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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quick practice notes: Auburn hopes to limit big plays on defense by being faster

We just finished some interviews after Day 5 of Auburn's spring practice. Here some quick notes:
  • Ted Roof is on board with Auburn's defense sacrificing some size to get faster across the board. He thinks it will helps the Tigers cut down on some of the big plays they gave up last year, what he termed the defense's Achilles' heel. "It's good, because if you tackle a guy, you have to run fast," he said. "You get more guys to the ball quicker, you eliminate the big plays. ... You get more hats to the ball and guys that can run in space and tackle in space."
  • Roof, like offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, thinks his defensive unit is ahead of where it was last year. "Not be to confused with far enough along," he said, "but further than we were at this point last year."
  • T'Sharvan Bell has shown a new focus this spring, Roof said. Bell, who had a strong showing in the Outback Bowl, has worked at cornerback.
  • Zac Etheridge continue to be held out of drills, although Roof said he's in all the meetings and has been taking mental reps.
  • Four quarterbacks continue to split reps. Malzahn said they're still splitting reps and that they're playing well enough that the decision hard is on him.
  • Malzahn said he's seen more urgency to Mario Fannin this year at tailback, although he noted he'd still like two quality ballcarriers to rely on next season.
  • Malzahn on Neil Caudle: "Neil knows the offense just as well as I do."
  • DE Nosa Eguae's foot injury last year was to his third metatarsal. "It was a stress fracture, but it was to the point where it was pretty much broken," he said.
I'll be back with a full practice update and possibly some video a little later.

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