The Auburn Corner: Lack of Continuity Good or Bad for Auburn?

Every Tuesday right here you can read The Auburn Corner, where we’ll get into a different topic on the Auburn Tigers, break down the previous game, preview the upcoming game, and everything in between.

In this week’s edition, Auburn is having to replace both coordinators as it enters year two of the Hugh Freeze era. While Philip Montgomery on offense felt like more of a true dismissal, defensive coordinator Ron Roberts is leaving The Plains to take a job at Florida. Will this lack of continuity from year one to year two help, or hurt the program?

Make no mistake, as for on the field, the issues with Auburn lied with the offense this season. The Tigers finished 11th in the SEC in points per game, while ranking 121st out of 130 FBS teams in passing offense with just 162.2 yards per game.

The defense wasn’t spectacular by any means, but it was formidable enough. That’s why it wasn’t a huge surprise when the news broke that Philip Montgomery wouldn’t be retained.

The aspect that did raise some eyebrows, however, is that Freeze himself is going to take over play calling as the de-facto offensive coordinator himself. Freeze has plenty of experience as a play caller, and his offenses at Ole Miss were always among the best in the conference. There is no doubt that he is capable of doing the job.

But why was Montgomery even hired in the first place?

As for defense, Auburn is bringing in former Colorado and Alabama assistant Charles Kelly to ease the transition from Roberts in what was one of the more underrated hires of the offseason.

Overall a hit of the reset button won’t be the worst thing for an Auburn program that struggled through a 6-7 season in Hugh Freeze’s first year. Continuity is often talked about, but the quality of coaches is just as, if not more important.

But as the primary play caller, the pressure on Freeze will now be even higher in year two than it was in year one. If things go poorly again on the offensive side of the ball, the blame will fall squarely on him.