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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Defensive tackles making plays for Auburn

I wrote a story for today's paper about Auburn's defensive tackles. Here's how it starts:
AUBURN, Ala. — Tracy Rocker never subscribed to the idea that a defensive tackle serves merely as a space-filler.

Auburn’s defensive line coach was a wrecking ball during his playing days on the Plains, a disruptive force who was among the team leaders in tackles every year of his Hall of Fame career. Naturally, that approach hasn’t left him.

“Why let (linebackers) Josh Bynes and Craig (Stevens) get all of it? I don’t believe in that,” Rocker said. “I believe we have the first opportunity to take advantage of it. Let them figure out the rest.”

Rocker’s defensive tackles have been making plenty of plays this season. Against West Virginia last Saturday, Jake Ricks intercepted an errant screen pass, Mike Blanc forced a fumble on a sack and Nick Fairley got in on a tackle for a loss and produced two quarterback hurries.

“He stresses that a lot,” Blanc said. “We have to be the ones to make the plays. We’ve got to be the play-makers. We’ve got to be the ones with the interceptions. We have to get the fumbles. A defensive linemen doesn’t go into a game and think you’re going to stand this guy up while the linebacker makes the play.”
Read the whole thing here.

1 comment:

AUsome04 said...

Playing against West Virginia, I knew the defensive lineman would have to come up big (I said so on this blog) and they did. Rocker has been able to get pressure with whatever four he has in there. Even Dee Ford had a key QB hurry in the 4th quarter against Jarret Brown.

If we can get quality play out of McKenzie and Hot Carter down the stretch, look out SEC West.