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Ok we don’t know where we might be headed for a bowl game but the bowl season is a lot like an “extra” spring practice.

Here’s my questions…well maybe not questions but here a few players I’d like to single out to step up their game.

Robert Dunn - Dunn had a wonderful return in the Iron Bowl but seems to disappear alittle to much for a slot receiver. He seemed to mature off the field during the off season last year but the up coming year will be his Sr year. I think Robert has the demeanor and charisma to be the offensive leader of the team next year. That’s my challenge to you Robert, step your game up and be the man out there. We need you from an offensive set to touch the ball between 6-9 times a game from your slot receiver position.

Mike Blanc/Jake Ricks – yes this is 2 people and yes they are very young. This to me other then qb next year is our biggest question mark for an individual position, even more so then the empty corner back spot. I challenge both of these young man to step up and work their tails off to get stronger and faster and more of a “presence” in the middle next year. The DT opposite Pat Sims next year will be very important, especially in 3rd down situations. Although on passing 3rd downs I’m sure Marks will move down from his DE position.

Tommy Trott - Not knocking him but I’d call him a “BUST” for now. Where’s the wide receiver speed we hear about, where’s the toughness over the middle that is required from a TE. Yes we know you aren’t supposed to be a dominating blocker and don’t expect that from you, but… we expect you to catch the ball cleanly when the opportunity presents itself. Tommy you will be Jr next year, you should demand attention, constant attention, from safeties in passing situations and if I’m not mistaken LB’s have been covering you. That’s another reason some of our deep balls haven’t been available we are constantly facing safeties over the top coverage on the wideouts. I also think a lot of our offense was centered around Tommy at the beginning of year and he disappeared in the games, not to exclude that our OL didn’t perform well the first 1/3 season.

Coach Borges – Coach come on brother, Auburn shouldn’t be ranked in the 100’s in any aspect of their football team. Well unless you have a rash of devastating injuries to multiple positions on a particular side of the ball… oh wait that was our defense this year. I think you have what it takes to get the job done. Prove me right!!

I’ll add that yes the QB position is huge next year along with the CB position opposite Powers and also depth in the defensive backfield in general but these individual people are the guys that I think can make next year special.

What say you?

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I think QB will be a huge position to fill. Kodi, Blake, or Neil will have some big shoes to fill, maybe not talent wise, but certainly from a leadership standpoint.

The good thing for our new QB, (thinking its Kodi) is that our OL will improve greatly, or SHOULD improve. This bodes well for a young quarterback, kinda like for Brandon in 2005, who had alot of time to do his thing. Another positive for the QB is having two experienced WRs to throw to. Montez and Rod really stepped up this year and I'll be very much looking forward to seeing what they can do in 08. Same goes for Dunn. As you said Auburnforever, the guy has got to step up. If Robert can build upon his performance against Tn Tech, and his catches against Arky and Vandy that he had this year, he could be a lock for the starting slot reciever, and a big target for our passer.

Having 4 RBs returning next year, guys who will only improve, is another encouraging thought. Brandon was forced to do too much against Ga. Tech in his first start because Auburn didn't have a proven RB at hand yet. Our new guy won't have that same problem with Brad, Ben, and Mario in the backfield, along with a healthy Tristan Davis. With the improvements to our OL, I'm HOPING for a big year from our RBs.

Defensively, I think our biggest concern is losing Pat Lee, Eric Brock, and Jonathan Wilhite from the secondary. Those guys made the plays this year, and losing them is a blow. Of course, our secondary has alot of room for improvement, but it definitely helped having that experience and leadership back there. Here's hoping that Aaron Savage, Jerraud Powers, Zach Etheridge, Mike McNeill, Walter McFadden, and Ryan Williams can step it up for us in 2008. One great advantage that we will have is our linebackers. We don't lose anyone. Barring injuries, we'll have Tray Blackmon, Merrill Johnson, Craig Stevens, and Chris Evans all back, along with more experienced Bo Harris and Josh Bynes, as well as Adam Herring and Eltoro Freeman. That's encouraging.

Special Teams will be good. Shoemaker, Tatum, Kutch, and Byrum will all improve, at least from a mental standpoint, and we keep Davis, Lester, and Fannin to return kicks, and Dunn to return punts.

IF, we can prepare a talented QB for the trials, and a few things fall into place, we COULD be looking at a special season. I'm thinking we could manage 9 wins, and with a little luck, 10 or 11, and maybe make a run at Atlanta.


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We signed John Douglas out of GA last season. BIG bullish type FB. He was redshirted. Ranked as the #3 FB in the US by Rivals. Time will tell....

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