Rhett Lashlee says competition heating up in Auburn practices
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee says competition is healthy, and that's why Jeremy Johnson and Sean White found themselves competing for the starting quarterback job again last week, and again Sunday as the Tigers turned their attention toward Thursday night's game at Kentucky.
Hey, why stop the competition battle there?
"Y'all keep asking about the quarterback position, but everywhere," Lashlee said after Sunday's practice. "Ramp up the competition a little bit. Get some urgency going all across the board. I think that's been good. We need that. We're 1-0 in October. We know the SEC grind is here. We've got to get better."
Johnson started the first three games. White has started the last two.
"Both guys are still competing. They did it last week, and they did it again today… Had good urgency there," Lashlee said.
Kentucky is 4-1 after having an open date over the weekend. Auburn is 3-2, also with an open date over the weekend — and looking for some offensive punch.
Enter Lashlee's desire to open up all jobs, though the battle between Johnson and White is sure to grab the first headline.
"I think competition at any position is healthy, so it's good for those guys to have to have that urgency each day to bring their best," he said. "I think it will make both of them better, regardless of what we do. They get along great. They are good buddies, they still room together.
"Those guys are pulling for each other. It’s been a big plus for me, my guys in the room and really for our team."
Lashlee said the offense has not lived up to its expectations. Now, he asks, "Who's going to fight, who's going to compete and have some urgency? At this point all you can do is put your head down and try to go out the next game, take them one at a time, and get better. The best thing is they've stayed together and haven't lost that fight, they haven't lost that energy and that pride that comes from wearing an AU helmet. If we have that, we have a shot."
Auburn will be playing without receiver Duke Williams, who was dismissed last week. Lashlee said the Tigers will play on, as a team.
"I think the good thing is we have to be a great team offense. We don't have a bunch of individuals who are just going to go out there and make it all happen on their own, but that's really what offensive football is all about, anyway," Lashlee said. "It's got to be everybody. It may be a different guy each game. It may be a different guy each quarter across the board at all positions."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine