Yeah, an actual rotation would be nice. The news coming out of practice yesterday was about as good as it gets for the week of a game against a winless MAC team: Antoine “Hot” Carter should be back this weekend, Spencer Pybus is back at practice, and we could even get our first look at “Everybody Loves” Nosa Eguae this weekend.
The return of a handful of second-stringers wouldn’t always be cause for celebration, but this is the 2009 Auburn defense we’re talking about here: simultaneously forced to work overtime for the glory of the Spread Eagle 2.0 and as thin as any Auburn defense I can remember. When the head coach is openly discussing how important it is to get his raw true freshmen linebackers into the game, you know the first-team guys have just been seeing too many snaps.
So having Pybus back to spell Stevens for a bit–yes, that would be big. Having Carter back to spell Goggans and Coleman from time-to-time–yes, that’s important. Even having Eguae around at end to provide some stouter second-team defense against the run than Dee Ford has been able to offer (not that it’s his fault, dude’s built like the pure speed rusher he’s proven to be) will be a positive. Every single bit of additional depth is a boon on this team.
More from the beat. Tommy Trott overcomes a “sissy” portrayal of his injury recovery as well as the actual, you know, injury. Even Adam Herring knows Ball St. primarily as David Letterman U. Auburn’s current coaching staff is more accommodating for NFL scouts. It’s not likely, but Chizik’s still not ruling out burning Rollison’s and Aycock’s redshirts. Ted Roof says The Toro needs to be more “exact.” Walt McFadden is still as quotable as ever, and has something else to say about Auburn’s leadership in 2008:
“Last year’s leadership came in a different way,” he said. There were more arguments, getting into people’s face — people just couldn’t take the criticism of (or “from”–ed.) those guys, because they weren’t doing their job, either. So nobody wanted to listen to them.
“Because if you not doing your job, ‘I don’t want to listen to you.'”
Oh snap, Walt. (Let me make a quick point here: you can’t say this kind of thing unless you happen to be doing your own job. And for two years, McFadden has. He’s earned the right to talk.)
Taylor. By now you’ve probably read K-Scar’s calling out of the Trooper Taylor haters. A few statements for the record:
1. Do I want an entire coaching staff, to borrow a phrase from Rob Pate, pulling an Aubie on the sidelines? No. Do I want one coach over there who can be the good cop, the id, the cheerleader, the crowd-pleaser? A thousand times yes. You and I both saw how badly Auburn missed Will Muschamp’s energy on the sideline last year; we’d miss it just as badly this year if we didn’t have Trooper.
2. After the Extreme Makeover: Auburn Receiver Edition act Taylor has pulled with Adams and Zachery (not to mention unearthing Jay Wisner as a valuable contributor… seriously, who saw that coming?), Taylor could patrol the sidelines in one of those New York drag show outfits and I’d be cool with it.
3. The idea that a coach as image-conscious as Taylor would drop the n-word while knowingly wearing a mic for a nationally-broadcast football game is just kind of dumb, if you ask me.
Gulley. You kind of had to have a good feeling about the kid from Brantley back in January, when he got the Auburn offer he wanted from the new staff but refused to publicly commit until he’d taken a visit to Troy, because that’s what he promised the Troy coaches he’d do. Jay Tate has the rest of Gulley’s story, and it’s a fun read.
“When it rains, it pours.” That the lament from OverThePylon, as Ball State sees another player go down with an injury. (And while we’re linking up OTP, they also called the Chiznick “the front-runner for Hire of the Offseason.” Word.)
Acclamation. The esteemed Dr. Saturday takes a look at Dr. Gustav’s offensive overhaul and concludes that the WVU win “cinches the early verdict” in favor of Auburn’s explosive legitimacy. Elsewhere, CFN projects Auburn into the Cottown Bowl against Okie St. (Bet we’d score more points than Georgia did, at least.)
War Eagle Forever. TWER’s Thor Burk provides his weekly recap of how our former Tigers did in the pros. Solid reading.
Etc. Next time Lee Ziemba plays decoy, I hope he pulls out moves like these … There are serious schisms in the WVU fanbase, but some of them are gracious enough to know what’s up … Big-time Florida DE Corey Lemonier will “probably” visit Auburn … I’m not the only one less-than-impressed with Tennessee’s showing on Saturday … Yikes.
Carter photo via al.com.