Practice yesterday for Auburn, but that the lead out of the beat reports was about the nature of future practices should tell you how much hard data we got. We’re going to go over what we’ve got, though. And, as always, what we’ve got comes courtesy of Andy Bitter, Andrew Gribble, Jay Tate, and Charles Goldberg.
Without further ado:
— Aaaaaaaaand the right tackle battle is down to three as Roszell Gayden’s knee injury and general lack of momentum seems to have eliminated him from the picture. Quite a disappointment for him, no doubt, but if he can get healthy he’s still an excellent bet to claim a spot on the two-deep and a starter’s job in 2011.
By the by: as you might expect by his running with the first team in the drills the media have had the chance to see, the whispers are that John Sullen is in pole position here and should be able to wrap the job up this next week … if whatever ding had him sidelined today doesn’t hold him back for long, I suppose.
— Sounds as if Shaun Kitchens isn’t going to be just a guy who flashes potential in practice and then never sees the field once the season starts. If Malzahn is saying he “has a chance” to contribute, I get the feeling he’s going to.
— Good to hear Pugh say the offensive line just had a bad day at the last scrimmage; even better to hear him say that was due in part to a much, much improved defensive line.
— Injury report: The Toro is out of his boot but not 100 percent yet; Deangelo Benton is still M.I.A.; Joel Bonomolo isn’t practicing.
The good news here is that apparently The Toro’s setback hasn’t actually set him back with Ted Roof. “Absolutely fantastic camp”? I think that’s the most generous thing Roof has said about any player ever in his Auburn tenure. That he said of Freeman, Bates, and Evans that “they’re all going to play” is another positive. (I don’t believe for a second, however, that it “doesn’t matter” who starts.)
— On the same subject, I am encouraged that Roof is “very encouraged” by the defense. They’re going to be better. The only question is how much.
–Yeah, feel free to read as much into Bitter’s transcription of the Juggs machine wide receiver pecking order as you like. I think it seems to be more according to seniority than anything else with the exceptions of Adams (positive) and Winter (negative). But it’s interesting, to say the least.
— Welcome back to Ralph Spry, Jr., as the roster expands. Probably too late for him to make a real dent at either punt returner or wideout, but a nice head start on ’11 isn’t out of the question.
— About the furious flurry of scrimmages: I like it. Not necessary that I somehow know that this plan is superior to last season’s “throw everything at them up front” schedule; not being a professional football coach, this is one of those things I truly have no basis for issuing judgment about at all. But what I like is that Auburn’s staff isn’t the sort to just stick with a plan they think might not be working because it’s easier that way. They laid out their fall camp schedule in 2009 in a certain way; they evaluated how well it worked or didn’t work; they made changes they believe will make for improvements.
No doubt there’s a lot of coaches out there who’d do the same thing, but I suspect there’s also lot of coaches out there that would follow the same fall schedule every single year because that’s the way they’ve always done it, dammit, and that any failures would be the result of something else. This kind of analysis, flexibility, and willingness to experiment that Chizik and Co. is showing is an excellent sign for the future and should yield some big dividends down the road … whether the schedule switch does or not.
Photo by Van Emst.
Speaking of Mario, from the last scrimmage it was revealed that he had a fumble caused by his brace. I assume that’s the shoulder brace he’s been sporting since his shoulder surgery. What’s up with that? Is he going to wear it from now on, as a preventive measure? How many nights sleep should I lose worrying about that brace causing a fumble at a crucial point in a game?
I think as much as CGM worries about details, if he thought it would be an issue then we would know. I’d imagine either A) it won’t really make a diffference, or B) like you said it is just being used in practice and scrimmages now for preventative reasons.
Jerry I’m with you about Eltoro, the fact the Roof had something positive to say sounds like a good thing considering that he rarely seems positive about anybody. For it to be Toro of all people makes me hopeful. I do worry that this turf toe will be a nagging injury but at least he can play through it. I’m just excited at the thought of having a legitimated two deep at linebacker.
AAHHH, “The Bull” returns to media prominence. I am thrilled, nay hyper -thrilled to hear some glowing remarks come out of Ted Roof.
I had almost given in to the assumption that we were still a couple of recruiting classes away from improvement.
Excellent stuff as always Jerry. Thanks.
That “brace” always has concerned me, Marcus. It looks like a glorified weightbelt strapped to his upper bicep. If that is supposedly protecting his shoulder, I have no idea how. It’s all sorts of ungangly looking, and appears that it wouldn’t be natural or comfortable to wear. However, if that’s the only fumble it causes, and it keeps SuperMario healthy this season– then I’ll live with it, I suppose.
Jerry- any thoughts on how much of the offense/defensive schemes we’ll get to see on Sept 4th? I wanted to go ahead and start the “we’re not showing much so guys don’t get tape” versus “we looked bad on O or D” fretting session started extra early this year.
I’d assume that if Fannin’s brace was any kind of persistent problem, it’d be axed for something else. I’m chalking the scrimmage mishap up as a freak accident. But if it does cause any real-game problems ….
WDEwg, I’ll assume we’ll see the entire base package, but that a some of the Ziemba-as-decoy-style gimmickry will wait for another week.
Oooh. Speaking of- -let’s take best on which game Ziemba actually gets the pass thrown to him.
Part of me thinks homecoming, but then the next part thinks NEVER- since he could get hurt lumbering with the ball, and that would be before we play UGA and UAT.
FWIW, I was watching College Football Live on ESPNU (which, like most other networks lately, has on glasses the darkest shade of crimson) and the Herbiebot predicted Auburn to play Florida in the SEC CG.
Herbstreit’s a generally terrible color guy and a bad choice to pair with an excitable, let’s-worship-the-favorite sort like Musberger, but in a studio setting I don’t think he’s bad at all. Picking against the Tide takes some guts these days.
Then again, maybe the reason I think he’s a positive in the studio is because he’s always paired with Corso and simply looks good by comparison.
The Ziemba screen was my favorite (read: least-favorite) play of last season!
2-deep at linebacker? You mean Bynes won’t have to be in 85 plays a game this season?
The number of scrimmages would seem to indicate that depth is no longer that big of an issue. More than likely the younger guys are getting the majority of the snaps so they are good to go for the season.
Jerry, is there a centralized location where i can view last year’s game recaps? I’m trying to search the site to find it, and it’s a pain in the butt to go back one page at a time, cause you post like every freaking day (god bless you). i’ve been starving for football…need something to pass the last 2 weeks
Brandon — for now, try to search “recap” and “half” — you’ll still have to search through a few pages, but that will definitely narrow it down for you.