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July 17, 2013HOOVER | Gus Malzahn brought an excitement level back to Auburn University when he returned to the Plains as head coach, replacing Gene Chizik who was fired after last season.
What Malzahn doesn't know if he'll bring the first season is wins.
"I'm blessed to be back at Auburn," Malzahn said. "All of our players have bought into the 'New Day' theme. We've improved in the weight room this summer. We needed to. We've had no issues off the field in eight months.
"The No.1 thing is to get our edge back. That is mental and physical toughness, to play hit-you-in-the-mouth football Auburn. History shows that when Auburn has the edge we compete for championships and win games."
Malzahn brings his fast-paced style of offense to the Tigers, like Auburn ran in 2010 when Malzahn was the offensive coordinator.
"Our goal is to have the fastest offense in terms of pace in the country," Malzahn said. "We'll go two-minute the whole game.
"Our biggest challenge is that we don't know who our quarterback is. Ideally we'll figure that out sooner rather than later in fall camp. We won't make a decision until we're 110 percent sure. The positive is that we've recruited guys specifically for this offense. We need them to step up and step up quick."
Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson will run a 4-2-5 defense.
"That puts three safeties on the field," Malzahn said. "It puts more speed on the field. We have some young guys that need to grow up and grow up in a hurry.
"Our goal is to improve each practice and each game. If we do that we have a chance to have a successful season."
Reach Aaron Suttles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.
Deal ends 08.31.13