War Eagle Extra has moved!

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

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Late-night notes: Day 1 of practice in the books

It's late and I'm hungry, so I don't feel like writing an extended intro for this late-night blog. We'll get straight to the bullet points from the late round of interviews:
  • Head coach Gene Chizik said Wednesday's practice was energetic -- as if anyone expected him to say otherwise -- and he was pleased with the first day. "We've got to take it day-by-day and we can't have any dropoff," he said. "They've got to continue to do that for a sustained period of time."
  • Wide receiver Darvin Adams said he hadn't heard any of the rumors on the message boards about his academic eligibility coming into question this summer. Asked if he's good to go, he said simply, "Oh yeah."
  • Adams, by the way, is up five pounds to 190. He wanted to add size and strength in the offseason.
  • While we're talking weight, RB Onterio McCalebb said he's up to 180 pounds, nine pounds heavier than his listed weight on the roster. He said he hasn't lost any speed. "Yeah, a lot of people thought I'd be slower but I went out there today and I was showing everybody that I wasn't slower," he said. "I was faster."
  • Freshman RB Michael Dyer spoke briefly with reporters for the first time. He's bigger than I thought, meaning stockier. He looks every bit of the 215 he's listed at. He's heard some of the expectations fans have for him right away but seems at ease about it. "I usually just go out and try to do the best I can for the team," he said. "I let other things take care of itself."
  • Saw WR DeAngelo Benton with a wrap on his right hand/wrist after practice. I can't imagine he punched a player in the facemask after last year's incident with Walt McFadden, right?
  • Ted Roof took great pleasure in seeing Zac Etheridge back on the field after last year's career-threatening neck injury, calling him new and improve. "Probably just a natural progression, a natural maturity," Roof said. "He loved football, but I don't see how you can help having an increased love and increased respect for the game after what he went through."
  • LB Craig Stevens on Etheridge: "Just having him out there, that just boosts everybody up a ittle bit, gives us something to play for, reminding everybody not to take one play for granted."
  • Here's the LB breakdown, per Stevens:
  • Weak-side: Stevens, Eltoro Freeman, Jonathan Evans/LaDarius Owens
  • Middle: Josh Bynes, Harris Gaston, Jake Holland
  • Strong-side: Daren Bates, Evans, Jessel Curry, Jawara White
  • DT Nick Fairley on going through his second camp: "It's a lot different. Last year, the speed coming out was real fast, real fast. Everything blew by me, blew by me, now I've got the speed down pat, I know what's going on, how to read blocks and everything so everything's going good."
  • Roof liked what he saw at practice but cautioned that it's only been one day. "This is practicing in shorts with no pads on before we've played our first game," he said. "But from where we are from understanding the conceptual deal, we're ahead of where we were last year, yes. And I expect us to continue to improve."


Unknown said...

Bates listed as the starter at SLB is pretty shocking to me. He went from 2 star nobody, to starting safety, and steps right in as the starting SLB without practicing in the spring? That is huge. Virtually every other candidate in the depth chart had more stars. So much for stars.

This also says a lot about Eltoro and Evans. The coaches must really have concerns with them.

Bates has become my favorite player.

michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy Bitter said...

I don't know how firm that depth chart is for the LBs. It's just to give a sense of where people are working at the start of practice.

WDEwg said...

Shouldn't Craig Stevens himself be inserted in that LB depth chart? Am I missing something?

Andy Bitter said...

He's at the top of the weak-side linebackers. His name's not in bold because I mentioned him earlier in the blog post.

WDEwg said...

Gotcha. I knew I couldn't sneak anything past you AB. Thanks again for all your great coverage. This is the first and really only place to come for actual in depth (and TIMELY) coverage. I appreciate it very much!

Anonymous said...

"... last year's incident with Walt McFadden, right?"

I guess I missed that ... what happened?


Anonymous said...

I thought it was Etheridge that punched the guy in the face mask during the Arkansas game last year.

Andy Bitter said...

I don't remember anything about Etheridge in the Arkansas game.

But Benton and McFadden got into a post-whistle scuffle last August. Benton got a little aggressive with a punch to the facemask and hurt his hand. I believe it was featured one week on "Auburn: Every day ..."


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info and the link Andy.