December 11, 2012
A new attitude
AUBURN -- The hire of Gus Malzahn was panned in some circles because he didn't have that aggressive, authoritarian attitude that many of the best head coaches have.
I'm here to tell you: He does now.
Gus Malzahn was the most important hire of the Gene Chizik era in 2009. His pacey, variable, misdirection attack gave the Tigers something other teams didn't - a strategic advantage every time they stepped on the field. It didn't pay meaningful dividends until a transcendent athlete became the triggerman in 2010, sure, but Malzahn clearly has played a role in changing how many Southeastern Conference programs approach the task of scoring points.
A man that important generally develops an ego. Malzahn didn't as the Tigers' offensive coordinator, preferring instead to focus on strategy and his role in the operation. He was a bookworm; a seemingly nervous engineer who'd prefer to draft new ideas and spark innovation with convention used only sparingly.
Malzahn always will be that guy.
Yet there's a side of Malzahn on display these days that I didn't see during his time as coordinator. He's assertive. He speaks more freely, even opines a bit when given an opportunity. He was out and about at the Super Six selling his program to recruits, players, coaches, casual fans.
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