New Offensive Coordinator Chip Lindsey speaks to the media during his introductory Press Confrence (Photo: Auburn Athletics/Wade Rackley)
The announcement was made Saturday that Auburn’s search for an offensive coordinator had ended. Head Coach Gus Malzahn introduced Chip Lindsey to the Auburn world on Saturday night following Auburn Basketball’s 84-64 win over Alabama.
What did Malzahn look for in the new offensive coordinator? What was his time table? Those questions and more are about to be answered.:
Malzahn opened the press conference by congratulating Coach Pearl and the men’s basketball team on knocking off Alabama earlier in the day. He then began to give his criteria spiel when it came to finding a new offensive coordinator to replace Rhett Lashlee. He said that his intentions were to find someone who could develop quarterbacks, someone that he would feel comfortable with when it came to play-calling, and someone that had the same philosophy has he does. To him, Lindsey fit that role.
“I’ve actively seen him develop quarterbacks. He’s very good at that and he’s very good at evaluating quarterbacks. I feel very comfortable with Chip. I’ve got a lot of trust in him that he can do it, and he fits within my philosophy. The thing about Chip, he has his own offense that he’s been very successful with. Because he was with me for a year, he understands the core philosophy. I’m very excited about him coming in and kind of spicing up our offense. I have a lot of confidence in him and I’m very excited that Chip Lindsey is our offensive coordinator.”
Did he have the administration’s blessing?:
A rumor was spread earlier this week concerning athletic director Jay Jacobs’ hand in the hiring process. Malzahn quickly addressed the topic, saying simply: “We’re all on the same page.”
Will Lindsey call plays?:
Another note on the criteria was that Malzahn wanted someone who would be in total control of the offense. Last season, Rhett Lashlee took over play-calling duties for the LSU game and beyond. Malzahn has given full play-calling responsibility over to Lindsey. “I think I told him that I’m retiring my old offensive clipboard. That’s probably the best way to answer that. I’m not going to carry that anymore. I’ve officially retired it.” Malzahn said when asked what Lindsey’s role will be with the offense.
Malzahn’s wife, Kristi, let out a silent cheer when he made the statement.
He went on to say that the offensive staff will stay the same as last season.
Now, onto Lindsey.
Lindsey opened his portion of the press conference by saying that it was an honor to coach at Auburn, especially since he grew up in the Huntsville area. He is also excited about having a larger role on Malzahn’s staff. As he was an offensive analyst during the 2013 season.
“I’m extremely excited to get going. I’m ready to start right now. As soon as we get done here, we just got in town, we’re going to get started on 2017.”
Running the Football:
Lindsey is known for being solid at developing quarterbacks at the High School and College level. But, how does he plan to incorporate Auburn’s running game into his philosophy? “In 2015, we had two 1,000 yard rushers at Southern Miss. I’m really proud of that. Last year, a lot of things happened. College football is what it is. It’s a man’s game. You have to deal with adversity throughout the year and all our guys did a great job with that. I’m really proud of that group of players. At the end of the day, we want to be a run, play-action team. It’s what we’ve always done, and if you go back to our time at Southern Miss and even last year at Arizona State, that’s been our goal. I think when you commit to that style of offense, and try to get your ball to your playmakers, good things are going to happen.”
Working with Auburn’s quarterbacks:
Auburn has had fantastic players in Cameron Newton and Nick Marshall at the quarterback position this decade. Sean White has shown toughness and signs of solid play since taking over as the starter in 2015. However, White is not known to be a typical “Gus Malzahn” type of quarterback. How will Lindsey work with the current quarterbacks on staff?
“I think the most important thing is to give those guys a plan every play where they know where to go with the ball. You’ve got to get the ball out of your hand, you’ve got to understand protection. Obviously, their footwork and all the things that go along with fundamentals of playing the position is extremely important.”
Lindsey also said that he is familiar with the two quarterbacks that are projected to compete for the starting spot next season, Sean White and Jarrett Stidham:
“I was here when we recruited Sean (White), obviously. I was recruiting Jarrett (Stidham) pretty heavily in the fall myself (at Arizona State). I have some familiarity with those guys. This spring is going to be a lot of fun.”
Chip Lindsey is the second offensive coordinator to work for Head Coach Gus Malzahn during his Auburn tenure.