In my opinion it is going to be critical for the 2012 Auburn football team to come up with several more quality receivers to go with the proven seniors, Emory Blake and Philip Lutzenkirchen, if the Tigers are going to have a strong season offensively.
I like the potential a lot of the receivers the Tigers have, but if I was a quarterback there are only two guys I would want to throw the football to if the game was on the line and that is the big tight end, Lutzenkirchen, and the reliable wide receiver, Blake.
Last year with the rest of the receivers if you threw the football their way it might get it caught, but it might not be caught. If you threw it their way, the receivers might be in the right place at the right time to make a play, but there was a real chance they wouldn’t be. That helps explain why the 2011 offense wasn’t consistent throwing the football.
Emory Blake is shown in action during Auburn's bowl victory over Virginia to close the 2011 season.
I have seen Blake make catches he isn’t fast enough to make when the quarterback overthrew him and he just found a way to out-run the football. There is something inside of him that makes him want to go get that football.
With Lutzenkirchen, even if a couple of guys are trying to cover him, if the quarterback gives him a chance to make a catch he is the type of guy who will out-battle the defensive backs and come away with the football.
If you are a receiver on the Auburn football team and want to become a major contributor, you need to play the game with the heart and intensity Blake and Lutzenkirchen bring to the field. When you do the quarterback will be looking for ways to throw the football in your direction.
Philip Lutzenkirchen heads for the end zone during Auburn's 2011 victory over South Carolina.
Every offense needs multiple playmakers, especially in a league like the Southeastern Conference with so many outstanding athletes lining up on defense. So whether they are newcomers like tight end Ricky Parks or wide receiver Ricardo Louis, or guys who have been on the Auburn team for one, two or three years, it is time for more pass catchers to prove to their teammates and coaches they are ready to get the job done play after play, week after week and month after month for this year’s team.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat’s Picks.
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