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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Scrimmage notes: Freshman Trovon Reed makes impression in variety of roles, including Wildcat

Had time to go through some quotes. Here are some longer notes about today's scrimmage at Jordan-Hare Stadium:
  • Head coach Gene Chizik on the scrimmage: "We were looking for improvement from Scrimmage One to Scrimmage Two, and I think we got that today. The effort was really, really good."
  • Nice day for Trovon Reed (pictured), who sat out the first scrimmage after tweaking an MCL injury he suffered in high school. Reed did a little bit of everything in the scrimmage, playing receiver, running a reverse, fielding punts and playing Wildcat quarterback. "The kid's explosive, he can make some plays," wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor said.
  • The Wildcat role left defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker impressed. "I guess it's something in the water down there in Louisiana,." he said. "I don't know, man. He's fast. He's fast."
  • Reed had a partial tear of his MCL in high school. He says he's fine. "Coach Troop always tells me that pain is just pain but when you're injured you're really injured," he said. "When you have pain you can play with pain, so I just played through it."
  • Reed is working behind Terrell Zachery at wide receiver but doesn't quite know what his role will be. "I'm not sure about an impact but hopefully I can help the team," he said. "I've just got to play my role. Whatever the role coach gives me, if it's just go out there and be a decoy, I got to go out there and be a decoy and do it 100 percent."
  • Taylor, who called the team "dog awful" after one of Thursday's practices, thought things were better today. "Night and day better," he said. "Night and day. I was really proud of them today. In fact, at the end of practice, they were all kind of tense thinking they would have to up downs. I said 'Guys, I'm proud of you.' And we don't do up downs just to do them. We do them for mistakes. I was really proud of them. We still have to do some things to get better. They really flipped the switch. I was really proud of them today."
  • Today's scrimmage involved more running plays than the first one, partly because of the rainy weather, partly by design. "We wanted to see how we got off the football ball, wanted our running backs to touch the ball, carry it, see if they could hold on to it, see if we hit the right holes," offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said.
  • Malzahn said freshman RB Michael Dyer was "solid," and was happy that he held onto the ball all day.
  • Only one penalty for the offense today. Guess how Malzahn felt about that. "That's not good enough," he said. Tough crowd.
  • The one penalty? It was whistled by offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, who saw a hold the officials didn't. "They all paid a punishment for that," Grimes said.
  • Still no leader at right tackle, per Grimes. "Eventually somebody will step up," he said. "If not, we'll play a couple of guys."
  • The quarterbacks split the reps fairly evenly today. Cam Newton said he did OK. Good and bad things, Malzahn said, adding that they're not necessarily the same every scrimmage. "You focus on one thing in a scrimmage and then in the next scrimmage, you focus on another area," he said. "He's starting to put everything together. We have to put all of our offense in. That's what we've been doing. He's usually not the type to make the same mistake twice, so that's good."
  • Chizik on the quarterbacks: "I don’t know if one jumped out at you."
  • QB Barrett Trotter played the first five or six series with the second team after not playing in the first scrimmage. He threw a touchdown pass. "I thought we did well," he said, "had some real explosive plays that helped move the ball down the field."
  • Your punt returners: Quindarius Carr and Jonathon Mincy. Darvin Adams and Anthony Morgan also in the mix. "We probably had five or six live punts today, and we had no drops," Chizik said. It should be noted that was against live competition.
  • Your kick returners: Mario Fannin, Demond Washington, Onterio McCalebb, not necessarily in that order. "We kind of know what they can do," Chizik said.
  • Wes Byrum hit some long field goals, including a 50-yarder. "Today he kicked like he did where he left off last year," Chizik said. Byrum also did kickoffs, but some of those came up a little short. The weather was a factor in that, too.
  • Whitaker made some plays at defensive tackle. He said he was getting adapted to the speed a little bit more every practice and has a better sense of how he might fit in. "I've just got to keep on playing and keep doing what I'm doing. Keep getting better," he said. "If I'm playing, it's still the same thing. If I'm not, it's still the same thing. I'm just chopping piece by piece and just looking good."
  • Still no full contact for safety Zac Etheridge. It's getting to the point where you wonder if there's more to his situation than what Auburn is letting on. If he was cleared medically almost a month ago, shouldn't he be doing some full contact stuff? We'll see how this plays out in the upcoming weeks, but the season is fast approaching.

We'll be back later tonight with an update after the second practice. So check back. A second glance at the schedule reveals a change in plans tonight. Auburn has a walkthrough, with no media availability. So everyone has to wait until late tomorrow night for another practice update.

You can see all your Auburn Tigers at tomorrow's Fan Day, however. It's from 3-5 p.m ET at the Auburn Arena. Click here for more information.

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SteveFC said...

The Etheridge situation is very concerning. I wonder if he is having mental issues at this point. What he went through had to be terrifying and he may be hesitant to go all out.

Andy Bitter said...

I don't know if it's anything on his part. He seems gung-ho about going all out.

The coaches and medical staff are going to be EXTREMELY cautious in this case. You have to with a neck injury like that.

It's just that you have to start questioning if Etheridge's goal of being completely ready for the start of the season is actually possible.

Anonymous said...

Yeah uh, nobody wants to have another Chaz Ramsey situation on their hands.

Tar Heel Tiger said...

"Byrum also did kickoffs, but some of those came up a little short."

Only "some"? That must mean his kickoffs have improved tremendously from last year. Wes is an outstanding FG kicker, but I'd sure like to have a Matt Clark-type handling the kickoffs.

Chip said...

What's the deal with Grimes' comments about RT? From all I've been reading it sounds like Sullen has continued his good work and has RT1 all but locked down. Grimes just trying to rally the other guys, or is it truly still wide open?

Also, that comment about TroReed's MCL scares me. I'm sure it's not news to our staff and I'm sure Dr. Andrews has probably looked him over. Still, I just hope he can stay healthy, because it sounds like that's the only possible way for this kid not to be special.

Thanks for the good work Andy, as always. I know it's probably a PITA to get any useful info these days.

Andy Bitter said...

Re: Byrum: the kicking conditions weren't great yesterday. That might have had something to do with coming up short on kickoffs.

Re: Sullen: It's hard to say who's really in the lead, since we don't get to see any meaningful things at practice. Gayden, at least, is a natural tackle. And Mosley, as a former tight end, is used to playing on the end of the line. Perhaps Sullen's newness to the position is the thign holding him back a little.