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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday post-practice: OL Phillips out indefinitely

AUBURN, Ala. — Freshman offensive lineman Aubrey Phillips is out for an undetermined amount of time after suffering a “non-football related episode,” Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said Saturday.

Phillips, who joined the team this week after transferring from Florida State this summer, did not practice during the portion available to the media Friday. Saturday’s practice was closed.

Chizik declined to give any specifics but said the team is doing medical tests to determine what happened.

The 6-foot-5, 330-pound Phillips left Florida State in July after a falling out with the coaching staff, who, according to reports, were critical of the freshman’s weight.

In his only interview with Auburn media Thursday, Phillips said his conditioning wasn’t an issue.

“I think I’m in pretty good shape,” he said. “At Florida State, I was doing everything they told me to do — no matter what the media said.”

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Some other notes following a practice we media types were not allowed to watch ...

  • Auburn practiced as one group for the first time Saturday, bringing veterans and newcomers into the same session on the field. Chizik said Chris Todd, Kodi Burns and Neil Caudle took the majority of reps at quarterback, although freshman Tyrik Rollison got a few snaps. “They all took reps in individual (drills), but when you get to a team setting it’s difficult,” Chizik said. “Not all of them got reps in that particular part of practice.”
  • Chizik says, despite his defensive background, that he and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn review the quarterback situation a lot. "That's an everyday discussion," he said. "So, we're assessing them together daily."
  • The Tigers were in shells Saturday, something they might continue to do the next few days, even though NCAA rules will allow them use full pads. “With our depth, we’re going to have to be really smart with how we practice the whole two-a-day window,” Chizik said. “Just because you’re allowed to go in pads doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for you. ... There is a fine line in there. We’re going to assess it every day to see what type of gear we need to dress out at.”
  • Freshman wide receiver DeAngelo Benton had his right hand wrapped with a brace after suffering an injury during Friday’s practice. Perhaps this is one of the reasons he did 100 yards worth of up-downs following his session of practice Friday. Officially, this is Benton's reason for the punishment: "I wasn't at the right place at the right time." He did not practice Saturday, sitting on the sideline during drills while reviewing signals and plays. Benton said he’ll be back at practice today, adding, “It’s no problem.”
  • Auburn has tried plenty of things to forge camaraderie on defense. Last year it was hard hats. This year it’s facial hair “We’re trying to do something as a defense just to let people know we’re a team and we’re sticking together,” cornerback Walt McFadden said. He got the idea from his older brother Bryant, who did the same as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Auburn movement started in the secondary, but McFadden said it has spread to a few other positions as well, although some players are having a hard time. “We’ve got one guy, (Rodney) Cofield, his face is so babyish,” McFadden said. “He’s just got a baby face. We’re trying to get him to grow something. We just told him we’re going to have to pace him.”
  • Chizik and his staff has been up front about wanting Auburn’s players to have a professional appearance both on and off the field. Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor likes a clean-cut look, claiming every day is an interview, so players are trying to keep things well-groomed. “As long as we keep it shaped up and not let it grow wild,” McFadden said, “(Trooper’s) OK with it.”
  • Chizik on defensive tackle Nick Fairley, a transfer from Copiah-Lincoln Community College. "Nick has come on. Of course it’s a whole new deal now from junior college to this. But he’s gotten a lot of reps. He’s shown some flashes of some things that are very encouraging. We hope that he can in the next 24-25 practices, whatever is remaining, that he can really help us because he has a big body and is a good football player. He’s just got to get used to the speed of the game at this level and the physicality of the game."
  • LB Adam Herring is still out with the same undisclosed medical issue that kept him out in the spring.
  • Freshman QB Clint Moseley spoke with us for the first time today. He said it's been a learning experience adjusting to a new level. "Just the fast pace," he said. "In the meetings, I can tell you all the plays, what you're supposed to do, but you get on the field, coach Malzahn expects you to know all the reads and protections and things just within five seconds. That's definitely my biggest weakness right now." Moseley got some reps in one-on-one drills but when the Tigers went to seven-on-seven drills, he was the odd man out. "(Malzahn's) a little iffy about me on knowing the plays and he don't want to interrupt practice, and I understand that," Moseley said. He was very realistic about his chances of playing time this year, saying he expects to redshirt. "I need to put on a lot of pounds and learn the offense and just get a year of experience under my belt," he said.
  • McFadden had an interesting take on some scrappin' that takes place during some of the live sessions of practice: "We just wait until coach Chizik blows that whistle about 10 times and then we know that we’re in trouble," he said. "We try to just wait. If he blows the whistle once and he sees that we keep going and just keep forward, sooner or later the GA’s will come running forward and say, ‘It’s over. Over.’ Then, basically, the coaches will let us know that we’re all there as a team and the defense is swarming to the ball so all 11 players are getting there. basically we’re just letting the GA’s break us up."
  • I've got to give it up for Opelika-Auburn News beat writer Andrew "Gribbs" Gribble for harnessing the awesome power of LexisNexis to break down the attrition in Auburn's recruiting classes the last few years. Check out his blog post here for a complete breakdown of how Auburn got to its current scholarship state. The Tigers will operate with 75 scholarship players this season, 10 below the NCAA's limit of 85.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the best break down that is out there!