Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has a system, and he’s very rigid in that system, preferring to have a high level of control over his offense.
That means quarterbacks, even ones as talented as Jarrett Stidham, don’t often have much freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage.
On Wednesday, SEC Network analyst Jordan Rodgers joined “3 Man Front” on WJOX and said he thinks the lack of freedom annoyed Stidham last season:
— WJOX 94.5 FM (@WJOX945) April 11, 2018
“I think Auburn is going to pick and choose when they go lightning fast, and when they lightning fast go to the line of scrimmage and then allow Jarrett Stidham to get them out of a play and check to something,” Rodgers said. “I think you’re going to see a lot more variability of when they’re going really, really fast — no checks, snap the ball, let’s go — and when they’re going to choose to go tempo and when they choose not to.”
Rodgers added that Stidham got more freedom toward the end of the year, but says he thinks the star quarterback will want even more this fall.
“I’m not sure where it started but if I had to guess, I think that’s something Jarrett Stidham was very, very frustrated at last year,” he said. “Not having the ability to have more freedom at the line of scrimmage. … Midway through the season, I think Jarrett Stidham was ready for some more leash at the line of scrimmage and I don’t think he was given the opportunity as much as he would have liked to.”
Stidham was recovering from shoulder surgery, so he didn’t get to play in Auburn’s spring game. Therefore, we’ll have to wait until this fall to see if the Auburn offense gives him some more leeway.