Practice report, 4/5
Here's what we learned today:
- QB Neil Caudle (right) said Cam Newton and Barrett Trotter took more than their fair share of snaps today. I still stand by my assertion that Clint Moseley will be the No. 2 quarterback.
- Chizik said no decisions have been made at quarterback. Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said last week that he's hoping to create a hierarchy soon.
- Gene Chizik offered so additional insight into WR Philip Pierre-Louis' injury. We know he was carted off the field during the Saturday scrimmage. We know, based on PPL's tweets, that the knee still is swollen and he'll be getting scans today.
- Chizik offered plenty of praise for walk-on S Ikeem Means, who played mostly on special teams last season as a true freshman. Assistant coach Tommy Thigpen had good things to say about Means last week as well. Sounds like Auburn has its next Adlai Trone.
- OL Bart Eddins is expected to miss the rest of spring drills with a knee injury, though he'll likely return in time for two-a-days. This is true despite Chizik's assertion Friday that everything is fine with Eddins.
- P Ryan Shoemaker has been kicking quite well lately. Assistant coach Jay Boulware (left) postulated that the arrival of signee Steven Clark this summer, a highly regarded prep punter, may be behind Shoemaker's surprising and dramatic improvement.
- Assistant coach Jeff Grimes didn't offer much into the competition at right tackle, where newcomers Roszell Gayden and Brandon Mosley are competing. The loser of that battle will serve in a reserve role there and behind Lee Ziemba.
- Grimes said walk-on G Jorell Bostrom, who is popular with some HOTTIES, will miss the rest of spring ball because of an arm/shoulder injury.
- Grimes (right) said he's been impressed with the play sophomore John Sullen has been exhibiting at left guard.
- Grimes on the chasm between Lee Ziemba now and where he could be: ``The difference between being a very good offensive lineman and being a great one, a lot of times, is ... the small technical details. He's a lot further along this year than he was at this point year. One thing that'll certainly will help him and all the guys who are coming back is being in the same offense for another year. He'll be in a position where he has more consistency around him."
- QB Cam Newton (left) was willing to delve into a discussion about his weaknesses today. He said he doesn't properly sell fakes right now. He also claims to struggle with patience in the pocket. He's supposed to be considering all receivers. Instead, he tends to look at one and either pass or run. That's all he needed at Blinn College. Malzahn is re-working that approach.
- Newton said he challenged the defense at times with his feet during the Saturday scrimmage. Quarterbacks were off-limits to tacklers, which meant even the scrape of a finger on a jersey constituted a take-down. Newton said he's been jawing with some of his defensive teammates about how they wouldn't have gotten him to the ground.
- Newton said he's been struggling to throw the ball well without gripping the laces. ``That's a big thing Coach Malzahn has installed into all the quarterbacks. As soon as you catch the ball, throw. That was kind of new to me because all my life I've been taught to feel for the laces, that's where you get the spiral from. Of course it's going to be awkward, but I think I'm getting comfortable throwing without the laces. The receivers complain from time to time how the ball comes out. That's not my job. My job is to get the ball to them."