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Scrimmage Observations


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Jason Caldwell's Monday morning quarterback column

ByJason Caldwell Mar 28, 8:29 AM
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Auburn QBs Throw A Variety Of Pass Routes

 
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Scrimmage Observations

Watching about an hour of Auburn’s first spring scrimmage on Friday gave me a good idea of what this team is all about early in the building process, even with several starters on both sides of the ball missing from action because of injuries or as they continue to recover.

Maybe the first thing that jumped out to me is just how good big running back Sean Jackson is. Watching him several times in high school showed me he could play at this level at some point as a college player, but I think he might be ready to be in the Auburn rotation this season. He has got great balance and feet for someone who weighs 230+ pounds and gives defenses a different look. With Jarquez Hunter out for the rest of the spring and a portion of the summer, Jackson may be the biggest beneficiary.

Defensively, a player who has a chance to make an impact this season is linebacker Joko Willis. He has been a forgotten guy at linebacker for this team, but now he has a year under his belt and it’s showing on the field. Willis has really good speed and a knack for making plays in the backfield. He may be a good option as an extra pass rusher for this team.

One of the older guys who has shown up well has been senior offensive lineman Alec Jackson. This spring we have seen him at both tackle spots and he has also played guard. Physical and a mature man on the field, Jackson could be someone who makes a big move with his opportunity this spring.

 

Got to give props to true freshman safety Caleb Wooden as well. He made a great play on an interception during Friday’s scrimmage, his second in two days for the Auburn defense. With a need at safety, Wooden has come in and put himself in a position for early playing time on defense and special teams.

 

That’s what you can call Auburn’s equestrian program under Coach Greg Williams. The father of the program, who built the team from the ground up along with help from Coach Pat Dye, Williams and the Tigers defeated Texas A&M on Sunday to win the SEC Championship. That’s the fourth straight conference title for Auburn and fifth overall to go along with three Southern Equestrian Conference crowns. 

The Tigers now try to finish their season with another championship when the team will head to Ocala, Fla., for the 2022 NCEA Championship. The three-day meet will be held April 14-16 at the World Equestrian Center.

 

Final 4 Thoughts

What do Duke, Villanova, Kansas and North Carolina all share other than being four of the best programs in college basketball history? They also had teams that made the shots when it counted in the NCAA Tournament and limited their turnovers down the stretch.

24COMMENTS

From there it’s all about being a little fortunate. Every team left survived a bad night in the tournament to advance. Kansas survived against both Creighton and Providence to make it. North Carolina blew a 25-point led against Baylor and survived in overtime and was down with less than two minutes left against UCLA. Villanova led Ohio State by three points with four minutes left in their second round win, but finished strong. Duke trailed Michigan State with less than three minutes left in a second round win. 

What does that tell me? You need to be good, but you also need to be a little fortunate to make a run in the NCAA Tournament and getting hot at the right time doesn’t hurt either as both Duke and North Carolina prove. Auburn was good, but just not good enough to overcome some issues this time around. Just keep giving yourself a shot and more opportunities will come.

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My gut tells me this team will overachieve.  There will probably be some heart break due to lack of depth on the lines but a 9-10 win season along with a good recruiting class will help heal a lot of what ails the football program right now.  
 

5 straight home games to start the year will help build momentum heading into Athens and the Mississippi schools.  Will be interesting to see how Harsin fares on the road against Bama and UGA will tell fans a lot about how he preps his teams compared to his predecessor.

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Sean Jackson is one of the few guys I do want to see more of. I think there’s something there with him. I always have a weak spot for bigger RB’s who wear down defenses. 

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49 minutes ago, Sizzle said:

Sean Jackson is one of the few guys I do want to see more of. I think there’s something there with him. I always have a weak spot for bigger RB’s who wear down defenses. 

Only wears them down if he can get to the hole and squeeze through to hit someone other than OL.

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2 hours ago, Win4AU said:

My gut tells me this team will overachieve.  There will probably be some heart break due to lack of depth on the lines but a 9-10 win season along with a good recruiting class will help heal a lot of what ails the football program right now.  
 

5 straight home games to start the year will help build momentum heading into Athens and the Mississippi schools.  Will be interesting to see how Harsin fares on the road against Bama and UGA will tell fans a lot about how he preps his teams compared to his predecessor.

As much as Auburn has been the golden child of underdog and miracle success stories, it'll take the lightening in a bottle of a new QB Nam Cewton or Mick Narshal to make this team have any chance of being surprising. 

There isn't a superstar on the team who can 1v21 when needed. 

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2 hours ago, Hank2020 said:

Only wears them down if he can get to the hole and squeeze through to hit someone other than OL.

He can. Our OL is mediocre but they ain’t trash enough to where they won’t open up any holes ever

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This team is not very talented. Hopefully they can play above that and pull out a few games they shouldn’t. 
 

it’s only spring, but we may be in some trouble this year, folks. 

 

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5 minutes ago, passthebiscuits said:

This team is not very talented. Hopefully they can play above that and pull out a few games they shouldn’t. 
 

it’s only spring, but we may be in some trouble this year, folks. 

 

This statement coming from you causes me to worry.  I didn’t think talent other than the OL was a problem.

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6 minutes ago, passthebiscuits said:

This team is not very talented. Hopefully they can play above that and pull out a few games they shouldn’t. 
 

it’s only spring, but we may be in some trouble this year, folks. 

 

This.

I think we have talent at RB, TE, and maybe some competency at QB and OL but that’s more due to sheer experience than actual talent. Defensively I think we’re more talented but unless we’re forcing 3+ turnovers per game, it’s not going to make much difference. This all looks different if we have more talent and depth on the OL. Not sure I can say it’s all on Harsin but if he’s going to be leading this program long term, he’s gonna have to earn his paycheck with the gaps we have in the roster.

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3 minutes ago, passthebiscuits said:

This team is not very talented. Hopefully they can play above that and pull out a few games they shouldn’t. 
 

it’s only spring, but we may be in some trouble this year, folks. 

 

This pretty much expresses what i expect. I don't have much hope it will be a good season; I'll gladly eat crow if so. I just think we don't have enough talent at a lot of key positions and we have serious depth issues in many areas. I feel good about the defense. But that is subsided by the fact I don't have much faith in the offense. 

I just want to see what i was hoping for last year. 1. Progress as the season goes on. We can clearly point to a number of players and/or units that have improved from game 1. 2. Coaches putting players in the best position to be competitive and possibly pull out a surprise win(s) 3. Adjustments when needed; whether it be personnel or how we're game planning on offense and/or defense.

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6 hours ago, Win4AU said:

My gut tells me this team will overachieve.  There will probably be some heart break due to lack of depth on the lines but a 9-10 win season along with a good recruiting class will help heal a lot of what ails the football program right now.  
 

5 straight home games to start the year will help build momentum heading into Athens and the Mississippi schools.  Will be interesting to see how Harsin fares on the road against Bama and UGA will tell fans a lot about how he preps his teams compared to his predecessor.

AU wins nine or ten games and I'll happily pin the National Coach of the Year award on Harsin. Do you truly think nine wins is realistic? I'm thinking 4-8, 5-7 if we get a few lucky bounces. One of us is way off base. I hope that one is me and you are correct but I simply don't see it.

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I see the disgruntled employee came in to make a jab at the players now, not just his bosses.

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5 minutes ago, auburnphan said:

I see the disgruntled employee came in to make a jab at the players now, not just his bosses.

Way to throw in a nice little personal jab, but can you refute?

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5 hours ago, auburnphan said:

I see the disgruntled employee came in to make a jab at the players now, not just his bosses.

Maybe a bit disillusioned, but he's not disgruntled. He wants what we all do but, like many, he's just not certain of the path were on. 

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4 hours ago, auburnphan said:

I see the disgruntled employee came in to make a jab at the players now, not just his bosses.

Dude. You're turning into Harsin's MikeyBelle-24. 

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13 hours ago, WarEagle1983 said:

This pretty much expresses what i expect. I don't have much hope it will be a good season; I'll gladly eat crow if so. I just think we don't have enough talent at a lot of key positions and we have serious depth issues in many areas. I feel good about the defense. But that is subsided by the fact I don't have much faith in the offense. 

I just want to see what i was hoping for last year. 1. Progress as the season goes on. We can clearly point to a number of players and/or units that have improved from game 1. 2. Coaches putting players in the best position to be competitive and possibly pull out a surprise win(s) 3. Adjustments when needed; whether it be personnel or how we're game planning on offense and/or defense.

100%

We might have made the wrong hire, or we might just be one cycle behind schedule. But nobody should be hanging anything on our W-L record in 2022. 

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16 hours ago, GunsmithAU said:

As much as Auburn has been the golden child of underdog and miracle success stories, it'll take the lightening in a bottle of a new QB Nam Cewton or Mick Narshal to make this team have any chance of being surprising. 

There isn't a superstar on the team who can 1v21 when needed. 

Harsin doesn't want one player to do that.

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13 hours ago, Mikey said:

AU wins nine or ten games and I'll happily pin the National Coach of the Year award on Harsin. Do you truly think nine wins is realistic? I'm thinking 4-8, 5-7 if we get a few lucky bounces. One of us is way off base. I hope that one is me and you are correct but I simply don't see it.

The team is mostly the same and it was very close to getting 9 wins last year with more consistent QB, WR and Oline play.  Every player on the team will be better after going through an offseason getting stronger and watching NFL film.  They will understand the scheme better, execute it better, they will be able to just react instead of think about what they need to do.  I won't say they will most certainly win 9 games this year but if everything is improved from last year and we get more consistent play out of the QB position, WR group and Oline, I don't see why we won't have a chance to win every game this year.  That's really all you can ask for, be in the position to win every game and don't get blown out.

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39 minutes ago, Didba said:

That's really all you can ask for, be in the position to win every game and don't get blown out.

It was such a breath of fresh air

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13 hours ago, Mikey said:

AU wins nine or ten games and I'll happily pin the National Coach of the Year award on Harsin. Do you truly think nine wins is realistic? I'm thinking 4-8, 5-7 if we get a few lucky bounces. One of us is way off base. I hope that one is me and you are correct but I simply don't see it.

I keep hearing things like this team is United and similar to 03 all this coach mess has helped the program more than it hurt internally.  We won’t know till they play the games but you can make up talent with chemistry a lot in college.  UGA and Bama probably have too much to power to overcome but look what happened in the Iron Bowl last year with a 1 legged back up Qb.  How good Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Miss State will determine how the season goes.  Win those 3 or 2/3s and it could be a very good year.  

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1 hour ago, Didba said:

Harsin doesn't want one player to do that.

Doesn't matter what harsin wants when his team is bottom half of the SEC at most positions with major deficiencies. 

 

We saw last year, with better O talent than this year,how important a magician rabbit from a hat QB is. Bo messed up a lot but he more importantly created when team deficiencies pilled up. This is why I think the Oregon kid ends up starting. 

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21 hours ago, Win4AU said:

My gut tells me this team will overachieve.  There will probably be some heart break due to lack of depth on the lines but a 9-10 win season along with a good recruiting class will help heal a lot of what ails the football program right now.  
 

5 straight home games to start the year will help build momentum heading into Athens and the Mississippi schools.  Will be interesting to see how Harsin fares on the road against Bama and UGA will tell fans a lot about how he preps his teams compared to his predecessor.

How in the world could this team win at least 9 games unless we see an influx of transfers up front on offense?

What are you seeing? I’m not trying to get you riled up I’m just curious. 

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20 minutes ago, GunsmithAU said:

Doesn't matter what harsin wants when his team is bottom half of the SEC at most positions with major deficiencies. 

 

We saw last year, with better O talent than this year,how important a magician rabbit from a hat QB is. Bo messed up a lot but he more importantly created when team deficiencies pilled up. This is why I think the Oregon kid ends up starting. 

This is exactly why i think our starter should be Zach or Robby. I get CBH wants more of a pocket passer but we need a QB that can move around a little. He doesn't have to be run first but can go get a few yards or can throw well on the go. I hate that Zach will miss the spring but he's the QB i'd like to see starting first. 

With defenses keying in on Tank, it's going to be a lot of action up front. We're going to need a QB that can quickly react; throwing or running. If i'm opposing defenses, there's no way i let Tank get going. I'm loading the box and daring any one of our QBs to prove they can make throws consistently. 

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17 hours ago, lca408 said:

This.

I think we have talent at RB, TE, and maybe some competency at QB and OL but that’s more due to sheer experience than actual talent. Defensively I think we’re more talented but unless we’re forcing 3+ turnovers per game, it’s not going to make much difference. This all looks different if we have more talent and depth on the OL. Not sure I can say it’s all on Harsin but if he’s going to be leading this program long term, he’s gonna have to earn his paycheck with the gaps we have in the roster.

I looked at 2021 stats and if I read them correctly no team had 3 or more TO/ game average. If that is correct it seems totally unrealistic to expect us to that in 2022.

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6 hours ago, bigbird said:

Maybe a bit disillusioned, but he's not disgruntled. He wants what we all do but, like many, he's just not certain of the path were on. 

You’re only as talented as your trenches are. If you’re weak in the trenches then you can pretty much tell how your season is going to go for the most part.
We’re all ready for Auburn football but at the same time we know how the season is likely going to play out.
Hopefully we have a good enough showing to where more big time recruits see the vision and want to jump on board 

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