Auburn's WRs can hear the doubters — and they're ready to 'change the narrative'
After a 2022 season with zero WRs in the SEC's top 50 in receptions, the Tigers have a lot of work to do. Can a new offense get them there?
WR Camden Brown (Declan Greene/Auburn Athletics)
It all started with a tweet from ESPN national college football reporter Heather Dinich on Monday afternoon.
“Auburn football fans, you might need some, um, patience with your WRs…” Dinich tweeted, tagging the team’s official account.
Dinich, who was in Auburn to interview new head coach Hugh Freeze and others as part of a spring practice tour in SEC country, got a large number of responses. Some Auburn fans agreed with the assessment. Others were taken aback by it.
But the most notable replies came from several of the Tigers’ own wide receivers — Camden Brown, Landen King and Koy Moore.
On Wednesday, Brown had his first-ever interview session as a Tiger. And it didn’t take long for him to be asked about the recent talk about his position group.
“Note to self,” Brown repeated. “That’s all I have to say. We just all trust in each other, and we just really have to show them why — why we are here. We’re not here for nothing. But we're going to continue to show how we're going to all buy into this program and just have fun. All the receivers are really bought in, and (with) all the adversity we've been through last year, ain't nobody going to stop this receiver corps or offense.
“So they can say what they want. We’re here.”
What stands out the most about the tweet — and the responses to it — is how the message isn’t really any different from what Auburn’s own coaches have said about the receiver room this spring.
An hour before that tweet was sent, Freeze said the receivers’ progression during spring ball was “not as much as I would like.” A week earlier, he said the wideouts and the quarterbacks both had “a long way to go” and that they were the “farthest off” from where the Tigers needed them to be.
On Tuesday, Auburn offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery said “we still have a lot of growth to do in that room.” And last Tuesday, wide receivers coach Marcus Davis said “there’s a lot of work to be done” with his group.
Of course, it’s miles different for players to hear or see that from a coach than it is from somebody on the outside. And, to be completely fair, the wide receivers reacted to the tweet as added motivation instead of outright anger.
“Flip the script,” Brown said Wednesday. “That's about changing the narrative. It goes back to the question (about) how there's all the hate on the receivers — right now, we've all gotta change the narrative. That's what the main focus is right now. As with anything, we've gotta change the narrative with the quarterback situation, with the receiver situation, the o-line situation.
“We've all gotta change the narrative around everything. Changing the narrative is the main topic right now.”
And patience is necessary when talking about Auburn’s wide receivers right now. Because, again, their coaches are saying the very same thing.