Auburn Tigers running back Tre Mason took the college football world by storm in 2013 in helping the team reach the BCS National Championship Game. Rushing for over 1,600 yards as a junior helped Mason decide to give the NFL a try a year early, and he and his head coach, Gus Malzahn, recently addressed some criticisms about a particular part of his game made by NFL Network analyst, Mike Mayock.
Mayock recently expressed his concern over Mason’s ability to block at the next level, a crucial attribute for a professional running back to have. Actually, he wasn’t all that nice about it really, as he said the next time that Mason gets in front of a blocker, it will be his first.
Mason and Malzahn both had their rebuttals recently.
Mason started off by saying it’s not as much of an issue as Mayock is making it out to be.
“I feel like I shouldn’t be criticized on it. I haven’t given up many sacks at all the past two years that I played, and I feel like that’s a strength of mine. But people knock me because of my size. … But I feel like you don’t block the hole in height-wise, you block it with how much heart you have.”
Then, Malzahn jumped in with his two cents by basically saying that the practice will make Mason perfect at it.
“He’s got great courage. A lot of times, pass protection at the next level is about courage,” Malzahn said. “He’s a smart guy. He understands protections. The more he does it, the better he’ll get.”
Despite the breakout year in 2013, the questions surrounding Mason are all over the place. They don’t just stop at the blocking, rather they extend to whether or not he has the size and whether or not his body can handle the rigors of NFL play.