Auburn update, 7/12
Hey everyone. I talked with defensive coordinator Will Muschamp on Wednesday about a few things you might find interesting.
**The coaches are working today and Friday on their approaches for the USF and Mississippi State games. Grad assistants spend the spring and early summer producing "cut-ups", short videos showing how an opponent runs particular plays, and the full-time assistants base their plans on what they see in the video. Auburn coaches also get ideas by talking with friends in the business who have played against, say, South Florida and Kansas State.
**The staff will turn its attention to Kansas State, the season-opening opponent, on Monday. On Thursday, the focus will return to Auburn and how the coaches plan to make changes to their own schemes.
**Muschamp said he's been building a new approach to defending shotgun draws, which caused the Tigers a lot of problems last year. Though Muschamp didn't directly illustrate how he plans to change things -- coaches crave secrecy, of course -- he explained how things broke down.
"It's a matter of repping it more in practice. We didn't do that enough last year," said Muschamp, who was hired before the 2006 season. ``Year One was about installing our scheme. Year Two is about refining the scheme. You find the areas where you didn't do a good-enough job and you figure out, ideologically, how to fix that. Then you teach the revisions to the kids. That's where we are now -- we'll start teaching in August."
**Also, in case you missed the three-sentence blurb in Thursday's editions, linebacker Tray Blackmon has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that restores his eligibility immediately. The sophomore quit school in the spring while attending to personal matters, then re-enrolled this summer.
Though nobody has discussed publicly the reasoning behind Blackmon's departure, it's obvious that the NCAA was sympathetic. The NCAA's track record on sympathy isn't all that good.
I guess we'll have to draw our own conclusions on that.
**Octavius Balkcom isn't with the team right now, and his status remains in doubt. Balkcom was supposed to start the season as a No. 3 guy behind Sen'Derrick Marks at DE. Muschamp said he'll run the top four guys at end (Groves, Marks, A.C., Goggans) and leave it at that. The fifth guy, should Auburn need one, will be either Bryant Miller or Darrell Roseman. They're both redshirt freshmen.
Marks will be a DE by trade this season, but will shift inside on rushing downs.