BY AARON BRENNER | firstname.lastname@example.org
AUBURN, Ala. – Sounds like some guys have got a Case of the Mondays.
Remember what Gabe Wright said about not having any nice coaches? Especially on the offensive and defensive line? J.B. Grimes and Rodney Garner were nowhere near a tranquil mood to kick off the second week of spring practices bright and early Monday morning.
It was hot and humid coming off Easter Sunday – it rained overnight – which had to be difficult for the big boys between 250 and 320 pounds. Grimes and Garner weren’t interested in fatigue playing a factor.
Playing the part of drill sergeant Monday, Grimes in particular really took second-team center Alex Kozan to the cleaners for poor technique in a basic blocking drill. Over at the five-man sled, Grimes forced Kozan, Tunde Fariyike and Devonte Danzey to redo a push three times, impelling them to block lower.
Garner also asked a couple D-linemen for a do-over going under “The Chute”, one of those trampoline-looking structures that keeps ends and tackles low to the ground.
I even heard a specific mention out of Grimes’ mouth of “3-9” followed by “wake your (rear ends) up”. Yeah, you know the coaches are using that as fuel. It’s a new day … doesn’t mean yesterday didn’t happen.
More news and notes from our 30-minute window:
- Our last five-minute viewing session was an 11-man offensive session with quarterbacks Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace alternating quick slants and screens. Tailbacks catching balls in the backfield were Tre Mason, Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne; receivers were Sammie Coates, Melvin Ray and Jaylon Denson. (Reed and Bray were returning punts at the time.)
- Of the dozen passes we saw, pretty much all throws were on point and there were no drops. Walk-ons were serving as scout-team defense.
- First-team offensive line has remained the same for a week: LT Greg Robinson, LG Jordan Diamond, C Reese Dismukes, RG Chad Slade, RT Patrick Miller. Three returning full-time starters, plus Miller keeps his job over the healed Avery Young and Diamond has been tabbed to replace John Sullen.
- Second-team offensive line left to right: LT Shon Coleman, Fariyike, Kozan, Danzey, Young. Both units are still in pencil, but no other unit values chemistry and cohesion more than offensive line. This matters.
- Punt returner candidates ranked numerically: Trovon Reed, Jonathan Jones, Quan Bray, Jonathon Mincy.
- Cody Parkey was a little off-target Saturday outside at Jordan-Hare Stadium, but the senior kicker was much polished indoors Monday during the fire-drill field goal kicking. He connected from 36, 39, 42 and 45 yards, tucking the longest try inside the right upright.
- Try walking by any of the booming loudspeakers on the practice field when the air horn signaling a new session blows. That’s reeeeeeeeally pleasant at 8 a.m. when you’re not expecting it.
- It’s possible the three junior college transfers already enrolled – RB Artis-Payne, OL Danzey and DT Ben Bradley – are a little behind the rest of their groups. Nothing’s guaranteed to jucos. Remember that when QB Nick Marshall gets here this fall.