Trott Says Players Need to Step Up

Tight end Tommy Trott talks about the Auburn football team's struggles on offense.

Auburn, Ala.--Since his arrival at Auburn in the 2005 recruiting class, outstanding things have been expected from Tommy Trott, now a 6-5, 242-pound junior tight end for the Tigers. He's the first to admit that his career to this point has fallen far below those expectations.

With Auburn now 4-3 following a 25-22 loss to Arkansas on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Trott says, "I don't know how you wouldn't be frustrated. I don't know what kind of person works his butt off 365 days a year, all summer and all spring, then come out here and lose a game and not be frustrated. Yes, it's the most frustrating thing that I've had to deal with in my lifetime."

The blame lies solely with the players is the way Trott sees it. The firing of offensive coordinator Tony Franklin on Wednesday prior to the Arkansas game shouldn't have been a distraction, according to Trott.

"The defense has come out and played hard week after week," he says. "It's the offense. It's not the coaches. We're coached well. We had a great game plan against Arkansas. We knew what they were going to do. They blitz, they slant and do a lot of crazy stuff.

"We called quick passes and we thought they would have to play base defense," Trott says. "We thought that we could easily beat them, but we never executed the first part of our game plan. We did not make the quick game work in the fist half so we were never able to make them stop slanting, looping and blitzing. It just makes it more difficult when you can't get them to quit doing that and we did not."

Trott takes responsibility for part of the problem.

"I dropped a ridiculous ball," he says. "It hit me in face mask and some how I managed to drop it trying to run the ball before I caught it."

Trott finished the game with two receptions for 31 yards. He pulled in one pass for a two-yard loss. In the fourth quarter with Auburn nursing a 20-19 lead, Trott went high into the air to pull in a 33-yard pass from Kodi Burns to the Arkansas 21-yard-line. That drive ended with a missed 33-yard field goal attempt by Wes Byrum.

How bad was the Auburn offense? That catch by Trott early in the fourth quarter finally put the Tigers over 100 yards in offense for the night.

Perhaps the best catch of Trott's career that didn't produce points added to the frustration of his season that now stands at nine catches for 102 yards and no touchdowns.

Trott was mentioned often by Franklin as a receiver who should catch a large number of passes this season. That hasn't happened yet, but that's the type of play Franklin was talking about. "That catch was much needed," Trott says. "I'm serious. I'm the most frustrated I've ever been in my life to now. I'm frustrated at myself. We preach accountability, everyone should do your job. That should be enough. We get a game plan of Xs and Os. If everyone does their job, that should be enough.

"I feel a lot of times this season I haven't been doing my job when it comes to catching the ball," he adds. "That catch was a relief to help me get some confidence back. I know I can make those kinds of catches. I've made them before and I hope to continue to make them. It's just me in my head having confidence."

Trott says he believes for Auburn to finish strong this season following losses to Vanderbilt and Arkansas, it's going to be up to the players.

"We're not calling plays and not game planning," he says. "It's nothing for the players to worry about who is coaching us and it shouldn't be a frustration about what happened to Coach Franklin. To me, it's absolutely not a frustration. I don't care who is telling us what to run. We have an assignment and it's our job to do that assignment. We're out there to play football. It shouldn't matter who is calling the plays.

Tommy Trott is a junior from Montgomery.

"What is happening is nobody's fault but the players. It's time for us to make routine plays. It's time for us to catch a five-yard pas and turn it into 10 yards. Even if you turn it only into eight yards, it's at second-and-two. It's time for us to start doing that and we aren't doing it."

Trott and the Tigers don't have a game this week. They will return to the practice field on Tuesday to begin preparations for a road game a week from Thursday at West Virginia in the first ever football game between the Tigers and Mountaineers.

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