QB Competition "Nothing But Positive"

Tony Franklin discusses all four quarterbacks, including the battle for No. 1.

Auburn, Ala.--The quarterback battle between Chris Todd and Kodi Burns has continued through six practices this preseason with neither pulling away from the other.

Both have their strengths and both have their weaknesses. Perhaps the biggest strength that Todd and Burns share is that they're leaders and the rest of the will respond, no matter if it's #12 or #18 taking the snaps from center.

"It's a really good problem," offensive coordinator Tony Franklin says of the competition. "It's the best problem I think I've had in my life. I've had a lot of problems, but this is a really good one.

"They're both good, they're both competitive, they're both leaders, they both like each other and the team likes both of them," he continues. "That's a really good problem. There is nothing negative about it at all. It's nothing but positive."

Coming out of the spring the two QBs were deadlocked. Having different talents, Franklin said that both would be expected to play and that is still anticipated when the Tigers take the field against Louisiana-Monroe on Aug. 30.

"It's one of those deals that the problem is so good that I don't even want to think about it right now--just keep evaluating everyday and realizing that regardless of that, they're both going to play," Franklin notes. "They're both good enough to win so they're both going to play."

With four scholarship quarterbacks on campus, sophomore Neil Caudle and true freshman Barrett Trotter are battling for the third spot in the rotation.

"It's a good competition," Franklin says of Caudle and Trotter. "They're very comparable in their strengths and their size and the things they do well. It's a good race.

"The thing with Barrett is that he hasn't gotten enough reps, which is my fault," he continues. "He's going to get more reps as time goes by, but the other two--the first two--need most of the reps right now. He's done really well when he's gotten reps. He's completing an extremely high percentage of his passes. He doesn't show any fear. He's like anybody--he's got some things he's got to get better on, but he's pretty good."

Franklin also had high praise for the running backs and receivers when discussing the progress made by his offense through six practices.

"I feel really good," he notes. "If we can stay healthy--just like every team in this conference especially, but every team in America--if you can get lucky and stay healthy then you've got a chance to be really good. I think we have a chance to be really good if we can stay healthy."

Thursday is the first two-a-days for Auburn this August. The second practice of the day is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. (and subject to change.) The Tigers will also practice on Friday prior to a scrimmage on Saturday morning at the stadium.

That scrimmage, the first of the preseason, will be closed to the public.

Asked of the goals for the scrimmage, Franklin responded, "Stay healthy, number one. The most important thing is to stay healthy. If we can stay healthy I'm tickled to death. That's number one. Number two is be polished. Don't turn the ball over. If we do those things then I'm going to be happy."


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