Saturday, August 15, 2009

Camp report, 8/15

A few quick notes before Saturday's scrimmage, which will assuredly clear up nothing whatsoever:

--Chizik and Roof on The Toro's injury:
"He wasn't in full gear this morning, but I'm encouraged," Chizik said.

Defensive coordinator Ted Roof did not specifically comment on the injury, either.

"I coach them when they are ready to go," he said.
Oh heavens. I suppose if the Chiznick is encouraged I ought to be encouraged, but it's hard when we still don't know what the injury is, even harder when rather than flat-out saying "He'll be back," Chizik's just "encouraged." With Great Story Pybus and Adam Herring both still out with injuries themselves last we heard, you know who would start in The Toro's place is the season started this afternoon? Harris Gaston, probably, or maybe Jonathan Evans. Go True Freshmen, Go!

--Speaking of which, maybe Dee Ford would be in on some of that action as well. Roof on Ford:
"He's never played from a stand-up position before, so it's a little different for him," Roof said. "But what jumps out for me on him is that he doesn't get stuck up on blocks. He doesn't get Velcroed to blocks. He uses his hands and gets off blocks. And he seems to have a nose for the football. So we just have to keep working and teaching the position and we'll go from there."
No one was doubting Ford's quicks when he came out of school, so there's nothing stopping him athletically, and you would think if anyone could teach the ins-and-outs of linebackerdom in a short period of time, it'd be Roof. So, hey, who knows.

This much is clear, it seems: a couple of true freshmen are going to see some playing time at LB this season. We're just waiting to find out who.

--Also coming in for some praise from Roof were Nosa Eguae and Michael Goggans. The Eguae thing is almost old hat by now--I think the only coaches left who haven't had something positive to say about him yet are, like, Boulware and Lolley, and we'll probably hear from them next week.

The Goggans news is legitimately encouraging, however. As the end opposite Antonio Coleman, Goggans is playing one of the--if not the, period--most critical positions on Auburn's 2009 defense, since it's up to him to make sure opposing pass protection schemes can't quadruple-team AC and still feel OK about having the other side shored up. Goggans wasn't bad last year, but there were games he was just a little bit too anonymous, and with two new starters inside, Auburn can't afford for him to be anything less than an impact player this go-round.

(This, of course, assumes that Goggans plays at end rather than tackle, which may not be a safe assumption, particularly if Rocker and Roof decide they need the help inside and can get by with Carter and Henderson at end.)

--Jay G. Tate sums up how mind-meltingly frustrating it must be for Neil Caudle to potentially slip to third-string behind Rollison:
Caudle is in his fourth season at Auburn.

Rollison is in his fourth week.
Ouch, babe. Do spare some sympathy for Caudle this fall: as with Burns, you can't say any longer he didn't have his fair shot, but unlike Burns, his coaches aren't raving about his athletic ability and sounding for all the world like they're planning to squeeze him onto the field come hell or high water. Tough, tough stuff, man.

In other quarterbacking news, Rollison isn't quite as loud on the field as he is on his Facebook page. Oh, and a second pronunciation update: the emphasis is on the second, -RICK syllable rather than the "Ty." We're all all clear on this by now, right? Right?

--Don't expect a ton of insight fro mthe scrimmage today, as 1. it's closed to the media, as always 2. it sounds like Chizik is planning on using it to help fill out his special teams. Thrilling. I somehow doubt Chris Todd's first scrimmage as the starter is really going to have quite so much emphasis on figuring out who the second-string punt coverage gunners will be, but that might be all we find out, is the vibe I'm getting.

--Holy crap, Ben Tate got named to the Maxwell watch list? The Maxwell is kind of the Heisman's evil (or possibly good) twin--goes to the country's best player, straight up. 55 kids got named to the list. I think Tate's primed for a huge season, but I'm not totally convinced with Fannin around he's the best tailback on Auburn's team--but the Maxwell club feels he's one of the best 55 players, at any position, in the entire country? Hey, cool with me. Here's to hoping they know something I don't.

--How much money would you have paid to participate in a game of pool with Bo Jackson and Antonio Coleman?

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