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Friday, April 2, 2010

Quick practice notes: Tigers ready for Saturday scrimmage

Auburn plans to scrimmage at Jordan-Hare Stadium tomorrow, with the intent of doing more 11-on-11 drills than it did in the same situation last week.

"We'll see how far we've progressed in seven days," head coach Gene Chizik said.

The Tigers will stretch and do some positional drills before spending the majority of time in 11-on-11 situations, with some special teams mixed in.

The practice could be important in narrowing the quarterback field. Four quarterbacks -- Cam Newton, Neil Caudle, Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley -- have split reps evenly the first six practices.

Auburn coaches want to whittle that list down, but they have not set a definitive timetable for doing so.

"I don't know if that's where we'll be," Chizik said. "We could be at that point. It strictly depends on how the scrimmage unfolds. Who produces. Who really shows flashes of what we're asking them to do versus who doesn't. And if we're to that point, then we can reduce it now, and if not, we'll continue on.

"Obviously the quicker that we can shave down the reps and shave down who's at 1, 2, 3, etc., the better, but we're in no rush to do that. We're going to do that when it fits."

Some other quick notes:
  • Chizik acknowledged that safety Mike McNeil is still "a work in progress" as he works his way back from a broken leg suffered last spring in a scrimmage. McNeil has had a noticeable limp in practice and struggles physically sometimes in the latter part of practices, safeties coach Tommy Thipgen said.
  • LG Bart Eddins is dealing with an injury right now. Not sure of the severity. "He's going to be OK," Chizik said. Eddins, a senior, has worked in place of Mike Berry, who is out this spring following offseason knee surgery.
  • No leader has emerged in the battle for the right tackle job between Roszell Gayden and Brandon Mosley. Chizik said the team's goal is to identify it's best seven linemen to be ready for the season.
  • Thigpen said sophomore walk-on Ikeem Means (Wetumpka, Ala.) continues to impress at safety this spring. He said if Means plays in the scrimmage as well as he has performed in practice, he could compete for some starting time. "He probably reminds me of (Daren) Bates, except with a little more burst," Thigpen said.
  • We also talked to DT Mike Blanc, whose is of Haitian descent and whose father was there when an earthquake devastated the country in January. Blanc's father is all right, and Blanc, who didn't have contact with his father for several days, is in good spirits now. I'll have more on this in a full story I plan to write soon.
I'll be back with a full practice report later this afternoon.

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