More detailed practice commentary
MORE DB DEPTH ON THE WAY: As many of you have discussed, the (no city) Press-Register reported today that former LSU cornerback Phelon Jones is aiming to make the jump to Auburn. He requested and received his release from Les Miles. The next step, Jones' father said, is to request a scholarship from the Tigers.
If you think a step is missing -- ie asking Auburn if that would be OK -- you and I think alike.
WHERE IS GABE?: A few HOTTIES have emailed asking for the real story about Gabe McKenzie's "medical" issue. He has missed the team's first six spring practices and it seems likely he'll miss the other nine, too.
Short answer: I don't know enough to write about it.
AS FOR REACTION FROM CURRENT PLAYERS ABOUT FOOTBALL: We can do that as well. You're probably more interested in that.
- Wes Byrum technically is the No. 2 kicker right now ... behind sophomore walk-on Chandler Brooks. Byrum still is trying to shake off the effects of a miserable 2008 season. "I kind of got lost with all my technique. I started changing around, fooling around with stuff that didn't need to be fooled around with. Once I started to change too many different things, I came apart. I've been working on the offseason on getting back to how I know I can do it."
- Byrum on his spring performance: "I'm not hitting the ball my best, I know I'm not. I'm knocking them through right now, but I'm not satisfied with the makes because they're not how I know I can kick. I know I have a lot more work to do."
- Assistant coach Tracy Rocker (defensive line) always mixes positive reviews with critical assements: "I think at times you see greatness. You're trying to break the up and down situation on defense. You see a great play, you see a bad play, you see a great play. If we could just be consistent for four to five straight plays, then there are things you feel good about. But I feel good about the process. It's going to take time."
- Special teams, at least during the past few years, wasn't a primary emphasis during The Tuberville Era. That's clearly changing. Auburn now has a dedicated special teams coach in Jay Boulware and the team is spending more time toward honing their efficiency there.
Here's what P Ryan Shoemaker had to say about Boulware: "He really is a hands-on coach. He likes to dissect film. He watches our technique. He dissects everything we do. It’s worked out very well for us. I think it really has helped out in some things. We’ve had technique issues and I like the way it’s going."
- We have a T'Sharvan Bell sighting. The redshirt freshman was one of Auburn's hyped 2008 signees, but missed two-a-days with a broken foot. That led to the inevitable redshirt season.
Here's what assistant coach Phillip Lolley (cornerbacks) had to say about Bell: "He was a quarterback in high school and he knows what offenses will try. He sees things that a lot of guys don't see because of what he was asked to do in high school; option, attacks, play action. He understands when guys cut their splits down, what routes they might try to be, progressing too and he's just a smart kid. He just picks up things very quickly."
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University
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