Jump to content

Extra sweat for AU linemen

DKW 86

Recommended Posts


Extra sweat for AU linemen

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Times Sports Staff pmarsh9485@msn.com

Defensive line, ends put through paces in sweltering heat

AUBURN - After a three-hour practice, including a scrimmage of some 80 plays, Auburn's defensive linemen still toiled Thursday. :thumbsup:

Temperatures had soared past 90 degrees and the humidity was suffocating. Most of their teammates had gone gratefully to the air conditioned comfort of the locker room. But defensive tackles coach Don Dunn and defensive ends coach Terry Price kept their players on the field.

Players ran from one side of the scrimmage area to the other on the intramural field where the team holds preseason workouts. They ran until exhaustion rode heavily on their shoulders. Freshmen Zach Clayton and Jermarcus Ricks couldn't finish.

Dunn told freshman defensive tackle Bart Eddins, clearly struggling, to drop out. Eddins, with offensive lineman Tim Duckworth helping him stay on his feet, would have no part of it. He made the final run with his teammates.

Duckworth, a fifth-year senior guard, was once a defensive lineman. He stayed when other players had gone.

"I'm not going to leave my guys out here like that," Duckworth said. "I'm going to go out there and help them as much as I can. I can't run for them, but I'm going to support them. I can't sit here and let my guys fall by the wayside.

"I know what they go through. I've been in their shoes. They are out here before anybody else and work harder than anybody else out here."

Duckworth offered Eddins, in particular, encouragement.

"I told him, 'You can do it; keep telling yourself you can do it,' " Duckworth said. "I told him 'You're tired, but you're not tired where you are about dead. Just keep going.' "

Senior nose guard Josh Thompson, clearly unhappy, said the post-practice test was something defensive linemen have to accept.

"We are the toughest people on the team, apparently," Thompson said. "I guess that's what they are trying to do. They did it last year to us. I really don't have any comment about it.

"... It's something that happens every year. It's not anything to get all whooped up about."

In the first full-speed scrimmage of the preseason, the offense had seven turnovers, four by freshmen. Both the No. 1 and No. 2 offenses mounted touchdown drives to close the scrimmage.

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said he expected the defense to be ahead of the offense. He said he liked the running attack, led by Kenny Irons and Carl Stewart.

"If your defense isn't ahead of your offense in two-a-days, it's going to be a long season," Tuberville said. "I like where we are on defense, but we still have some holes to fill. We ran the ball pretty well. I thought Kenny ran well, and Carl."

Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said there were things to like and things to not like. He said he kept it simple throughout the scrimmage.

"We played our base packages," Muschamp said. "We needed to line up and head butt the guy in front of us and play football. In this league, you can't be moving all the time. People are too good. They'll block it. We have to be able to line up and play base defense. That's all we did."

Offensive coordinator Al Borges said the offense came out intent on establishing a physical running attack.

"I thought all our backs ran the ball very hard, broke a lot of tackles," Borges said. "I thought our line came off, particularly on our inside zone plays. Our passing game is way behind, but this scrimmage was not about throwing the ball."

A game-type scrimmage is tentatively scheduled for Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, but Tuberville said the day could change depending on injuries.

"We're not a very good football team right now," Tuberville said, "but it's early."

If you have been around football for a long time, this is exactly whay you wanted to hear. Toughening up the DL, more TOs, smashmouth run O.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...