Comeback or reversal, that is exactly what happened for the Auburn football team's offense in practice No. 14 of the spring. After being dominated for much of the 90-play scrimmage on Wednesday, the first team offense came out with fire on Thursday as the Tigers strapped on the pads for one of the most physical days of spring practice.
On Wednesday, tailbacks Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams were on the defensive in the scrimmage, often having to fight their way back to the line of scrimmage. On Thursday, they had running lanes inside and running lanes on the corners. When it was time to pass, Jason Campbell generally had time to find not only his primary receiver and often time to find his second or third choices.
Offensive coordinator Hugh Nall, who doubles as the line coach, had very little to get upset 24 hours after lecturing the entire offensive unit about its lack of fire during its performance in the scrimmage.
"Our offense had been going good all spring until we had a bad practice on Wednesday," says junior quarterback Jason Campbell. "That was due to a lack of enthusiasm, a lack of effort on a couple plays. A couple of mistakes here or there hurt.
"One thing we did as an offense is that we learned how to take criticism to make us better," Campbell notes. "You always have to take that as a positive to get your momentum and get you ready to play. I think our O-line played much better on Thursday. They did a good job of holding their blocks. They made some nice holes.
Jason Campbell throws a pass in Thursday's practice.
What little the offense did hear from Nall during a nearly hour-long contact session was positive, something that Campbell definitely noticed. "Coach Nall is a fun coach," the quarterback says. "He is a hard worker and does a good job with his offensive linemen. He knows when to get on people. When he is smiling like he was Thursday, you know things are going real good."
Campbell and his Tigers will have their 15th and final day of spring practice on Saturday at the annual A-Day game. Kickoff time is 1 p.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium and a crowd in excess of 30,000 is expected to check out the 2003 Tigers.
"Overall, I think the offense has had a strong spring," Campbell says. "The defense has given us a lot of different looks that will help us get ready for the season."