September 28, 2009
Monday Morning QB: Ball State at AU
Auburn 54 Ball State 30
Welcome to the second edition of AuburnSports.com's newest 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' 54-30 win over Ball State, 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 Todd's performance against BSU (19-of-26, 287 yards, 5 TDs)
"I'm not going to say I'm surprised anymore. I'm really thrilled to death for him. The more success he has, the happier I am for Chris Todd. The hurdles he's crossed and the roller coaster-ride he's been through the last 18-24 months, and for him to have success against anybody is just great to see. Some may downplay that he threw the five touchdowns against Ball State, but to throw that many touchdown passes against anybody, it doesn't matter if it's against Drake Middle School, to do that is impressive and he ought to be commended for a tremendous job."
On Todd's growing confidence level
"I see his confidence grow on each and every possession. He is coming into his own. He is now, at this point in time, the quarterback that everybody was expecting, that everybody heard about that was at Texas Tech. He's turned himself into what a lot of people would refer to as a gunslinger. He's making throws. He's moving himself in and out of the pocket. On the touchdown to Terrell Zachery, he was rolling to his right, he got just outside of the tackle box and threw that ball. It was really within a matter of inches of being a deflection, but he put a lot of zip on the ball and 81 made a great catch.
"Those are plays that, for one, I don't think he could've made that throw last year. And two, I don't think mentally he thought he could make that throw. Believing in yourself and having confidence in what you can accomplish as a quarterback, that right there is 70-percent of your game. If you know you can do, you're at least going to try it. To me, that's what made Matthew Stafford so great. It's having the guts to make that throw. If you never give it a chance, the receiver is never going to catch it."
On the touchdown passes to Trott and Adams
"He's putting the ball where only his guys can catch it. (Mario) Fannin had a drop near the goal line on a seam route. It was a ball that if Mario would've caught it, it would've been a great catch. But the ball was strategically placed where nobody else could get it except 27. Trott's ball was the same way. The one he threw to Adams was the same way. Even the one he threw to Zachery was the same way. I think he has an air or confidence about him now where he's going to give it a shot, he's going to try it. Ultimately, you have to have guys on the other end of those throws that are going to make that catch. And you can tell now with those catches being made that it is the offseason coming into play. That's the relationship and trustworthiness those kids have in each other, and how they are really and truly coming together as a team."
On the importance of the QB having confidence in the receivers
"It's tremendous. As a quarterback, you're only as good as the guys that are your outlets. You're only as good as your tools. At this point in time, with the number of weapons he has at his disposal, whether it's Onterio McCalebb, Ben Tate, Darvin Adams, Terrell Zachery, Tommy Trott or now even Tim Hawthorne. It's probably been since Jason Campbell was quarterback that you can name off that many names that can strike at any point. ....
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