AUBURN, AL -
Former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen was a guest at Jason Dufner's Celebrity Golf Tournament. Lutzenkirchen is now retired from the NFL after injuries cut his career short. I spoke with Lutzenkirchen about the current state of Auburn football and about his relationship with former Tigers head coach Gene Chizik.
Q: (Annino) The last time we spoke was when you were at the Senior Bowl and Auburn football was in a state of disarray. Now however many months later, look where they're at now. How happy are you with the turnaround?
A: (Lutzenkirchen) I joke around: I wish I could've taken a redshirt so I could've been a part of this past season. Coach Malzahn just did a phenomenal job putting a great staff together and getting the guys to believe again. Really excited for the future of Coach Malzahn's tenure.
Q: Do you have any advice for your former teammates who have started the NFL Draft process?
A: Just enjoy it. You can think you're going to have a 10 to 12 year career in the NFL. Then, like in my case, one bad injury can shorten that in a three month stay. So just enjoy it. Not many people get the opportunity. I think too many people kind of take it for granted. I just say enjoy it.
Q: Do you still keep in touch with Gene Chizik?
A: He's like family too. He's just enjoying some down time and getting to relax. His kids are at a young age where he's finally getting to be a part of their lives and be around for them more now that he's not having the stress of being a head football coach. We keep in touch, text back and forth. We try to meet up whenever we can. His family is like family to me. I hope he's doing well right now.
Q: Do you think he'll get another shot at being a head coach and will he be successful?
A: I think so. I think he definitely will get another shot. The turnaround that he did with us in two years, winning the national championship after going 5-7 in 2009, he deserves another shot. Hopefully in the next year or two years, he'll get another chance.