Malzahn says he’s turning offense, play calling over to Chad Morris
MOBILE — Speaking at the first on-field practices at Ladd-Peebles Stadium during Senior Bowl Week on Tuesday, Auburn University head football coach Gus Malzahn confirmed that new offensive coordinator Chad Morris will indeed have full reign over the Bo Nix-led Tigers offense this coming season.
Morris was hired in December as Auburn’s offensive coordinator after being fired as the head coach of Arkansas in his second season with the Razorbacks.
However, when Malzahn made the hire, there was still doubt as to what extent he would truly let Morris spearhead the offense.
As The Montgomery Advertiser’s Josh Vitale noted, Malzahn at the 2019 SEC Media Days in Hoover said he “made a mistake” when he turned over control of his offense to Rhett Lashlee and, later, Chip Lindsey.
In Mobile on Tuesday, though, Malzahn made things crystal clear. The highly successful head coach confirmed that Morris will be making the play calls for the Tigers in 2020.
“Chad Morris, in my opinion, is one of the best offensive minds in all of college football,” Malzahn said. “And we’re going to turn him loose. I’m very excited that he’s a part [of the coaching staff]. I trust him 110%. He’s going to take our offense, and he’s going to run with it. And I’m very excited about that. It’s something that me and him have been talking about for a long time.”
Malzahn noted that the two had been high school coaches at different schools in Texas together. Their relationship goes back to 2003.
“[W]e finally get a chance to coach with each other,” he added. “And I’m excited that he’s going to be in charge of our offense. Really looking forward to next year.”
When asked if Morris will have “full control,” Malzahn answered, “Yeah. He’s going to do it. You don’t hire a guy like Chad Morris unless you’re going to do that.”
.@CoachGusMalzahn was asked about adding Chad Morris as his offensive coordinator. Malzahn and Morris have a history that goes way back. Malzahn says Morris will have full control of the offense. “You don’t hire a guy like Chad Morris unless you’re going to do that.” #WarEagle pic.twitter.com/RqMBYz3UXZ
— Justin McNelley (@JMac_Sports) January 22, 2020
Outgoing Auburn players Marlon Davidson and Prince Tega Wanogho are in Mobile for the South Team during Saturday’s Senior Bowl. Wanogho will not play due to an injury.
Departing Auburn defensive star Derrick Brown was also on hand for Tuesday’s Senior Bowl Week practice, however he is not on a roster for the week and was merely spectating. Brown was pictured with Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.
Information about the game and tickets can be viewed here.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn