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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Early notes: McFadden unsure if he'll play Saturday

AUBURN, Ala. — Cornerback Walt McFadden has tried running this week on his injured right knee, the one that forced him out of the second half of the Arkansas game, but he's not sure what that means about his playing status Saturday against Kentucky.

"I'm going to get it cleared up by Wednesday hopefully," said the senior, who might be a gametime decision. "But I really don't know what's going to happen."

McFadden originally hurt his knee against Tennessee. He re-injured it after intercepting a Ryan Mallett pass last Saturday at Arkansas, getting up slowly after the play was over.

"Zac Etheridge, he was hitting me all in the head, saying 'Good interception, good interception,'" McFadden said. "I was like screaming on the ground, and he was jumping all over me. I was telling him, 'Back up, back up.' He basically told me to get off the ground, don't let them see you hurt. I appreciate everything he had done because I was fixing to lay on that ground awhile."

McFadden watched the rest of the game from the sidelines as Demond Washington and Harry Adams filled his spot.

Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said McFadden's status this week might not be decided until Saturday.

"He's walking around fine," Chizik said. "Our hope is that he'll play, but on Tuesday I can't verify that."

Follow the blog on Twitter. Here are some other notes from Tuesday's early round of interviews ...
  • Chizik's trying to keep Auburn's one loss in perspective. "“Oh yeah, this is not Chicken Little; the sky is not falling," he said. "The bottom line is, we didn’t play well. We need to focus and recapture the things that got us to 5-0. We’re playing a good team at home this week. And like I told them yesterday, it’s not doom-and-gloom, but let’s troubleshoot and figure out why we got beat. And that’s for every guy, ever coach, including me, and starting with me. So that’s where we’ve all got to start. We got back to the nuts and bolts Sunday, doing it again today. But we’ve got to get back to the task at hand better than we were.”
  • Chizik, on not knowing who is going to start at quarterback for Kentucky: "“That is really kind of a question mark for us as to where they are going to go with this. We even went back to last year, to figure out the last two games of what they did quarterback-wise, because they basically had the same issue. We have done our homework and we have our best educated guess, but we are not really sure what that means. We are obviously going to prepare for a number of different scenarios.”
  • Chizik did not seem too concerned about DE Antonio Coleman's recent lack of production, at least on the stat sheet. "Well, first of all the stat sheets don’t tell the story," Chizik said. "I have seen some guys who maybe have two sacks in a football game but become All-Americans because the guard blocked the wrong one, and that’s all anybody sees. So, it’s very overrated. He is doing what we are asking him to do within the defense. Don’t look or read into whether he had a sack or he didn’t. We have to play within the structure of the defense and that’s what we tell the guys and he is doing what we are asking him to do and he has been the ultimate teammate.”
  • A lot of folks have lobbied to see Auburn blitz more. Chizik somewhat answered the question as to why the Tigers don't do a lot of that. “We’re just trying to put out there what we think we can do. You can’t always do exactly what you’d like to do; it’s just where we’re at. So, we’ve got to do what we feel we are physically capable of doing. And whether that’s being very physically aggressive or not, we’ve got to determine, week to week how aggressive we can be. As you saw Saturday, we took one of our best defensive backs, Neiko Thorpe, and he had a rough day. He was playing a great SEC receiver and a great SEC quarterback and was playing all the snaps. And the point is if you’re blitzing all day, you can run up on these kinds of situations. You’ve just got to pick your battles as to when you can be aggressive and when you can’t, and that’s where we’re at.”
  • McFadden tried to help Thorpe put those plays behind him. "I was talking to him throughout the whole second half, just basically telling him, 'You've got to forget it. You're in perfect position, you've just got to make a play on the ball.' As we watched film, it wasn't him doing anything bad in technique or anything, he just didn't play the ball because he just didn't trust himself because it got into his head. It's just basically him being nervous. But that's just a good lesson for him. He's a young DB and sooner or later he's going to be great."
  • Count McFadden as one of a number of defensive players not pleased with how the group has played. "It's pretty frustrating," he said. "Coming from last year and the years before, that's all we heard about: The Auburn defense is keeping the offense alive. Now, we're hearing the offense is keeping the defense alive. And we're kind of starting to enjoy it, starting to take the ride of it. I think it's time for us to get out and step up."
  • Ben Tate was trying to take the offensive linemen out to dinner after his big day against Tennessee. But they had a hard time getting their schedules lined up and it never happened. They're still trying to go out, and center Ryan Pugh thinks it's good for team morale. "It just adds a little more camaraderie to the team, a little something extra to go out there for," he said. "You care about each other a little more. You play like a team, and you're a team on the field off the field."


tigerfan44 said...

I know you don't get a lot of comments on your blog, but you do good work. It is a must read every day. Thanks

easyedwin said...

2charter.netDittos.........I stop here daily too.

WokDontRun said...

I stop here everyday also. Bitter is the best beat-writer covering AU.

ExKnightMike said...

Absolutely the best beat writer covering Auburn. I stop in here twice a day. Thanks Andy!