Rhett Lashlee says improvement is 'our charge to get ready for Saturday'
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Rhett Lashlee says Auburn coaches are in the process of evaluating all its players after a rough weekend at LSU, but that's with the conviction the Tigers have the ingredients to get back on course.
"We still believe in our guys," said Auburn's offensive coordinator Sunday night. "We still believe we have good players on this team and we still believe that we’re going to play well, starting with this Saturday. That's the most important thing, we get out in front of our fans, Jordan-Hare at night against an SEC opponent."
Auburn will try to rebound from its 45-21 loss to LSU against Mississippi State at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
"I just told the guys that after practice: 'Hey, life, things happen where you get your tail kicked and there's one or two ways you go afterward. How are you going to respond?'" Lashlee said. "That's our job this week as coaches, to get our guys ready to respond on Saturday and that's the only thing we can do something about right now."
Lashlee said quarterback Jeremy Johnson is "our starter right now and I believe that come Saturday, the guys we put out there are going to play hard, they're going to play fast and they're going to represent Auburn the right way."
Lashlee didn't hide from the struggles at LSU.
"There are a lot of things we've got to spend time working on to get better and it's everybody, the whole collective offense," he said. "We've got a lot of work to do to get better and that's our charge to get ready for Saturday.
"I don’t think guys are playing as fast as they would like to and reacting as fast as they would like to, and that just goes back to the whole thing of we got to evaluate everything, we got to put guys in position and let them go play, and we got to play better. We can sit here and diagnose it — but we didn’t play well, we got whipped, we got to play better this week. We all know that, and that’s what we’re going to do."
Lashlee said freshman running back Kerryon Johnson was a bright spot. Johnson did it all, running, receiving and returning kickoffs.
"I thought he was tough," Lashlee said. "You can tell he’s healthy and full speed. For a young guy, the moment wasn’t too big for him. He was really competing. He was fighting hard. He’s a guy that with the ball in his hands, he can really make things happen."
Lashlee also said running back Roc Thomas did well.
"We were happy with the way Roc was producing. Roc was making yards. Roc was running the ball well."
And he said receiver Stanton Truitt did well. Truitt had a catch for 13 yards and two end-around carries for 24 yards.
"Stanton was a guy who played the most that he's ever played. He gave us some really explosive plays," Lashlee said. "He had a big run, busted plays, big third-down catch conversion. I liked what I saw from him. So from that standpoint, I like what I saw and he’s earned an opportunity to play more."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine