Some coaches think it would be completely ridiculous to even entertain a response to a Heisman Trophy question 10 days into the month of August. Some coaches don’t even want to talk about a player on their roster competing for the Heisman in the middle of the season.

Not only did Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee answer a question posed about quarterback Nick Marshall’s chances of winning the Heisman Sunday, he endorsed his senior signal-caller.

“I don’t think there is any question,” Lashlee said when asked if Marshall could challenge for the award. “If he does what he is capable of, what he is suppose to do and the team is fortunate enough to play well and stay healthy, I think all those individual accolades will take care of themselves.”

There are several variables that will put Marshall in the conversation come November. The biggest variable, not to the Auburn coaching staff and Auburn fans but to the rest of the country, is proving that he is a proven passer. He already is a tremendous runner but most of the country thinks that is the only thing Marshall can do.

Auburn fans know Marshall can throw the ball well. This pass he threw last year against Texas A&M (watch the video here from :18 to :25) is a perfect example. He was the most efficient passer in the nation over the last eight games of 2013. Still, the nation seems to have their doubts.

Well, America, there will be little doubt that Marshall will sling it, sling it often and sling it well in 2014. He has made massive gains in his passing technique and fundamentals. More importantly, he’s been very consistent since Auburn opened up fall camp.

“It has been night and day,” said Lashlee when asked to compare Marshall’s passing ability last year to now. “He proved a lot in the spring and he is better now then the spring. His footwork is good. He rarely makes errant throws because he is off-balance or because he is not doing the proper footwork. He has really bought in and worked at it himself.”

Lashlee said Saturday was Marshall’s best day in camp thus far. That means Marshall trumped his 15-of-17 pass completion effort in a 7-on-7 drill earlier in the week.

A huge disclaimer followed Lashlee’s endorsement, typical of a coach who wants to keep a player level-headed, focused on improving and taking it one day at a time.

“For what I’m asking Nick to do, he doesn’t need to worry about any of that,” said Lashlee. “He needs to worry about Nick, about leading this team and playing well each game. You can’t look way out. You have got to have goals, you have got to know where you want to get to but if you focus on the goals and don’t take care of the present, it wont do any good.”

Still, kudos to Lashlee for not blowing off the question. Questions like that are the elephant in the room. Everybody wants to know what you think. You’re not divulging team secrets and it gives a player support. Considering what Marshall has gone through recently, backing him with positive feedback will only fuel his confidence.

While Marshall was inundated with questions about the arrest on Sunday, there was a Heisman question brought up; sort of.

You recently instagramed a picture of you in the Heisman graphic. Are you concerned people will use this incident against you when evaluating your play on the field?

“When I put that up there, it just motivated me to strive for greatness,” said Marshall.