By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn hasn't named a starting quarterback between Jeremy Johnson, Sean White and John Franklin III after eight days of preseason practice. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is OK with that.
"Maybe it's because those guys are doing a good job and not making it easy," Lashlee said after Thursday practice. "It doesn't have to be something negative all the time. When you break camp and go to school next Tuesday it would be great to have things narrowed down or make that decision, but we're not going hurry up and make the wrong decision just to make it to say we've made it.
"If we're not making the decision, it's because we have multiple guys doing a good job."
Auburn's next important preseason stop is Saturday's scrimmage in Jordan-Hare Stadium. It'll be the second trip to the stadium, the second chance to impress for Johnson, White and Franklin. Lashlee said all three had their moments in the first scrimmage, all leading the offense to a touchdown.
Lashlee didn't offer a pecking order, but said "it's human nature that in the back of our mind we have a perception of how things are progressing"
Another scrimmage can only help.
"We need to keep this thing going..." Lashlee said was the feeling after the first scrimmage.
Lashlee said all three quarterbacks did well in the first scrimmage. And there's plenty of practices to evaluate as well. And while there will be no vote, Lashlee said leadership will be a factor.
"To say we're going to decide what everybody else feels would probably be inaccurate, but I think it does have a large degree of weight to be carried with," Lashlee said. "At the end of the day, that's your leader on the field, and it's going to be really hard if those other 10 guys out there - and really the whole team - doesn't believe in him.
"It's very important to us that the team rallies around whoever that is and believes in him. That's a very, very important factor, and that's something I've talked to those guys about. I've said one of the criteria is who is going to make those other guys on the field looking better, and that's a big part of that."
No matter what, Lashlee says things are picking up, something he and Malzahn have emphasized since the spring.
"The guys are playing at the tempo we want," Lashlee said. "I think we're doing a good job of putting them in positions and doing the tempo the way we need at the end of the day. Now, it's going to become, when we get to a game, are you productive? If we're not moving the chains, there's not going to be any tempo. You can run three plays as fast as you want, but if you're punting, you're off the field."
Lashlee also said...
**New running back Kam Martin has impressed. "The one thing you saw is he's not scared to stick his neck in there. He's not tiny, but he's not a big guy. A lot of times you worry about that guy falling down or running out of bounds, he's not that kind of guy."
**Old H-back -- but new tailback -- Kam Pettway is "instinctive."
"He's natural. He's a big load. He goes north and south better than any back I've ever seen. We just need him to keep getting comfortable with all the runs and reads we do. That's just a repetition thing with the protections, too."
**Receiver Eli Stove has "caught our attention. There's no question."
"He needs to be able to help us this year. There are several freshmen who need to be able to help us this year. So we just got to keep pushing them through it. You can't really baby them. You can't bring them along slow. You just got to throw them in the fire, throw them in there with the big boys. So he's done enough that says, 'Hey, he's going to be ready to help us.' In what capacity, I don't know. But we're going to keep pushing him, and he's got a bright future."
"You got a guy like Nate Craig(-Myers). You hope a guy like Kyle Davis, when we get him back, could be in that capacity as well. Obviously, we're trying to give Kameron Martin every chance we can to find out where his role will be."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine