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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Early practice notes: Blanc has wrap on hand

We just finished our 20-minute window of watching the first part of Thursday's practice. Here are a few notes:
  • DT Mike Blanc had his left hand wrapped and did not participate in any drills during the observation period. No word yet on what the injury is, but we'll ask Gene Chizik about it later (and probably get no definitive answer). It's tough to tell in the picture above (taken yesterday) if Blanc had his hand wrapped, but it doesn't look like it. Either way, he was practicing yesterday and did not today, so that's noteworthy.
  • Chizik split the team into two groups again today. The veteran group was the first to hit the practice field again.
  • WR Tim Hawthorne (broken foot) was in a walking boot. I think he was yesterday as well, but I didn't write it.
  • During stretching drills, a handful of players had to carry footballs to work on ball security. A few, including running backs Ben Tate and Mario Fannin appeared to havea more slippery version than the rest. Kodi Burns, Tommy Trott, Neil Caudle, Gabe McKenzie, DeAngelo Benton and Eric Smith also were in on the action. Smith was the only one we saw fumble when a coach knocked it out of his hand. Don't know what the punishment was.
  • There was one newcomer added to the veteran mix Thursday: defensive back Demond Washington. He's not completely new to college football, having played at junior college for two years, but he's new to Auburn. Chizik swears these groups were made with no rhyme or reason, but it's interesting that the newcomers most expected to get on the field this year -- Benton, WR Emory Blake, TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, DT Nick Fairley and now Washington -- are all working with the veteran group.
  • We'll be back for more later.


ron mexico said...

I'm guessing washington is with the first group because he can't be redshirted. I'm thinking in a perfect world chizik would redshirt the whole second group.

I was thinking about this today... what is the position (besides receiver) auburn could most afford to lose the starter? The best i could come up with was NG- Jake Ricks

Andy Bitter said...

I'd agree with that, although Auburn isn't necessarily deep at defensive tackle, so that could be an issue.

The position I would say is running back. If Tate goes down, Fannin is available. Plus, I think McCalebb and Aycock might be able to step in right away.

ron mexico said...

actually runningback went through my mind as well, but i figured tate will be the best player on the team and we are going to need at least one other playmaker on offense (fannin). But i actually forgot about McCaleb being there since the spring so you might be right in saying fanin could step in for tate and McCaleb take over fanin's roll (the other playmaker)

ron mexico said...

Now, the player Auburn could least afford to lose... I'm going with Ziemba then Bynes

Andy Bitter said...

I also think running back is a position where you see more freshmen contribute immediately. There's no size factor like offensive line holding them back.

As for the player they can't lose, I agree with Ziemba and Bynes. Although quite honestly, if they lose anybody from their offensive line and linebacker, they could be in a world of hurt. The drop-off to the next level of players is significant.

I'd also throw AC in there, simply because he's the heart and soul of this defense. That's tough to replace.