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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Late night practice notes: Auburn won't be feeling blue against Clemson, Chizik says

There has been endless speculation on the Auburn message boards this week that the Tigers will break tradition with their uniforms and wear blue pants this Saturday. (I mean, look at the great Photoshop work somebody out there did in the above picture.)

Not happening, said Chizik.

“Our uniforms are our uniforms as we know,” Chizik said. “And we love them. That’s what we got.”

Asked if the Tigers will wear their normal uniforms this weekend, Chizk said, “Oh yes. No doubt.”

[UPDATE: What have we here? Is Auburn playing coy with this whole thing? (Umm, no) But this will be enough to keep the Internet chatter going the next few days.]

[SECOND UPDATE: GA Travis Williams tweets it'll be the same old uniforms Saturday.]

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On to the bullet points:
  • Trooper Taylor said the staff erred on the side of caution last week with freshman wide receiver Trovon Reed, who has dressed the first two games but not played because of a bruised knee. “I wanted to play him Thursday, but they wanted to wait one more week,’’ Taylor said. “The kid wanted to go, and I wanted him to go.’’
  • The coaches sounded encouraged that Reed can play Saturday against Clemson. “We’re kind of trying to bring him along,” Chizik said. “Just day by day seeing how healthy he feels, how he’s running, just how he’s kind of moving around out there. We hope that he can play. We’re not going to play him until we know he’s ready to go out there and help our team win.”
  • Trooper was more definitive with a statement: "He’s looked good this week, and if continues to progress like he’s been, I wouldn’t see any reason why he couldn’t get out there, not just on offense, but he could help us on special teams – kickoff returns and punt returns."
  • FB Ladarious Phillips, meanwhile, continues to be on he mend with an ankle injury. The 290-pound freshman hasn’t suited up in either of the first two games. “We’ve just got to continue to evaluate him,’’ Chizik said. “There’s no real change.”
  • WR Travante Stallworth's surgically repaired knee has still been bothering him. "He runs some of the routes, but after a while he gets tired," Taylor said. "As far as character-wise and the type of kid he is, he’s perfect. Physically, I don’t know if he is ready to help us as much."
  • Chizik spoke to a gathering of students Wednesday night (good crowd from the looks of the picture), encouraging them to show up in full force for ESPN’s College GameDay but also thanking them for their support. “Just kind of going back last year to the West Virginia game and what an important part they played in the gameday experience and the gameday atmosphere and our players really appreciate it,” Chizik said. “That’s really just the message, how much we appreciate them.”
  • RB Onterio McCalebb slipped a lot last week, a problem that he has. Here's Chizik's reasoning: "He runs with a lot of body lean. He's extremely fast as we all know. Sometimes I think he gets ahead of himself. He gets in the open space and when he sees an opening, he wants to hit it in that opening and hit it down hill. He's just got to really, really balance himself and get some balance in his body and I think he gets a little top heavy when he sees those cracks there in the defense and he wants to hit it. It's just body control and he's just got to try to concentrate on being able to balance himself better."
  • Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker has been very impressed by Clemson's offensive line. "They all look like basketball players, they just all weigh 350," he said. Close. All five starters are 6-foot-5 or taller. Heaviest is 330, though (RG Antoine McClain).
  • Lots of praise from Rocker for DT Mike Blanc. "The last couple games, he’s quietly doing it -- Mike Blanc. He’s come off the bench and stimulated our defense up front. If you go back and look at the Mississippi State game,he came off the bench and all of a sudden -- bam! -- sack. Arkansas State, bam! tackle for loss! sack! It’s things like that have made me really, really happy about Mike Blanc."
  • He said Zach Clayton has been solid and that he'd like to see more production from defensive ends Antoine Carter and Michael Goggans.
  • Rocker thought the freshmen defensive linemen (aka, the "young ones," were a little wide-eyed at MSU. "On the road, they were still worried about them cowbells," he said. "They hadn’t seen that many cowbells. You saw a different look when all those young freshmen got there. Now they're played on the road, they’ve played at home, they’ve gotten to know all that freshman stuff. Now you just play football and go to school and play ball. Now I sense a more relaxed crew. I made it clear to them: You’re not freshmen anymore. You’ve seen it all. ... They didn’t get as many snaps as I would like them to have, BUT it’s time to play, time to let 'em go."
  • Offensive line coach Jeff Grimes said he feels better knowing Brandon Mosley can step in as a backup at left tackle. He said Mosley would be the first to go in at LT if Lee Ziemba had to come out.
  • Grimes liked the communication at MSU. "For it being our first opportunity with this group in a loud environment on the road, I thought we handled it very well. We didn't have any procedure penalties. I don't think we had any times where we didn't communicate well enough. There were breakdowns in technique at times where a guy didn't necessarily win his individual battle. But I think the communication part was really good."
  • Grimes still doesn't think the line has been as physical as he'd like it to be so far. "Honestly, I wasn't very pleased with our effort in the first game," he said. "But I felt like we tried to get much more physical in this game, knocking more guys down, played to the whistle much more, had guys running 30 yards downfield to try to make a block. Still not quite where I want to be in terms of that fanatical finish that goes to the echo of the whistle on every play but much closer."
  • Quindarius Carr muffed a punt Thursday, but the coaches left him in the game as a punt returner. He fielded the rest of his opportunities cleanly. "It shows you the kid doesn’t lack in confidence, and the plays he’s been able to make in the games got him that confidence," Taylor said. "Watching him make a catch with guys breathing on him again… And if you watch on that play, the punter kind of held the ball a little longer, and that threw everything off. That was something he hadn’t seen. The bottom line: I don’t care if they drop it out of a plane, his job is to catch the football. Field the football at all cost."
  • High praise from Trooper about Emory Blake. "Emory Blake is the most improved in that room," he said. "He lined up at every spot last week; and he also won the special teams award because he led the team in tackles on special teams. He’s grown up and matured. He’s confident. Before he was just trying to hold on."
  • Big recruiting weekend ahead for Auburn. I'll let Trooper lay it out for you. "Huge. Anytime you are put up on that stage to show what your team is about, what your town is about and what your university has is huge. But not for our sport, for baseball, for softball, for men and women’s basketball, track – everybody will reap benefits from this. We’ve had so many phone calls from people wanting to come, but we have only so many tickets. We’re trying to sift through who can come and who can’t, because we can appease everybody. We’ve got tons of calls."


postermom said...

Either that blue helmet is a toy or it's being held by someone the size of Andre the Giant. I like our unis the way they are--very clean and distinctive.

Andy Bitter said...

It does look tiny. If I had to guess, it's a promotional mini helmet.

Moose said...

I wish AU would set an alternate uni. The all blue (blue helmets AND pants) would be pretty sweet, and could be done once or twice a year.

I know for a fact (from a fairly reliable source) that AU has immediate access to both blue helmets and pants. As well as the elusive orange jerseys.

Doesn't mean they will ever wear them though.

Anonymous said...

when was the last time you saw a promotional mini helmet with a visor? that is a real helmet...whether we see them saturday is another story.