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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tubs' post-scrimmage comments

For a couple reasons, most of which are related to my utter stupidity, I missed Tommy Tuberville's comments directly after the scrimmage. I got there just in time for player interviews. However, the good people in Auburn's sports communications office let me listen to their tape of Tuberville's comments and I just got finished transcribing. Here's almost all of what he had to say:

Opening comments:
(We were) awful sluggish coming out of two-a-days, but we can expect that. It looked like we were running in mud at times, but we got something done. Mainly the scrimmage was for some of the younger guys that needed to play, needed to get tired, needed to get hit, find out what it’s gonna be like. Most of the other guys did play at some point. We did have to hold a couple guys out. But started fast on offense and I thought the defense came around the last three quarters of practice. We had some good runs, some good blocking up front. We were a little bit more physical today. We needed that.

We did work on kickoff, kickoff return, live. We worked on punting live and we did quite a few field goals. I think Wesley missed maybe just one. He’s been real consistent. Our punters, both of them had I think four live punts and each of them had one that wasn’t real good. The other three were very competitive. We’ll see what they averaged after today.

Jomarcus Savage banged his shoulder up a little bit. He had to come out. He’s really the only injury, but he should be back next week. The doctor said it’s nothing serious. But a lot of good contact, but also a few more mistakes than we made last week. Probably seven or eight penalties. This was an SEC group that worked and I told them to be very picky, very tough in terms of alignments and guys doing the right things, and they called it and it was good.

We ran two-minute drills at the end that were live and one group did good on offense. The other one didn’t do very well and we ended up with a good field goal at the end out of Wesley and Hull, making their field goal from two-minute drill on the last group to finish up solid.

We’re gonna come back this afternoon and look at the film. We’ll grade it first and the players will come back and look at the film. We’ve got a lot of mistakes. Now we’ve got to start finding out who’s gonna play. Start from our freshmen up and who we want to start putting on special teams. Tomorrow we’ll come back. I haven’t decided on what kind of practice we’ll have. After we look at the film, we’ll determine that. Monday will be a day off, but we’ve got to get their legs back. They’re pretty much gone in terms of any quickness or speed.

One guy that did show some elusiveness and made some big plays is Philip-Pierre Louis. That’s one guy that I’ll tell you did well in the scrimmage. He’s not a big target, but the quarterbacks have a lot of confidence in him and a lot of confidence that he can make plays afterwards. There were other guys that made plays, but standing out there and watching a guy that just made consistent plays was him. Defensively, it wasn’t anybody that really stood out, but we probably threw the ball a little more today than we ran it, so that was a challenge to our secondary and linebackers, trying to find out where they’re at. Last week we ran it probably more than we threw it, so a little bit different today. Questions.

On Philip Pierre-Louis (who he's taken to calling Frenchy):
He just caught short passes, made 10-, 15-yard runs after that. No long plays. It’s just consistently when the ball’s thrown his way, he caught it. I counted the first half, we probably had four drops. I’m talking about total. And he wasn’t in any of those. We concentrated a little bit better catching the ball in the second half. I thought our quarterbacks did a pretty decent job throwing the ball. Not anything spectacular. The biggest thing is making the right decisions in these scrimmages when you’ve got two guys vying for the starting position, and I thought both of them did about the same. We’ll have to look assignment-wise and how they ran the team. Both of them scored points, but we mixed them up, in and out, trying to find the right combination.

On depth chart:
About third game. We’ll have one probably Tuesday or Wednesday game week. We’re gonna look at a lot of different guys and we’ll have to make some decisions. There’s not many hardships anymore. If you play ‘em, they’re done. And so we want to make sure that any of the younger guys that we play, it’s gonna be worth it. There are some battles at a lot of positions, so we’ll have to grade this film first and see if anybody made any movement, but we’ll have a depth chart, not this week but the next week.

On the scrimmage:
There was probably a few more bigger plays last week. There was more of a grind today, working it down the field. The offense did have some consistency. That’s what I like. They were more consistent. Brad didn’t play. Tristan didn’t play. Ben did play, got I’d say off the top of my head, 10-12 carries, which he needed to get this week. He didn’t do much earlier in the week because of his concussion, but he looked pretty good today running the ball. But we all looked slow. It looks like we all had ankle weights on.

On tackling in scrimmage:
Tackled a little bit better. But when you’re trying to tackle Frenchy, it’s pretty tough. He’s gonna be exciting to watch. He’ll make you look bad in one-on-one, but it’s good. It’s good to see somebody like that in the open field. I’m talking about not just the young guys, everybody was trying to take a dead beat on him. He’s gonna make a lot of people do tackling drills the next week if he can stay healthy.

On releasing the depth chart:
We’ll look at this and we’ll talk about it. We’ve got to give y’all something to talk about the next couple weeks, since we’re not fighting anymore.

On the No. 3 quarterback race:
Both of ‘em played a lot. I thought Neil has really improved. The thing that he’s gotta do is make a little bit quicker decision. Every once in a while, of all of them, last spring and everything, he’d throw it to the wrong-colored jersey and that’s what we’re trying to get him out of. He’s done a better job of that. I think he’s much improved in that area, making better decisions. But again, this offense, he’s pretty familiar with. But Barrett got a lot of velocity on the ball. He’s one where we’ll have to make a decision what we want to do with him.

On defensive highlights:
Harry Adams made a nice interception. We blew the whistle. He probably coulda run it back, but when I saw him get to the sideline, we didn’t want to embarrass the offensive linemen trying to chase him. But he made a good play. There wasn’t many fumbles. We didn’t have many fumbles at all, but there were some pretty good tipped balls. I thought our d-line got a pretty good pass rush today from the corners. We looked a little quicker out there. We just looked sluggish in some areas, though, but we knew that was gonna happen.

On Eddins’ shoulder:
I talked to him today. It’s just a bruise. He said he’d be back Tuesday. Doctors said probably more Thursday or maybe hold him out all week and just get him ready for Sunday. Next week we’ll go all the way through Friday and take Saturday off and start back on Sunday on game week. But good news on that. Just a bruise.

On Reggie Hunt:
We called all day yesterday. When they don’t return your calls, you know … But there’s probably not anybody in here that doesn’t remember one like that every year. You just can’t get any word out of them, and we were supposed to hear Monday, so I’m sure Monday will be pretty much the deadline. We’ve got to do it Monday. We start school Monday and we’ve got him ready to go, if they’d just give us a call. Course it could go the other way, too, so we’re expecting either way.

On safeties behind the starters:
I’ll tell you, Mike Slade made a couple good plays, broke on the ball well. I noticed that. Again, we tried to throw the ball on the safeties today a little bit more, tried to throw the ball in the middle of the field. I think Mike has really improved. He’s gonna see a lot of playing time. Of course last week and this week, we went after the corners, all of them, first and second team. But that’s what this offense does. It’s gonna really put pressure on them, and this week was no different. Had a couple pass interference calls this week that we didn’t have last week.

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