass in front of Zac Etheridge.

Maybe the biggest news offensively in the scrimmage was the amount of big plays by the wide receivers. Zachery, Chris Slaughter, Rod Smith and James Swinton all had good nights as did tight end Tommy Trott. Franklin said it was good to see them make plays after the catch for big yardage.

"I told them from the day that we've gotten here that anybody can make an average play, catch the ball and get tackled and fall down," Franklin said. "If you do the little things right like get your body low and get straight up the field, then you can make the play. Every now and then somebody is going to miss a tackle and you're going to run through a guy.

"I'm really proud of that and that was a phenomenal play Rod made at the end. I messed it up on the goal line trying to do something I shouldn't have done. Swinton, I was tickled to death with the plays he made. Zachery continues to make plays. Some guys have made the plays and answered the call. Steve (Ensminger) and Greg (Knox) have done a great job of coaching those guys and making them better."

While there wasn't a whole lot to be excited about in the run game with very little work out of the scholarship backs after the first few series, Franklin did get a chance to see Tristan Davis break loose for the first time as the speedster raced 69 yards for a score. Franklin said he's looking for big things out of Davis next fall because he'll be an important part of things along with Brad Lester and Ben Tate.

"He's fast," Franklin said. "The nice thing is when he broke into the open field he was going to finish. You've got to have three running backs minimal in this conference to survive and especially the tempo we play you're going to have at least two minimal and probably three every game that are going to have to carry the ball and do all the things we ask them to do. It's nice because you have Lester and then you have Tate and Davis who are a chance of pace. It's a nice combination."

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