Gus Malzahn Introduces New Offensive Coordinator Chip Lindsey

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    The WarBlogler
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    Head Coach Gus Malzhan

    Opening statement …

    “First of all, I’d just like to congratulate Coach Pearl and his team for an outstanding win. The atmosphere was unbelievable. Last week I started looking for an offensive coordinator, and I really started out with three things. I felt like I needed to find someone that could develop and evaluate quarterbacks. I felt like I needed someone who I would be comfortable turning the offense over to. I felt like a needed somebody who was a fit in the same philosophy – no huddle, run play-action. That’s where I started. I had a really open mind. I talked to numerous people. I wanted to take my time by design. If you look at our defensive coordinator, I did the same thing when we hired Kevin Steele last year. Bottom line is I was looking for the best person for this job that would give us the best chance to be successful. Chip Lindsey fit all three. 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.”

    On the importance of Chip being involved in the recruiting process…

    “I think the timing is good for us. It’s our biggest recruiting weekend, and Chip is going to get a chance to meet (the recruits) face to face. A lot of them are already familiar with him. At the same time, I think the timing is good. That worked out pretty well.” 

    On whether he had a self-imposed deadline to hire a new offensive coordinator…

    “I’ll take you back. I had a very open mind. I wanted to hire the best person for this position. I was looking for somebody that fits these three things. I really started out by trying to find everybody in the country that fit those three things, and then figure out who I’d like to talk to. I talked to some very talented people, but at the end of the day, Chip Lindsey is the guy that fit these three things. I feel very comfortable with him. He gives us the best chance of being successful. Chip is in a similar situation that I was when I came here in 2009. I think I had three years of experience before I came here. He actually has one more than me. At the end of the day, there wasn’t an exact time. I just wanted to make sure I had the best guy. When I came to that conclusion, we hired Chip Lindsey.”

    On whether he had the support of the administration in this hiring …

    “We’re all on the same page.”

    On whether he will give Chip the same play calling duties that Rhett Lashlee had last season …

    “Chip is going to call the plays. This is going to be Chip’s offense. It’s going to be his responsibility. Like I said, I have a lot of trust in him. He’s going to do a great job.”

    On whether hiring an offensive coordinator who had developed quarterbacks well was important …

    “I really did. We’ve been one of the best. Last year, we lead our league in rushing. We need to be more balanced. We need to throw the ball more effectively and Chip will bring that. I’m excited about our passing game. He will bring some new ideas, wrinkles and flairs. He has a great offensive mind. I think it will complement our run game.”

    On whether the staff on the offensive side will remain the same…

    “The staff will remain the same on the offensive side.”

    On whether Chip will handle quarterbacks on a daily basis …

    “Yes, Chip is the quarterback coach and offensive coordinator. 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. That tells you where I am and how much confidence I have in this guy right here.”

    On how much of his offense will change after hiring Chip Lindsey …

    “That’s something Chip and I will talk about. Chip is responsible for the offense. That’s something that we will get into deeper and see what he’s the most comfortable with.”

    On why he feels Lindsey will be a good recruiter …

    “Really his resume of developing quarterbacks and his reputation in the state of Alabama and Georgia, especially among high school coaches. He is a great communicator. He is a great person and a type of coach that you would want your son to play for. I have confidence that he will develop them at the highest level.”

    On if he had any desire to go outside of the circle of trust when picking an offensive coordinator … 

    “This is the first time since I’ve been a head coach that I’ve actively had an offensive coordinator job open. I really just tried to take a step back. My goal was to hire the best person for this job. I started out with those three parameters that I talked about. I had a very open mind. I wanted to talk to as many people as I could, so I could get the right guy. I talked to numerous guys as I said and it just came back to Chip. I have a lot of trust in him. He’s ready for the job.”

    On what he learned about himself when he gave up offensive play calling this season … 

    “I’ve been calling plays for 25 or 26 years, so it was a little different. Like I said earlier, I got more used to it. As far as next year is concerned, I think we are in as good a spot offensively as any other time I’ve been at Auburn as far as with the guys coming back and the talent. I think we are in a great spot. Now we add Chip Lindsey to run the offense. I’m very excited about next year and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

    Offensive Coordinator Chip Lindsey

    Opening statement …

    “I just want to say how honored I am to be here and to be back at this great university. This a dream come true. Growing up in this state and being around this game of college football. My wife and her family had season tickets for 30 years. Auburn has been a special place to us. Obviously being here in 2013 with Coach Malzhan and getting that opportunity. 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. I just want to thank Coach for the opportunity and I’m really looking forward to our time here, getting this thing going and having a lot of fun next year.”

    On what made him come back to Auburn …

    “Anytime you spend time at a place, I think you build relationships with people at those places, and it’s always hard to leave. Being from here, and from the expericecce I had here before, it really was a dream come true for me and an easy decision once I made a break from a lot of people that are really special to me. I want to say Todd Graham, I thank him for giving me the opportunity to be there. That was unbelievable. Great to my family. At the same time, though, this was something that I was really excited to get the opportunity to do and I’m glad to be here.”

    On his offensive philosophy …

    “I came to Auburn in 2013 for the reason to being with Coach Malzhan and see how he did thing, because my background had been a little different, and the time here was amazing. Learning how he thought, how he game planed and did things, and I took a lot of those things with us. At the same time, though, even when I left and went to Southern Miss, then Arizona State and now here. Everybody has got their own spin on offense. We all have our own personality that comes out when you design an offense. The bottom line is never changed, is finding ways to get the ball to your best players. It’s really that simple, and that will be our goal every day. I’m looking forward to getting started.”

    On how he plans to improve his rushing offense …

    “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.”

    On his philosophy of coaching quarterbacks …

    “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. I plan on making sure those guys are really good at it. Making sure they know where to go with the ball, that’s my job. I’m excited about the opportunity to be here with these guys.”

    On the evolution of his offense over the years …

    “In high school, you’re doing a good job of recruiting your own school to get the best athletes. You have to get them to buy in. That’s how I came up. When you get to big time college football, and even high school football, you have to be able to run the football to win. I know that. We were really successful two years ago doing that. It just opened up our entire offense. I know what Auburn is made of. Auburn is made of hard work and blue-collar football. That’s what we’re going to continue to do with maybe some little wrinkles and twists in our passing game.”

    On his familiarity with the current quarterbacks …

    “Probably a little more than you think. I was here when we recruited Sean (White), obviously. I was recruiting Jarrett (Stidham) pretty heavily in the fall myself. I have some familiarity with those guys. Obviously, not on a daily basis, but I’m looking forward to getting to know all four of those guys that are here now. This spring is going to be a lot of fun.”

    On his confidence level that Gus will let him run the offense and the importance of it …

    “It’s extremely important. That’s something that he and I talked about at length. I’m very confident that this is going to be a great situation. He’s given me every opportunity to be successful. This is my responsibility. He hired me to a job, and I’m looking forward to doing it.”

    On what he thinks of Auburn’s offense and how thorough he investigated the team … 

    “Probably not as close as you think because I was so busy recruiting at Arizona State. Obviously we play at such a different time on the west coast, so I didn’t get to see a lot. I’m familiar with some of them just from being from the state and knowing where a lot of these guys came from. I’m excited about what we have coming back for sure.”

    On how his connections in Georgia and Alabama help with recruiting … 

    “I think it’s definitely a plus, especially when you have familiarity with people and know coaches around both of these states. These are two great states who play great high school football. That’s where Auburn has made a living since I can remember. I’m excited to rekindle some of those relationships for sure.”

    On how it feels to be working with Kodi Burns again … 

    “Yeah he left me pretty quick, didn’t he? I’m excited. Kodi was here in 2013 with me. He’s a bright young coach and I’m looking forward to working with him. I’m really looking forward to working with the whole staff. I’ve worked with all of those guys. They’re just a great group of guys. Those guys are men of character and they’re guys you want to be around. You want your kids to play for them and I’m looking forward to being with them.”

    On his career with and without Gus comparatively … 

    “You know, I was with him one year. We obviously have a relationship. He recruited some of my players at different places I’ve been. Phillip (Lutzenkirchen) being one of those guys recruited. At the end of the day, when I got here it took a lot of learning for me to learn the things he did. I think we did a nice job at the two places I’ve been to mesh some things together. That’s what I plan on doing here. Obviously, Auburn’s been good on offense before and we’re not going to lose touch with those things. I think a few new wrinkles and a little different personality on it will lead to a lot of success.”

    Now that you’ve read all that, you can watch it here:

    Auburn grad (B.S. in C.S., 2004), loving husband, and semi-new dad that believes Auburn should and could go undefeated in every sport, every year.

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