So, you may have seen this scathing criticism of the quarterback whisperer.
“Jarrett Stidham, the kid from Auburn. Here’s this kid, he was a five-star, four-star kid at Baylor with Art Briles, okay? They have the absolute fiasco that happens there and then he decides to leave Baylor and goes to Auburn,” Lombardi says on the podcast. “Really if the kid was smart, he would have stayed at Baylor with Matt Rhule. Because if he plays with Matt Rhule at Baylor, he’s probably going to throw. He probably would have been a first or second-round pick. He’s easily better than Daniel Jones if he plays in an offense that would have highlighted what he can do.”
… To continue that thought, Lombardi then really went all in on Auburn’s offense, which he says could be the worst offense in all of football.
“That offense at Auburn, I’m not sure what the hell it is,” Lombardi said. “They run power, they run unbalanced… But anyway, that offense, seriously, might be one of the worst offenses in football, so you can’t evaluate a quarterback in it or they can’t train a quarterback, that’s the other thing. (Gus Malzahn) can’t train them.”
Tell us what you really think, man.
To be fair about it, I totally agree with this Jerry Hinnen rebuttal.
Ultimately, that is spot on. Gus is being paid a lot of money, not to make the NFL love his quarterbacks, but to win Auburn football games. (See, for example, Nick Marshall.)
But — and you knew there’d be a but — you can’t tell me Gus isn’t selling himself as some sort of QB guru on the recruiting trail. And, yes, that includes Stidham.
Interesting point there. Yes, Stidham led the conference in completion percentage in 2017. However, his passer rating was only good for fourth best in the SEC. Here’s the thing, though: Stidham’s passer rating and completion percentage both declined last season. Think that might have had any impact on Stidham’s thought process about returning for another year at Auburn?
Contrary to Lombardi, Malzahn’s offense is just fine, at least when he’s calling the plays. (I expect the Tigers to rebound from what they accomplished under Lindsey last season.) But there do appear to be some cracks in Gus’ quarterbacks coaching game, which, I admit, is a little weird, because after I saw what he did with Chris Todd a few years ago, I thought he really was something of a guru.
Gee, I wonder if there’s anything said about that on the recruiting trail these days.