Auburn, Ala (EETV)- Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn spoke on the importance of adjusting and gaining as many advantages possible in a virtual press conference Monday discussing the start of fall camp. 

“This is a year about adjusting. The teams that adjust are going to have an advantage,” Malzahn said.

Due to the levels of uncertainty surrounding the upcoming football campaign, Malzahn emphasized the importance of flexibility, leading to the creation of new practice strategies.

“We feel really good about our plan, the way that we’re going to go about it,” Malzahn said.

“As far as evaluating our guys and developing depth, not just with players but as coaches, I think that’s a real thing we have to be prepared for. We’re setting up practice different than we’ve ever done. I’m excited about it. I think our players are. The goal is to get more information in a faster period of time than we normally do. This isn’t a time for traditional. I really believe the teams that can be flexible will have a chance to separate themselves.”

In the past, teams were able to prepare several weeks in advance for their opponent. This year, with the final schedule being released later tonight, Auburn will have to scramble to prepare for each of its opponents far enough in advance.

“Usually you go into the season and you have the first three opponents broken down, so we’ll be playing catch up really fast in the next three weeks along with everyone else in our conference,” Malzahn said.

Currently, Auburn coaches are stressing the importance of focusing on what they can control and ignoring what they cannot.

“We’ve been talking probably for about five to six weeks about just controlling what we can control and not getting caught up with the ups and downs and everything that’s going on outside. And so that’s the way we’ve taken it. Day by day and week by week,” Malzahn said.

“We’re just concerned about us and as of right now we’re getting ready for the season. That’s our mindset. We can’t get distracted. The teams that don’t get distracted with other stuff are going to have an advantage and that’s been one of the things we’ve really been working hard on. What are the advantages we’re going to have? Not being distracted is one of them. Our guys have done a good job of that.”

Malzahn also gave an update on the players’ COVID-19 tests.

Since players returned to campus June 4, a total of 863 tests have been issued. With a little more than seven tests per player, 33 positive cases were reported.

Staff were also tested more than five times each. As of last week, zero tests have come back positive between staff and players.

“That gives us a lot of confidence going into fall camp and getting started,” Malzahn said.

“There’s a lot of excitement around our building. Everyone is ready to get started.”