We had our third and final viewing period of an Auburn spring practice today. We won’t see the team on the field again until A-Day so soak in these notes and observations:
- The team practiced in Jordan-Hare Stadium today. Players were in shells — shoulder pads, helmets and shorts — for the brisk morning practice.
- Aside from the usual stretching and kicking drills, Auburn did some honest-to-gosh 7-on-7 work in front of us (it’s not full-scale stuff, but you take what you can get). Clint Moseley and Barrett Trotter split the 12-rep session down the middle. Moseley was 3-for-4; Trotter 4-for-5.
- Quinidarius Carr made a couple of nice catches in traffic. Lots of swing passes to inside receivers Trovon Reed and Xavier Brown.
- A couple of non-participants today. LB Jawara White, who had neck surgery last year, was in an orange non-contact jersey. CB Chris Davis wasn’t dressed out and spent time on the bike on the side. LB Harris Gaston dressed out but did work on the side. He had a knee brace on his left knee. LB LaDarius Owens looked like he wasn’t doing all the drills either. Not sure why.
- Noticed something when defensive coordinator Ted Roof was talking to a group of the linebackers. They’re all kind of built in his mold. None too tall. Kind of stocky. The roster backs me up. Jake Holland‘s 6 feet, Eltoro Freeman 5-11, Daren Bates 5-11, Jonathan Evans 5-11, White 6-1, Gaston 6-1. Owens is the tallest at 6-2. Just for reference: Josh Bynes was listed at 6-2 and Craig Stevens at 6-3. (Just looked this up: Auburn’s two LB signees, Chris Landrum and Justin Garrett, are 6-3 and 6-2, so height is on the way.)
- Kind of a struggle today for Cody Parkey in the place-kicking drills. He pulled a bunch of his kicks, making 5 of 8 in the opening period.
- A couple of those might have been Chandler Brooks‘ fault. He was the holder but, after Parkey missed two short ones, got pulled for Ryan White. Special teams coordinator Jay Boulware gave him a few choice words before he pulled him out of there.
- Parkey made the long field goal at the end, with the team up close trying to distract him. T’Sharvan Bell got front and center, as you’d expect, making plenty of ruckus. Neiko Thorpe stood next to him doing jumping jacks to throw Parkey off.
- Boulware’s advice to Parkey, after he pulled a couple low line drives: “Hit the sweet spot. You hit he ball too high.”
- Boulware also had to stop the drill near the beginning because Brandon Mosley was lined up on the wrong side of the formation. He seemed frustrated, as you can imagine him being for having to halt something as simple as a 22-yard field goal.
- Another person working at holder today beforehand was DB Trent Fisher. I guess that’s what you do when you’ve only got three quarterbacks on the field.
- For some reason, nothing upsets the coaches more than when players don’t line their helmets up right during stretching. Roof chewed somebody out today for it. Right after it, a GA muttered to Roof, “Bad body language today, coach.” These guys take the lining up of helmets seriously.
- Just an observation, but WR Travante Stallworth is out there without any kind of knee brace, so he must be feeling fully recovered from the knee surgery he had at the end of 2009.
- Auburn did a non-contact punt return drill where two players run down to a ballcarrier, break down and make sure he doesn’t escape. It’s kind of a go-through-the-motions drills. Nobody gets hit and the play is over as soon as the punt returner is sufficiently bottled up, which happens in about 1 second every time down the field. But Trovon Reed juked two defenders one time. They both collapsed to the middle as Reed then cut to the outside and ran up the field. His knee looked healthy on that play.
- On the last play of a different punt return drill, Jonathon Mincy muffed a punt with pressure all around him. Boulware, as you would imagine, not pleased. He called the group over into a large huddle after the drill to prep them for the rest of practice but made a point to single out Mincy. “You can’t turn the ball over, son,” he said.
- Parting shot: Mike Pelton was running a d-line drill about getting off the snap. He told the linemen to make some kind of move to the right of their blocker. Corey Lemonier went left. Very calmly, Pelton said, “Your other right, Corey.” Seemed like a different way than how Tracy Rocker would have corrected it.
I’ve officially emptied my notebook of minute observations. The blog will have more this afternoon after interviews.