Auburn Football 2012: A Look at the Quarterback Position for Spring Training

Kevin McGradySenior Writer IMarch 19, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31:  Kiehl Frazier #10 of the Auburn Tigers against the Virginia Cavaliers during the 2011 Chick Fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Spring training begins for the Auburn Tigers within the week. The players appear to be confident moving from strength and conditioning back to the gridiron. The atmosphere surrounding the program is upbeat and most players appear to be looking forward to beginning the 2012 season.

As the new offensive coordinator, Scot Loeffler has made it clear that there is no current starting quarterback. He has also made it clear that there is no front-runner for the position.

In fact, after watching every 2011 game it was his belief that the quarterback competition could go late into the fall. If you were a starting quarterback in 2011, this does not appear to bode well for your chances.

Loeffler mentioned that he plans to install his system slowly and simply stride to improve the quarterback position each day. He also mentioned that Zeke Pike will be taking part in the quarterback competition. Some had speculated that Pike would automatically redshirt with an experienced starter returning.

It appears that Loeffler plans to take the quarterbacks on the roster back to square one and begin anew. Loeffler will slowly implement his system so that he may evaluate the performance and ability of each candidate along the way. He said to expect the competition to go into the fall.

This would lead one to believe that if Clint Moseley is to have any shot at retaining his starting status this fall, massive improvement will need to take place on his part. In fact, when an offensive coordinator watches six games where you were the primary quarterback and the opinion was inconclusive, a long uphill battle is in store for this young man.

With Keihl Frazier and Zeke Pike the problem was simply a lack of performance to evaluate. Frazier has only thrown a dozen passes at Auburn and Pike is a true freshman. Oddly, under the circumstances, it appears this might give them a leg up in this competition.

What is known with certainty is that Loeffler will implement a run-first offense. This would also seem to favor both Frazier and Pike in this competition. Moseley is not known to be a big running threat. Clint Moseley rushed 27 times for minus-73 yards in 2011 and averaged less than eight yards per passing attempt.

Scot Loeffler will be running a much different offense, but a quarterback’s ability to make something happen and not lose yards is always something to be considered. Keihl Frazier only lost 16 yards while running 88 plays in 2011. Contrast this to Clint Moseley who lost 122 yards in the 135 plays he ran in 2011.

There is no mistaking that the Auburn offensive line was less than adequate in 2011. While this is a factor, the ability to escape and elude rushers was not a strong point for Moseley in his starts last season.

Scot Loeffler appears to want the players and fans of Auburn football to believe that there will be a heated quarterback competition this spring and into the fall. If this is the case, the two most likely leading contenders in this competition might just be two players without a single start in their careers.