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Auburn Kev

Assistant Coaches Interviews: 8/15/19

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Hmmm, we normally only get position coaches during this interview time slot. I sure hope we're still going to get a Steele presser weekly (and Kenny, I guess).

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4 minutes ago, ValleyTiger said:

Hmmm, we normally only get position coaches during this interview time slot. I sure hope we're still going to get a Steele presser weekly (and Kenny, I guess).

I have a feeling we aren't. If I remember correctly I think we got less of them last year than in years past.

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3 hours ago, Auburn Kev said:

 

So....based on his quote above....

It doesn't matter the game-plan, what plays they call, the execution....but rather what their thoughts are on Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny?!?!

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1 hour ago, ellitor said:

I have a feeling we aren't. If I remember correctly I think we got less of them last year than in years past.

Yup they def reigned it back in the 2nd half of last year. After JGT asked, Gus did let the media hang around that extra ~20 minutes for practices this year so fingers crossed. I'll especially miss Steele breaking it down if we lose his weekly presser. 

Edited by ValleyTiger

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5 hours ago, Tigerpro2a said:

I was really impressed with Dilly and Coach Grimes.

I agree......but Dilly makes me feel really old because he looks like he is about 13

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I think this article is exactly what @cole256 was saying the other night about making statements about the defense before a down has been played. Lots of returning players, but still a new defense for 2019.

The biggest what-if for Kevin Steele when it comes to the success of Auburn’s defense

Updated Aug 16, 11:09 AM;Posted Aug 16, 11:08 AM

Julie Bennett

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele on the sidelines Saturday, April 7, 2018, during the A-Day spring football game in Auburn, Ala. (Julie Bennett/jbennett@al.com) Julie Bennett

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By Tom Green | tgreen@al.com

Kevin Steele doesn’t get caught up in the hype. As a veteran coach, he’s not programmed that way.

So, when he hears people talking about Auburn’s defensive line being the best in the country and the Tigers being expected to field a top-tier defense this season, the fourth-year defensive coordinator just shakes his head. Sure, he knows what the defense is bringing back to the fold this year — five experienced starters in the secondary, three potential early-round NFL Draft picks along the defensive line and a supremely athletic linebacker corps — but all that external prognosticating is based off last year’s production and projecting it to this year’s potential.

“Obviously, part of the process, part of the standard is this is a new football team,” Steele said. “Everybody always says that’s last year, so how does anybody know what we are? They’ve never seen this defense. We, as coaches, are just now seeing, so to project what this defense is, I know the pundits need — that’s part of preseason hype; that’s part of what makes college football great. It’s going to happen, but the truth of the matter is we haven’t proven anything…. (but) we have an opportunity before us to be very good at what we do.”

Steele and the rest of Auburn’s defensive coaches — all of whom spoke to the media on Thursday for the team’s annual assistant coaches fall media day — are pleased with the progress of the defense as a collective so far this fall. The pieces are there for the Tigers to put forth another formidable defense: experience, maturity, leadership, depth, intelligence and continuity (Steele is Auburn’s first defensive coordinator in the last 30 years to last four seasons).

But just how good Auburn’s defense can be this season is dependent on several variables — what Steele described as what-ifs.

“There’s always things that you feel like you have made the progress that you need to make to be competitively successful,” Steele said. “But then there’s always the what-ifs, and so the what-ifs are the thing that keep you from saying, ‘OK, this is what I think.’”

Could Auburn have its best defense of the last decade? Gus Malzahn believes so

The what-ifs are plentiful for Steele, who didn’t get into too many specifics, but the biggest one looming over his defense with a little more than two weeks until the season opener against Oregon on Aug. 31 in Arlington, Texas, has to do with the health of some key contributors.

That’s the one, Steele said, that keeps him up at night.

Auburn has been monitoring injuries to three players who were expected to enter 2019 with important roles: defensive tackles Daquan Newkirk and Coynis Miller, and defensive back Jordyn Peters. Newkirk and Peters have been recovering from spring Achilles injuries, while Miller has been hindered by a shoulder injury.

“The biggest thing is how fast we can get Coynis and Newkirk back up to speed, how fast we can get Jordyn up to speed,” Steele said. “They’re headed there, they’re on track with that.”

Miller and Peters are closer to returning full speed than Newkirk at this point, as those two have been limited to an extent in practices while donning orange non-contact jerseys. Newkirk has yet to dress out this fall but has been seen jogging off to the side during some of Auburn’s team drills.

Gus Malzahn said on the first day of fall camp that the team expects Newkirk back before the end of the season, implying that the former JUCO transfer could miss a substantial part of the season following a second consecutive offseason Achilles injury. Miller and Peters, however, are “pretty much right there” and their full returns appear to be imminent.

“You can play this game; it’s a physical game but you can lose the wrong guy at the wrong time, and then it changes everything,” Steele said. “It changes the way you have to call it. It changes who’s on the field in terms of schematically what you’re doing. Then another situation, it may not change that much, you just plug in and keep going.”

Miller’s return will provide more depth at the second defensive tackle spot for Auburn, which is tasked with replacing four-year starter Dontavius Russell. He also gives the defensive line some more flexibility, with Nick Coe then not necessarily having to play as much on the inside. Peters, who has proven to be a weapon on special teams with punt blocks, also adds depth to the secondary at the nickel position.

“With that, that just gives us a lot more freedom to do things,” Steele said.

And there’s plenty Auburn wants to do and accomplish this season defensively.

For one, Steele and defensive backs coaches Wesley McGriff and Marcus Woodson want to minimize deeper passes downfield and keeping the top on the coverage. The Tigers tied for 96th nationally last season in giving up pass plays of at least 30 yards, allowing 23 such passes in 2018. Steele said the secondary has done a really good job to limit those plays thus far in fall camp, which he described as “huge.”

Auburn also wants to improve its rushing defense ever so slightly this season in terms of yards allowed per carry. During Steele’s first three seasons, Auburn allowed opponents to average 3.74, 3.63 and 3.72 yards per rush. Those numbers ranked 25th, 29th and 33rd among FBS teams, respectively, those seasons — but Steele wants to bring the average down to 3.3 yards, which would have put Auburn just outside the top-10 nationally last season.

“We need to make that next move,” Steele said. “That next move is not — everybody thinks, oh, that’s a huge move, but we’re just talking about getting it down to 3.3. Not because that’s major in terms of major movement noticeable to the external, but for us, that’s where good to great becomes. You know? It’s a fine line. People don’t realize that. It’s a very, very fine line.”

So while Steele isn’t ready to share how good he thinks Auburn’s defense can be this season, he at least knows the things that need to break the Tigers’ way for them to improve upon last year’s production and take that step toward being one of the top unit’s the country.

“If we can get those what-ifs settled real, real quick and then put it on video, then we got a chance to reach a lot of goals,” Steele said, “but that’s a lot of unknowns.”

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

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The biggest what-if for Kevin Steele when it comes to the success of Auburn’s defense

Updated Aug 16, 11:09 AM;Posted Aug 16, 11:08 AM

Julie Bennett

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele on the sidelines Saturday, April 7, 2018, during the A-Day spring football game in Auburn, Ala. (Julie Bennett/jbennett@al.com) Julie Bennett

318 shares

By Tom Green | tgreen@al.com

Kevin Steele doesn’t get caught up in the hype. As a veteran coach, he’s not programmed that way.

So, when he hears people talking about Auburn’s defensive line being the best in the country and the Tigers being expected to field a top-tier defense this season, the fourth-year defensive coordinator just shakes his head. Sure, he knows what the defense is bringing back to the fold this year — five experienced starters in the secondary, three potential early-round NFL Draft picks along the defensive line and a supremely athletic linebacker corps — but all that external prognosticating is based off last year’s production and projecting it to this year’s potential.

“Obviously, part of the process, part of the standard is this is a new football team,” Steele said. “Everybody always says that’s last year, so how does anybody know what we are? They’ve never seen this defense. We, as coaches, are just now seeing, so to project what this defense is, I know the pundits need — that’s part of preseason hype; that’s part of what makes college football great. It’s going to happen, but the truth of the matter is we haven’t proven anything…. (but) we have an opportunity before us to be very good at what we do.”

Steele and the rest of Auburn’s defensive coaches — all of whom spoke to the media on Thursday for the team’s annual assistant coaches fall media day — are pleased with the progress of the defense as a collective so far this fall. The pieces are there for the Tigers to put forth another formidable defense: experience, maturity, leadership, depth, intelligence and continuity (Steele is Auburn’s first defensive coordinator in the last 30 years to last four seasons).

But just how good Auburn’s defense can be this season is dependent on several variables — what Steele described as what-ifs.

“There’s always things that you feel like you have made the progress that you need to make to be competitively successful,” Steele said. “But then there’s always the what-ifs, and so the what-ifs are the thing that keep you from saying, ‘OK, this is what I think.’”

Could Auburn have its best defense of the last decade? Gus Malzahn believes so

Malzahn has coached at Auburn in some capacity since 2009, with the exception of the 2012 season. He believes this year's Tigers defense could be the program's best during that time.

The what-ifs are plentiful for Steele, who didn’t get into too many specifics, but the biggest one looming over his defense with a little more than two weeks until the season opener against Oregon on Aug. 31 in Arlington, Texas, has to do with the health of some key contributors.

That’s the one, Steele said, that keeps him up at night.

Auburn has been monitoring injuries to three players who were expected to enter 2019 with important roles: defensive tackles Daquan Newkirk and Coynis Miller, and defensive back Jordyn Peters. Newkirk and Peters have been recovering from spring Achilles injuries, while Miller has been hindered by a shoulder injury.

“The biggest thing is how fast we can get Coynis and Newkirk back up to speed, how fast we can get Jordyn up to speed,” Steele said. “They’re headed there, they’re on track with that.”

Miller and Peters are closer to returning full speed than Newkirk at this point, as those two have been limited to an extent in practices while donning orange non-contact jerseys. Newkirk has yet to dress out this fall but has been seen jogging off to the side during some of Auburn’s team drills.

Gus Malzahn said on the first day of fall camp that the team expects Newkirk back before the end of the season, implying that the former JUCO transfer could miss a substantial part of the season following a second consecutive offseason Achilles injury. Miller and Peters, however, are “pretty much right there” and their full returns appear to be imminent.

“You can play this game; it’s a physical game but you can lose the wrong guy at the wrong time, and then it changes everything,” Steele said. “It changes the way you have to call it. It changes who’s on the field in terms of schematically what you’re doing. Then another situation, it may not change that much, you just plug in and keep going.”

Miller’s return will provide more depth at the second defensive tackle spot for Auburn, which is tasked with replacing four-year starter Dontavius Russell. He also gives the defensive line some more flexibility, with Nick Coe then not necessarily having to play as much on the inside. Peters, who has proven to be a weapon on special teams with punt blocks, also adds depth to the secondary at the nickel position.

“With that, that just gives us a lot more freedom to do things,” Steele said.

And there’s plenty Auburn wants to do and accomplish this season defensively.

For one, Steele and defensive backs coaches Wesley McGriff and Marcus Woodson want to minimize deeper passes downfield and keeping the top on the coverage. The Tigers tied for 96th nationally last season in giving up pass plays of at least 30 yards, allowing 23 such passes in 2018. Steele said the secondary has done a really good job to limit those plays thus far in fall camp, which he described as “huge.”

Auburn also wants to improve its rushing defense ever so slightly this season in terms of yards allowed per carry. During Steele’s first three seasons, Auburn allowed opponents to average 3.74, 3.63 and 3.72 yards per rush. Those numbers ranked 25th, 29th and 33rd among FBS teams, respectively, those seasons — but Steele wants to bring the average down to 3.3 yards, which would have put Auburn just outside the top-10 nationally last season.

“We need to make that next move,” Steele said. “That next move is not — everybody thinks, oh, that’s a huge move, but we’re just talking about getting it down to 3.3. Not because that’s major in terms of major movement noticeable to the external, but for us, that’s where good to great becomes. You know? It’s a fine line. People don’t realize that. It’s a very, very fine line.”

So while Steele isn’t ready to share how good he thinks Auburn’s defense can be this season, he at least knows the things that need to break the Tigers’ way for them to improve upon last year’s production and take that step toward being one of the top unit’s the country.

“If we can get those what-ifs settled real, real quick and then put it on video, then we got a chance to reach a lot of goals,” Steele said, “but that’s a lot of unknowns.”

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

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@aubiefifty You realize I posted this yesterday right. See post above 

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2 hours ago, toddc said:

@aubiefifty You realize I posted this yesterday right. See post above 

no sir. this is why i hate to add content to ongoing threads because i am not going through a ton of pages to look. my apologies.

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On 8/16/2019 at 12:19 PM, toddc said:

So, when he hears people talking about Auburn’s defensive line being the best in the country and the Tigers being expected to field a top-tier defense this season, the fourth-year defensive coordinator just shakes his head. Sure, he knows what the defense is bringing back to the fold this year — five experienced starters in the secondary, three potential early-round NFL Draft picks along the defensive line and a supremely athletic linebacker corps — but all that external prognosticating is based off last year’s production and projecting it to this year’s potential.

“Obviously, part of the process, part of the standard is this is a new football team,” Steele said. “Everybody always says that’s last year, so how does anybody know what we are? They’ve never seen this defense. We, as coaches, are just now seeing, so to project what this defense is, I know the pundits need — that’s part of preseason hype; that’s part of what makes college football great. It’s going to happen, but the truth of the matter is we haven’t proven anything…. (but) we have an opportunity before us to be very good at what we do.”

So potential vs actual?

A trying concept for sure...

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27 minutes ago, bigbird said:

So potential vs actual?

A trying concept for sure...

Wow, your point is supported by coach speak. How boring are you? 

I think everyone realizes our record is still 0-0. It’s perfectly fine to say our DL, secondary, and RB positions should be team strengths though. It’s not like the players in those three position groups forgot how to play football since last year.

Tell me right now that our RB position isn’t going to be a strength. You can’t do it and you know that kills your argument. 

Edited by aujeff11
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21 minutes ago, aujeff11 said:

Wow, your point is supported by coach speak. How boring are you? 

I think everyone realizes our record is still 0-0. It’s perfectly fine to say our DL, secondary, and RB positions should be team strengths though. It’s not like the players in those three position groups forgot how to play football since last year.

Tell me right now that our RB position isn’t going to be a strength. You can’t do it and you know that kills your argument. 

Just admit what the board already knows, you talk out if your ass 90% of the time. You'll feel so much better once you do. You're such a clown.

Just keep moving those goalpost, jeffy.

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