The Auburn Tigers are continuing to prepare for the upcoming season as they are set to begin the second week of training camp this week. In his first season with the program, Auburn offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery has been working to ensure the Tigers are in the best position to succeed in 2023.
There are some unanswered questions surrounding the offensive side of the ball such as the ongoing situation with running back Jarquez Hunter and who will start at quarterback. Despite the uncertainty, head coach Hugh Freeze and Montgomery are optimistic about the things they have seen so far.
Montgomery offered some insight on the quarterback battle.
"I've been pleased with their progression and what they're doing," Montgomery said. "They're understanding what we're trying to do offensively a little bit more especially the little unique parts of it. We've still got a long way to go before we figure out who is going to be our starting quarterback."
Freeze previously mentioned that wide receiver was a position in need of some overhaul. Montgomery commented on the progression of the room.
"I really thought the last several days and in practice two I saw some sparks in there," Montgomery said. "We have some guys making plays and I think that they are building each and every day. We've got to be a little more detail-oriented in some of our routes."
"I think we're really battling at the top of our route, we're putting our foot in the ground, and we're coming back," he added. When we have the ability to go deep, they're taking advantage of that. I've been really pleased with that side of it, they just have to continue to keep coming."
Montgomery weighed in on the offensive tempo he expects to run with the Tigers.
"Obviously, we've got to make sure it's matching up with our personnel and what we're going to be as this football team offensively, defensively and on special teams, but we like to play with some space," he said. "That's a totally different way of playing offense than a lot of our guys are used to. I think we're doing some good things, but we've got to get set faster and we've got to get our eyes back on the sideline quicker."
Jeremiah Cobb is a true freshman running back who is expected to make an instant impact. Montgomery talked about what he has seen from him so far.
"I think we've got a talented running back room," Montgomery said. "Each one of them brings different things to the table. He (Cobb) has a burst, he plays with speed, he's got good vision. He's just trying to figure out what the process is."
Montgomery gave some insight into what he is watching for as the quarterback battle progresses.
"I just want to see somebody take control and really take a step forward and separate themselves," Montgomery said. "That's what you're looking for in your quarterback position, a lead guy who is going to make plays. He doesn't have to be Superman, but he does have to be consistent in his play and his decision-making and taking care of the football and moving us down the field and staying ahead of chains."
"When we do that, we're always going to be effective," he added. "So the quarterback that does those things at a more consistent pace will be the guy who's going to win the job."
There is still a long way to go before Montgomery's offense will be ready to go for the 2023 season, but he plans to have an effective unit to put on the field this fall.
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