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Malzahn's New Role Has Positive Impact on Players

Head Coach Gus Malzahn (Photo: Auburn Athletics)

Following the win on Saturday, Malzahn mentioned that he had given play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.

“I turned it over to him and I thought he did a fantastic job tonight.” Malzahn said on Saturday, following his team’s 18-13 win over LSU. “I need to be the head coach and that’s what I am going to be. I am looking forward to Rhett building this offense.”

Since then, Malzahn seems to be more relaxed than usual. It was apparent during Tuesday’s press conference, and is even more noticeable to his players.

“He was more calm, and more relaxed.” said defensive back Rudy Ford of his coach during last week's preparations, “He let us have more fun. He came in very energized throughout the whole week.”

Ford says that he and his teammates have fed off of his energy, which has helped them.

Since Malzahn has passed the play-calling duties to Lashlee, he has been able to spend more time with each of his players, which has made a positive impact, says kicker Daniel Carlson.

“He’s trying to lead by example.” says Carlson of Malzahn’s new attitude. “He is getting us back to enjoying the process. We are obviously still getting all the work in, but we are enjoying the moment. We have put a lot of hard work into this, he is trying to lead by example. The guys are definitely more positive this week. I think it paid off.”

A key to being a successful coach, is making sure that the team has your back, more than you have your team’s back. Carlson says that is the case, and that the team enjoys having him around, and that they always have his back. “We know he works hard for us, and we try to return the favor.”

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