Oct 5, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson before the game between the Auburn Tigers and the Mississippi Rebels at Jordan Hare Stadium. Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Ellis Johnson Changes His Tune on the No-Huddle Offense


Auburn Tigers defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson has apparently seen the light on the hurry-up, no-huddle offense, despite his earlier objections.

Justin Hokanson, managing editor of Rivals’ Auburn site, says that Johnson said during the summer after working with Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn, that playing against a hurry-up offense helps a defense get better:

Johnson’s thinking on the issue has seemingly evolved from comments he made when not within the radius of Auburn’s Reality Distortion Field.

While defensive coordinator for the South Carolina Gamecocks from 2008-2011, Johnson said that he thought hurry-up offenses were ruining college football, turning it into something akin to lacrosse or soccer.

“What it’s about now is who can snap the football before the other team lines up.  You can’t hardly get your players on and off the field.  You can’t get your signals in and out.  It’s become who has the best signal system or verbiage system. “

“Frankly, I don’t know what that proves except someone has a better verbiage package.  It’s not about blocking, tackling, running, route running, throwing, and so forth. It’s something the college football world needs to look at.”

Johnson’s comments at that time track more closely with those of Alabama coach Nick Saban, whose presence during NCAA rules committee discussion of the no-huddle raised eyebrows among the Auburn faithful last week.

It’s certainly fair to ask an employee to toe the company line; and Johnson certainly could have come around to Malzahn’s way of thinking. But it’s certainly not sour grapes to point out the inconsistency.

Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Featured Football Popular

  • tideman89

    The no-huddle read option offense is just the latest offensive gimmick. It will go the way of other offensive gimmick based schemes. Defenses will adjust, and shut it down.

    • Danny Berry

      You mean gimmicks like the wishbone Alabama used to run, then the option Alabama used to run. Were you born in 89? Apparently Saban can’t figure it out. Look at his record. The majority of his losses in his career have been to up-tempo teams. Alabama is now on a 2 game losing streak and both losses were to up-tempo teams. Saban’s lackey Beliema has good concern to want the rules changed as well. 3 of Arkansas’ first 5 games are against Auburn, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M, with cupcake games in between those games.

      • BamaHammer

        We’re certainly on record of just wanting the current rules enforced. I’d also be in favor of moving back to the 25-second clock. But mainly, the referees should just take the time to get set, be ready for the next play, and not allow the chaos of the HUNH to cause them to miss infractions or let an offense dictate to them how fast they should go.

      • tideman89

        Check your history Danny. The wishbone offense was no gimmick offense based on snapping the ball before a defense can get set. It was a more traditional running offense predicated on the offense trying to bring superior numbers or blockers to a given side of the defense and having more than one option of who the ball carrier would be. The wishbone is still being run today by some schools; it’s definitely not a gimmick. And no, I wasn’t born in 89, that’s the year I got my Masters degree. If you think that Coach Saban won’t adjust his defenses accordingly, then you don’t know Coach Saban very well.

      • brad

        Aparently u werent watching the same game i was when auburn got lucky and beat bama last season. . .bama misseed 4 feildgoals and cooper dropped a td pass that he shoulda caught. . . U auburn fans are so ignorant. . . You all act as if auburn really dominated teams last year. . . They were the luckiest team in college football as usual. . . And all they accomplishdd is ending a 7 year national champ streak for the S.E.C and a 4 year streak for the state of alabama. . . . Bamas feildgoal kicker ilast year is the worsr kicker in bama history. . . He lost bama 2big games by missing 3 fv’s in each game. . . Bama gave that game to auburn more than auburn won it. . . So all u auburn fans need to get over urselves and see things for the way they are. . . U didnt do anything last year but end a dominating streak that will probably never happen again in college football. . So thats what you all can pat urselves on the back for. . . . Roll tide!!!!

  • ndotken

    Ellis Johnson is a perfect fit for Auburn. He’s a yes-man coach who has no principles and will just say whatever he’s told to say. 11.29.2014 – revenge is sweet.

  • S Cleckley

    OMG he changed his opinion after 3 years? What an absurd thing! People should not be allowed to change their opinion for at least 8 years!