War Eagle Extra has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 4 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Late night practice notes: RB Mario Fannin says injured left shoulder is back to '100 percent'

A consultation with Dr. James Andrews is usually the last thing you want with a shoulder injury, but Auburn running back Mario Fannin did it recently and got good news.

“I’m 100 percent now,” Fannin said. “I just had to get a couple of hits on it and make sure everything was right in there. ... I went out there and got those carries, and after the first hit, I didn’t think about it anymore.”

Fannin, who sat out against Clemson and most of the South Carolina game with an injured left shoulder, returned last Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe and ran 10 times for 89 yards and a touchdown.

“We were a little worried there for a week or two, trying to take some things off of him,” offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said. “But he played very physical Saturday, protected very physical and then ran the ball physical, so that was good to see.”

The senior did it without the restrictive shoulder harness he’s used in the past, using a brace that hindered him less as a pass catcher.

With freshman Mike Dyer emerging as a ballcarrier and the speedy Onterio McCalebb as a perimeter option, Fannin knows he’ll have to contribute in the passing game.

“That’s the thing I want to do this year, to be able to help my team in both aspects of the game,” he said. “Hopefully, the coaches will be able to trust me in that aspect.”

Fannin’s fumbling problems are a concern. He has two this year, although the harness contributed to both.

“You really can’t use that as an excuse,” he said. “You still have to hold the ball. Hopefully, those issues are done now.”

Follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook. Then read some other late notes and quotes:
  • Backup quarterback Barrett Trotter remains day-to-day with a knee injury he suffered on a touchdown run against ULM. “Hopefully he’ll be ready,” head coach Gene Chizik said, “but the evaluation process will continue for the next week.”
  • Senior Neil Caudle and redshirt freshman Clint Moseley are the two options if Trotter can’t play. Caudle got some work Tuesday. “Neil knows our system as well as anybody,” Malzahn said. “He’s been in games, played at LSU last year, so we have a lot of confidence in him.” Asked if Caudle would be next in line, Malzahn said there was a “decent chance” that would be the case.
  • Malzahn said Derek Winter, a 6-foot, 208-pound junior, will replace Jay Wisner. “Jay was a tough guy, did a lot of the dirty work, things that went unnoticed,” Malzahn said. “Derek Winter will step up and do a lot of the things that he did. We have a lot of confidence in Derek.”
  • Malzahn looked liked somebody ran over his dog when talking about last year's Kentucky game. He said Kentucky did a good job of taking away big plays and making the Tigers earn it. They didn't. "We've got to execute," he said. "That was a real tough stretch and Kentucky, that was a very tough game for us. They had a lot to do with it. They played very good defense and made us earn it and we didn't execute very well. We've got to find a way to execute better and put some points on the board."
  • Quarterback Cam Newton was more colorful in his description of watching Kentucky tape from last year. "It's kind of personal for all those guys that were here last year," he said. "Looking at the film it's disgusting to look at. When we watch film from last year, we usually go play after play after play. This past week, we've been skipping plays because it's so hard for him to even look at it. He mentions the bad stuff about it. Just seeing him like that — I don't like that. A lot of guys are taking it personally this week."
  • Malzahn, to the surprise of no one, rarely is satisfied with how the offense is doing. "In his position, you can never be satisfied," Newton said. "It would be more weird to see Gus Malzahn say, 'Good job, guys' rather than him saying, 'Get after their butt.' That's Coach Malzahn for you. He's always wanting t be better. That's what I want in an offensive coordinator — somebody who's always going to be relentless in looking for success."
  • The coordinator will give the occasional kudos, but he's quicker with some criticism if something isn't right. "He gives me high-five every now and then when I throw a touchdown or two," Newton said. "The wrath comes down when I make a wrong decision or throw an interception. You have to take the good and the bad."
  • Newton respects the relationship: "During recruiting, he mentioned that me and him have to be very close. I had to start trusting him. Anything that he tells me, I'm going to try to do it 100 percent. He's not only my position coach and offensive coordinator, he's my father figure away from home. A person like that, he's a great leader to look to. I'm striving to be great every single day."
  • Kentucky apparently doesn't blitz much. Newton doesn't have a preference one way or another. "The comfort I have around my teammates and just more time in my head if they don't blitz," he said.
  • Another Heisman question for Newton. Another savvy response: "Like I said before, I don't want to start that Heisman talk for me. I know it's being mentioned. It would be selfish of me to start thinking about me. We're all in this together. I'd be letting them down if I started thinking about individual awards. I realize that I'm being mentioned. It's a great honor. For me, I'm not really thinking about it. I'm loving coming out and practicing with my teammates."
  • McCalebb made a concerted effort to gain weight in the offseason to help his durability. He hasn't gotten hurt yet. "I’ve been praying every day, staying healthy," he said. "Even though I don’t need to be in the training room, I still go in there and get treatment — hot tub, cold tub — keep my body going."
  • Freshman linebacker Jake Holland has heard about the grueling redshirt workouts reserved for most players in their first year, but he’s never gone through them. It’s something he won’t experience this year. Holland, a 6-foot, 231-pound freshman from Pelham, Ala., got his first action against ULM as the second-team middle linebacker behind Josh Bynes. Holland recovered a fumble and made three tackles, one for a loss. He’s also worked on several special teams, mostly kickoff and punt return. “I really didn’t have any opinions on which way they wanted to go,” Holland said. “I was OK with a redshirt and I was OK with playing this year, because in the end, I’m helping the team either way.”
  • Tuesday are turning into the most physical practice of the week by design. "Coach Chizik wanted us to get after it," Newton said. "He wants us to get after it on Tuesdays. As an overall team, we've been having some good practices on Tuesday — being physical. At the end of the day, we have each other's best interests. We don't take cheap shots. At the same time, practice is very physical."

1 comment:

aubiebattle said...

Great work AB! I was thinking that you should do a story on how last year Newton (UK's Morgan Newton) led to Auburn's demise, but how this years Newton (AU's Cam Newton is leading to Auburn's rise. Just a cheesy afterthought.