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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Early practice notes: Time winding down for Auburn's seniors

Not a whole lot from relatively few player interviews this morning, so we'll go straight to the bullet points (Follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook):
  • It's starting to hit some of the seniors that the end is near. "Yeah, I’m coming down to my last couple of practices," left guard Mike Berry said. "When they come back for the team meeting, you’re not going to be there. It’s time to move on. But at the same time, I’m just savoring the time I’ve got left."
  • That goes for the national title game too. "The more you start preparing, the more you start to realize you're about to play on the biggest stage in college football," left tackle Lee Ziemba said.
  • Berry, on the impact of offensive line coach Jeff Grimes: "He’s definitely set the tone for our offensive line to be one of the toughest in the nation. I think that’s what we did this year."
  • A lot has been made of the four senior offensive linemen, but right tackleBrandon Mosley has made giant strides from a year ago, when he was a defensive lineman/tight end in community college. "That is kind of crazy now that you said something about it," Berry said. "He talks about all the time how he was an athlete because he played tight end. I was like, ‘Brandon, they didn’t throw you the ball.’ He’s definitely excited about it. I talked to him the other day. He said it’s unbelievable."
  • Mosley was the outsider to the group of seniors on the line but has fit in well. "He's part of us," Ziemba said. "Maybe in the spring, we were a little tough on him because he was new and everything. Now, he's just it's like he's been here the four years we have. It's been great having him."
  • The linemen are close, despite their relatively different backgrounds. "We're all different people," Ziemba said. "Pugh is from Birmingham. I'm from Arkansas. Isom's from Atlanta. Mike's from Nashville. It's four different people, but I think we bring a lot to the table as far as complementing each other and learning from each other."
  • What's the music situation like in the locker room, though. "It's frustrating," Ziemba said, joking. He said Berry and Byron Isom don't listen to country music too much. "Rarely," Ziemba said. "They usually win that battle. We'll usually put the hunting channel on the TV. We win that one."
  • Ziemba and Pugh have tried to take Berry and Isom hunting. No dice. "I was going to try and go until they said we had to get in some trees," Berry said. Ziemba said former DT Sen'Derrick Marks used to go, though.
  • RB Onterio McCalebb, he of the Mohawk haircut, said he has something in mind for the national title game. "It's going to be a special one," he said. We asked if he could give us a hint of what it would look like. No luck. "I can't tell you," he said.
  • WR Emory Blake said he's envisioned making the play to win the title game. He said everybody does. "You just have little flashes of what if you make this play or what if you make that play," he said. "Things pop up in your head. You’ve got to work so hopefully you’ll get those chances in a game."
  • Blake's from Texas. He heard a lot of questions when he signed with Auburn. When he went home for Christmas, there was a lot less of that. "I remember people asking me why was I signing with Auburn when I first left," he said. "Now, they’re like, `I can see why you signed with Auburn.’ It’s good going back home knowing I made the right decision and the right choice."
  • Bowl trips are usually all about the off-field activities for the players, although that seems to be less so at the BCS title game, where, obviously, a lot is on the line. "If you go out there just looking to have a good time, you’re going to leave with a loss and you’ll look back and be disappointed," Berry said.


Anonymous said...

Andy- You might have thought you didn't have a lot for this,but I really enjoyed it.Nice to get some personal stories and funny facts every now and then.Especially from the guys on o line who don't get a lot of credit.Great work.

Tar Heel Tiger said...

really superb report