This week is one that David Gibbs would like to forget. With his defense giving up an astounding 548 total yards to Wisconsin, the defensive coordinator is now a hunted man.
He's not only being hunted by the state's media but also by many Auburn fans who would like an explanation as to what happened on Monday afternoon. Thursday things got worse when star defensive end Stanley McClover declared for the NFL draft.
While the on-field performance was bad enough, what Gibbs did, or rather didn't do after the game is getting the most attention. With Tommy Tuberville, Al Borges and several Tiger players all taking the podium (and the blame) at the post-game press conference, Gibbs was nowhere to be found.
It seems that he's developed a habit of avoiding the media when his defense turns in bad performances. This was well documented following the Kentucky game when the Auburn defense turned in a lackluster performance. Gibbs was forced to get off the team bus and come back to address the media.
On Monday afternoon he decided to skip it completely. He refused to talk about the loss despite the fact that several of his players did talk with media members. It seems we have something of a leadership problem here.
Gibbs has turned in a solid performance in his first year on the Plains. Following in the footsteps of current Texas defensive coordinator Gene Chizik is certainly not easy.
But these clouds are causing many to be concerned that a storm may be coming. Gibbs will have much to prove next year with McClover leaving and David Irons thinking about it.
The Tigers secondary needs major work and losing Irons could be a huge problem for a unit that hasn't matured as expected. There's no secret that Gibbs relationship with the media is rocky. But at the end of the day it really doesn't matter.
What does matter is the product he puts on the field. For now you have to give him passing grades. In fact, you have to give him stellar grades for the season as a whole.
And there's no reason to believe that he can't deliver next year although it will be a huge challenge. Gibbs has been on vacation this week and unavailable for comment. Let's hope that he continues to grow into the position and get better.
But mostly importantly, it's time for all Auburn people to get behind Gibbs and support him. He's earned that much.
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