Changes Coming At Quarterback?

Coach Tommy Tuberville talks about taking a long look at the quarterback position during the off week.

Auburn, Ala.--When a team is struggling on offense one of the first positions to get a new look is at the quarterback spot. With Auburn's problems this season it's no surprise that after a bad offensive night in a loss to Arkansas coach Tommy Tuberville says the Tigers are going to look at some possible changes at the position beginning with true freshman Barrett Trotter and redshirt sophomore Neil Caudle.

"We're going to look at all options," Tuberville says. "I have to talk with Neil Caudle and see his frame of mind. Obviously we'll look at Barrett but I'm not going to do anything, if I think he can help and he would be for it to burn a redshirt this late it really wouldn't mean a lot.

"If we did decide to do that and there was an agreement in terms of he was willing to do it we wouldn't do it for four or five plays. We would put him out there and let him go and get him ready. I think he can help but there is a lot of water to go under the bridge for the next four or five days to see if that is going to happen."

While the quarterback is far from the only problem on offense right now for the Tigers, it is the most glaring. In seven games Chris Todd has completed 86-156 passes for 903 yards and five touchdowns with six interceptions. In five games Kodi Burns has completed 17-42 passes for 198 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. Neither has played well enough to pull a stagnant offense out of the doldrums and is one of the reasons Tuberville says they are looking at making a move.

"This offense is structured to catch and throw it," Tuberville says. "We're not catching it and throwing it. We're going through our reads and holding the ball too long. Everybody recognizes we're holding it too much and not getting it off. If you do throw it and don't know where you're throwing it get that sucker out of bounds. We had three interceptions. One of them was in desperation at the end and was overthrown. The other two were basically thrown into a crowd. We can't do that."

Now all that remains to be seen is if Trotter is willing to take the redshirt off and if he's good enough to be worth that risk. Tuberville says they'll start to make that decision beginning on Tuesday when the team gets back to work.

"It just depends on practice," Tuberville says. "Say we go in and talk about it and give it a shot. Then we practice for four or five days and then say it's not going to work. Then we won't even go with it. I'm not going to go into a game with him and say we're going to play him four or five plays and then ten plays here and five plays there. I'm not going to do that. If we're going to play him we're going to play him. It has to be mutual and it has to be good in practice."

Neil Caudle will get a shot this week says Tuberville.

Caudle will also get his chance to shine in practice as the Tigers look for an answer at quarterback. Tuberville says they just need to see where he's at in terms of development after spending the last two seasons as the number three guy will very little work to show for it.

"We just need to see what he can do," Tuberville says. "The third team quarterback doesn't get a lot of practice reps. We're going to look at him and give him a shot. Probably what we would do is if Barrett comes out we would compare those two and see which one we thought knew enough about what we're doing and could get it done. I'm just not going to throw Neil under the bus but we want to give him a shot. Whether Barrett comes out there or not Neil will have an opportunity and we'll give him some reps."

No matter which quarterback steps up it's apparent that Todd's playing time is likely gone for this season unless something changes in the coming weeks. That's not true of Burns though and Tuberville says he's seen some improvement out of the sophomore and he's going to be counted on the rest of the year to give the team something on offense.

"Kodi has to be a guy that is going to have to be a factor for us," Tuberville says. "He's got good feet, good legs, he can run and he can make plays. He's got some experience. He'll get better. He had some problems yesterday but he's worked through them. He's coachable and he'll listen. We've just got to do some things that will help him too."


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