October 6, 2009

Monday Morning QB: Auburn at UT

Auburn 26 Tennessee 22

Welcome to the fifth edition of AuburnSports.com's latest feature, Monday Morning Quarterback, where each week several former Auburn players give their thoughts and opinions on the Tigers' latest game.

Grab your coffee, pull up a seat, sit back and read all about what they think and thought about Auburn. The former players give their input, insight and opinion of the Tigers' 26-22 win over Tennessee, the current status of their former positions and more.

For objectivity purposes - we want the former players to be honest, good or bad, with their assessments - the ones that wish will remain anonymous.


Former Auburn quarterback Ben Leard:
On Chris Todd's performance against Tennessee (19-of-32, 218 yards, 1 TD)…
"I think the most impressive thing to me about Chris this week is that he made plays that a football player would make. He had several protections that broke down in front of him. A lot of times you have to know what the specific blocking scheme is on said play to understand if it's a guy that's supposed to be giving him pressure, that is his hot-read. There were plays that Chris made Saturday that were ones that you see out of a confident quarterback. I don't think he could've made those plays last year.

"He understands where everyone is supposed to be. He knows that he has the ability to make a defensive lineman dive at his feet, goes around him and makes a throw back across the field to Eric Smith. Those are plays are ones that are going to win ball games for Auburn. No. 12, at this point in time, is the guy that people have finally realized that he's the one that needs to be leading this team."

"He made some very clutch throws on big-time downs. I think over 70-percent of his completions. That in itself is a compliment to Gus Malzahn for keeping the defense on its toes. On the flip side of that, you can see him going through his reads, going through his progressions on each and every play, on each and every throw, and it's impressive. At this point in time last year, he was not doing that. One of the more impressive throws of the night was the post that he threw to Darvin Adams. It was in the fourth quarter, they were driving, and when he made that throw that was it. It deflated the entire Tennessee crowd."

"Everybody, including myself, had some hesitancy when 12 was named the starter. And I believe this much: Those coaches are paid a lot of money. Those coaches know what they are doing. Those coaches have a lot riding on who that starting quarterback. At some point in time, Chris Todd proved to them that he is the guy. And that's what I did, I rested my confidence in that coaching staff to know that they saw something in him that nobody saw last year, nobody saw in spring ball or in two-a-days. They knew he could get the job done. At 5-0, that's case in point. The kid is a ball player."

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