By Jeff Shearer
AUBURN, Ala. - With Auburn's season opener still a month away, offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey is in no hurry to anoint a starting quarterback.
"We'll know when we know," Lindsey said. "I don't really think we have a target date. I want to see them in a lot of situations. We can't do third down, red zone, two minute, coming out, all of that stuff in the same day. It's going to take a little time for those situations to play out before we make a decision."
After Auburn's third practice, Lindsey shared the skills required of the winning candidate.
"The one who affects the other 10 guys the most," Lindsey said. "Tempo, the quarterback is in charge of that. He's got to make sure we're getting all of the communication. There's so much involved with running a play that the quarterback has to do.
"Even on the sideline, we've set a standard. 'This is how we're going to practice. Our chinstrap is buckled,' or whatever it is we're trying to do. I want the quarterback to be the guy who sends the message that the coach is sending. Whatever I'm standing up in front of the offense saying, I think our quarterbacks ought to be the guys who are bringing that message to our team."
"Sean's really smart. He's been around and played a lot. I like what I've seen with Sean," Lindsey said. "Sean's a guy who I lean on some because he's played here. Little details when we're intermixing a few different concepts. I like where Sean's mindset is. He's here to work and compete.
"[Jarrett] has continued to improve. His grasp of the offense is improving. For Jarrett, it's just getting comfortable with our wideouts, the timing of different plays, and understanding the timing against every look. The more he sees the looks, the more he gets the reps, I think the better he'll get."
White's participation in spring practice was limited after injuring his arm while running early in the Sugar Bowl. Now fully recovered, White weighs close to 215 pounds after summer workouts.
"I asked him yesterday," Lindsey said. "He said he feels really good where he had the injury. I think he's put on some good weight. I think it will help him stay healthy. The season is a grind, obviously. Got to continue to make good decisions at quarterback no matter who's playing. Don't put ourselves in harm's way so much."
The quarterback decision Lindsey and Auburn coach Gus Malzahn make figures to be the biggest preseason storyline, one Lindsey says will not be influenced by outside factors such as media speculation or fans' expectations.
"It's tunnel vision," Lindsey said. "I've got to focus on what's important. I'm with them every day. We're trying to mke the best decision for Auburn and our team."
Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @jeff_shearer