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Todd: No friction in duel with Burns

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

AUBURN, Ala. -- The competition for Auburn's starting quarterback job between Kodi Burns and Chris Todd is one of the most intense battles in the league.

But just because the competition is fierce, Todd said people shouldn't think he and Burns are at each other's throats and the players on the team are picking sides.

"I think it could be hard if there was turmoil there, if there was tension between the guys," Todd said of the quarterback duel. "You do obviously want to be the guy, and that's what you're working toward. But it's a little different, because we're bringing two different things to the table.

"There's no tension there. You kind of just have to be supportive and understand that we're doing things to help the team win. That's the ultimate outcome. If things work out in your favor, they do. They're truly going to work out either way."

The biggest difference for Todd this preseason is that he can throw the ball without his shoulder feeling like it was going to fall off. He had a bum shoulder all spring and says he couldn't make all of the throws.

"It's night and day, really," said Todd, who started his career at Texas Tech and played at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College last season. "The spring was really frustrating, especially when you first get to your new school. You want to show everybody what you have. You want to showcase the arm, and you can't do it.

"Throughout the summer, it's gotten a lot stronger. I've been able to build it up so much better. Now I can put pop on the ball and throw a lot of balls I wasn't able to in the spring."

Todd has a leg up on Burns in that he's more familiar with the spread offense the Tigers are running this season. First-year Auburn offensive coordinator Tony Franklin helped Todd's high school team put in this offense as a consultant back in Elizabethton, Ky., when Todd was a sophomore.

The tempo of this offense with the no-huddle approach is something Todd thinks will take getting used to by everybody in the SEC.

"Some guys [use the spread] now and they do it pretty well, but we'll do it in a little different way," Todd said. "As far as the speed of the game goes, we'll change that up."

It doesn't really matter who takes the first snap at quarterback when Auburn opens the season against Louisiana-Monroe. The plan is clearly to play both players. At this point, I'd say Burns will get that first snap and be a factor all season with his ability to get out on the perimeter and run and pass.

But Todd is more of a pure passer who can move well enough, and assuming he stays healthy, is probably closer to what Franklin is looking for in a quarterback in this system.

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said he'd probably go ahead and name a starter later this week following the Tigers' second scrimmage.