The Auburn offense is taking big strides to move to the next level in the 2018 season. The Auburn coaching staff, specifically Head Coach Gus Malzahn, has decided to allow QB Jarrett Stidham to change plays at his will. This will allow the offensive unit to have more versatility and options at the line of scrimmage, based on how defenses set up. This is a major change from last season, when Stidham was not allowed to use his discretion to call audibles.
Going from Good to Great
Stidham proved himself as a top tier SEC QB last year, throwing for over 3,000 yards and doing so at a very efficient clip. With Malzahn handing the play calling over to OC Chip Lindsey, there will be a new sense of freedom for Auburn. The offense will continue to focus on the hurry-up, no-huddle system, but it will also have new permutations that we have not seen in the past.
Big Changes for Big Goals
This change to the offense and to Stidham’s ability to run it shows the confidence that Malzahn and Lindsey have in him. They are willing to take the risk of handing more responsibility to their QB in the hopes of high rewards being returned, not the least of which is another possible SEC West title and conference championship berth. Stidham will have more flexibility, which should allow him to gain more confidence and feel more comfortable in the offense. He will be able to get the Tigers into good plays and bail the coaching staff out in bad situations.
The Tigers used to be much more obvious with play call changes, as the entire offense would look to the sideline early in the play clock. This major change will allow the team to be more discrete with changes and be more player-led, which is great for a future NFL QB.