Todd Ready To Give It His Best Shot

Auburn senior quarterback Chris Todd talks about his recovery from shoulder problems and his development in preseason practice.

Auburn, Ala.--What started out as a promising 2008 campaign wound up a disaster for Auburn and especially quarterback Chris Todd. A part-time starter along with Kodi Burns to start the season, Todd quickly became Auburn's quarterback and played solid football early in the year.

Quickly things began to unravel for both Todd and the entire offense though beginning with the Tennessee game. After gaining 406 yards and scoring 34 points in the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe, Auburn came back with 380 yards against Southern Miss and even had 315 in a 3-2 win over Mississippi State and 320 against LSU.

From that point forward it was all downhill though as Auburn's only outputs over 300 yards the rest of the year came in a three-game stretch against Ole Miss, UT-Martin and Georgia.

For the year Todd completed 86-156 passes for 903 yards with five of Auburn's seven touchdown passes on the year. In the first four games though Todd was 61-108 for 722 yards with three TD's and one interception but quickly things went downhill. Unable to throw with any velocity, he played sparingly the next three games before he shut things down for good the rest of the year.

Now back and throwing the ball well after shoulder surgery over the winter, Todd said he's looking forward to playing the game the way he knows he's capable of.

"It's a big difference," Todd said. "Just knowing that you can make a throw, even now I've got to program myself to know I can make these throws now so I can do it. There were so many times last year, even in games, where I would see something open and pick it up. That's a real big part of it but the biggest part is being able to make the throw. I couldn't do it. Even if I saw it and read the defense right there were still limitations I had. Being able to do it now is really big. It makes things a lot easier."

Unable to throw in spring practice and with a new coaching staff, it made it very tough on Todd. In order to keep up and be as ready as possible to hit the ground running this fall, Todd said he made up his mind to do extra work mentally to stay in touch with the offense. Because of that he said the first week of practice has been a good one for him.

"It's not any fun sitting over there and watching," Todd said. "When I did it I had to get as many mental reps as I could so when now came around I would be ready to step in there. It is different this fall. It's a lot more enjoyable to be out there doing stuff and being in the mix.

"I think it has been good just to get out there and get some live reps again," Todd added. "It's just getting out there and adjusting to the speed again and getting used to that and getting timing down. It's a big change from the mental reps I had been getting. It's nice to get back out there."

There comes a time when every player goes through an injury and had to decide when it's time to cut it loose and see how it feels. Todd has gone through that several different times with his shoulder in the past and said he knew right away this summer that things were going to be different this time around.

"As we were progressing in the summer I guess the level that it was coming back at, when the pop started coming back that's when I really started noticed we were making some good progression with it," Todd said. "It has kind of been a progress and I've gradually seen the difference all the treatment has made and the surgery obviously."

Whether or not Todd becomes Auburn's starting quarterback remains to be seen. Will his arm hold up through two-a-days and preseason camp? Will he be good enough to win the job anyway? Those are things that won't likely be answered for at least another week and possibly longer. For Todd though half the battle has already been won. He's given himself a chance to succeed in a new offense and he's looking forward to the possibilities for Auburn whether he's on the field or not.

"When you look at offenses they have a lot of similarities," Todd said. "You can take things from one and apply it to another one. There are things you can do with this offense. It's a lot of timing-based stuff. There are a lot of reads involved. You have to know what you're doing and where you need to go with the ball. I think we have some good things going on offense. I think as we pick it up the rest of two-a-days we'll be successful with it."

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