A part-time starter last season as a sophomore after playing some as a freshman, Kodi Burns has game experience under his belt, but this spring has been all about pace for the Tigers. Whether it has been the pace of learning or of running the offense, Burns said everything for the quarterbacks revolves around Malzahn.
"We're going at a fast pace putting this offense in," Burns said. "We haven't put everything in yet, not even close. A lot of times we'll put stuff in a day or two before and he's going to put pressure on us to see how we react.
"It's kind of hard when you're out there in the heat of a scrimmage to remember everything he's told you in a short time, but I've got to cut down on a few things like that."
Locked in a battle for the number one spot in the spring along with fellow junior Neil Caudle and redshirt freshman Barrett Trotter, Burns added that in the short time they've worked with Malzahn they've learned that he demands the very best from his quarterbacks on every play.
"I think it's good," Burns said. "He's really serious about his stuff. We know that and he knows that as well. We have to take him serious and try to do everything we can to make what we're doing wrong, right. He really wants perfection. It's really hard to please him, but that's what you've got to try to do."
That perfection starts with the most basic of things, the mechanics of throwing the football. For Burns that hasn't been so simple in his time at Auburn has he has struggled to make throws mainly because of bad footwork. He said under Malzahn things are already looking better.
"It's progressing a lot," Burns said. "I think these last few days I have really improved overall as a quarterback. I think that is the biggest thing. He's starting to shape me up pretty good.
"It's definitely just a confidence thing and feeling it as well," Burns added. "He's shored up some of my mechanics. It's more of a straight, accurate ball and I'm going to put in on the money just about every time."
Working on his mechanics isn't the only thing that Burns is striving to improve though. The quarterback has to be a player that the entire offense looks up to and rallies around in times of trouble. While he's still not where he wants to be, Burns said he's making improvements across the board and is trying to continue working hard as the Tigers began to close out spring practice.
"I think being a leader is what I'm doing best," Burns said. "Right now I know that when I walk out there on the field the offensive guys look at me in the face and know that we can get it done. We have been getting it done.
"We have been making a lot of mistakes. The thing I've got to do better is cut down on mistakes. If I can cut down on those and learn this a lot more effectively then everything will be good."