BY RYAN BLACK | firstname.lastname@example.org
AUBURN, Ala. — When you know your body, you listen to it.
That’s what J.B. Grimes did. Auburn’s offensive line coach has always prided himself on his health. The 58-year-old lifts weights and runs every day. But when Grimes out doing his daily workout regimen earlier this week, he detected that something was amiss.
“I knew that something wasn’t right,” he said, “and sure enough, something wasn’t right.”
Grimes declined to disclose the nature of his ailment; whatever it was, it required a minor surgery on Wednesday morning that forced him to miss the Tigers’ first scrimmage of fall camp, which took place that afternoon.
“I’m dumb enough to think that I was actually going to be at that scrimmage on Wednesday afternoon,” he said with a laugh. “I thought there was a chance I could make it back for that. But the doctor put the (kibosh) on that. He said, ‘No. Tap the brakes there.'”
The hospitalization didn’t keep Grimes from doing his job, though. He sent an order to the rest of the coaching staff from his hospital bed: Bring my laptop.
How else could he grade the scrimmage?
“I was feeling a little loopy,” he said. “I was able to grade the tape and administer ‘pluses and minuses’ and all those kinds of things. Actually, what I did was grade about half of it on Wednesday night, and then I got up early and graded the rest of it at home early Thursday morning. And I was still able to get back up there and observe practice Thursday morning.”
After viewing the film, Grimes said he saw “some inconsistencies” that would be easy to correct.
“I always say it like this: That’s the reason they put coaching in the game,” he said. “If they went out there and did it right — absolutely perfect in the first scrimmage — they wouldn’t need us (coaches). So, there’s just some things that we’ve got to fix fundamentally.”
Now “feeling great,” Grimes is ready to move on from his brief hospital stay, as he returned to take part in the Tigers’ second practice on Thursday.
He’s just hoping for better weather the rest of fall camp.
“You always get good tape indoors, but it’s great tape out in that stadium,” he said, disappointed Wednesday’s scrimmage was moved indoors due to inclement weather. “You just see things better out in that stadium. So it’s disappointing we couldn’t do it in the stadium, but we still got great teaching.”