Monday Football Practice News, Notes & Quotes

Comments from the head football coach and practice notes are featured in this report.

Auburn, Ala.--After grading the video from Auburn's first scrimmage of the spring, Gene Chizik said that Monday's practice was focused on correcting mistakes and installation of offensive and defensive schemes.

The Tigers worked for two hours in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts for their seventh football practice of the spring.

"We came today and tried to get some things corrected," Auburn's head coach said. "It was a good up-tempo practice. There is added learning every day mixed in with going back and correcting some of the things we were not pleased with in the scrimmage."

Chizik said he thought the practice was a physical one, which he noted is a major objective this spring. "We have a long way to go. I think we are making some strides. I don't think there is any question about that. We will continue to improve. Overall, I was pleased with today."

Asked about what he saw from video of Saturday's scrimmage, the coach said, "We put the ball in jeopardy too many times...From an offensive perspective we have got to protect the football better. There is no question.

"The thing that is glaring is we have a long way to go in the run game," he said. "I think it was the first time we put everything together and still there is a lot of thought process going on. We have got to zero back in on the technique and fundamentals to make us a physical football team, but we didn't run the ball like we want to."

One of the players the coaches had hoped would help with the running game, fullback Ladarious Phillips, has quit the football team. Chizik said the Tigers have given him a release to transfer to any college he desires.

The formerly Handley High star gained around 50 pounds and was too heavy to be effective in the backfield at 6-0, 294 pounds. He wasn't with the team to open spring practice.

Ladarious Phillips would have been a redshirt sophomore for the Tigers this fall.

"Ladarious Phillips has elected not to play football," Chizik said. "We are going to wish him well."

With Phillips gone the only remaining fullback on the roster is transfer Jay Prosch, who is still awaiting word on whether he will be cleared to play this fall after making the move from Illinois to Auburn in January.

"I think he is a guy who can really contribute," Chizik said of Prosch. "I think he is a guy who fits in really, really well with the personnel grouping that uses a fullback."

Auburn's next option at fullback is to use a tight end at the position like the Tigers did last season.

Chizik said the issues he saw on defense included giving up too many big plays. "The consistency of what we are doing defensively, we just have a long way to go," he said. "There is a lot of learning still going on. Overall, I thought there were a lot of great teaching moments going on in that scrimmage."

In other news and notes:

*Junior quarterback Clint Moseley has been limited by a sore right shoulder. "He threw a little bit more today," Chizik said. "Right not we are weaning him back into the passing game."

Kiehl Frazier is trying to move into a starting role this season.

With Moseley limited in what he can do, sophomore Kiehl Frazier has taken most of the reps with the first offense in recent practices. The head coach noted he is seeing progress. "Kiehl is making some really big strides," he said.

Asked if the Tigers will be ready to name a starting quarterback by the end of spring, Chizik answered that is yet to be determined.

*Chizik said that one of the focuses on offense this spring is to get the young tight ends, Brandon Fulse and C.J. Uzomah, to become better, more physical blockers. "They have got to be able to put their hands on the ground on block these defensive ends," he said.

*Greg Robinson missed practice again due to a death in the family forcing him to return to Louisiana. The redshirt sophomore is expected back soon. In his absence true freshman Patrick Miller worked with the ones in the scrimmage on Saturday and Chizik had praise for the early high school graduate who arrived at Auburn in January.

"Him and Shane Callahan and Zeke Pike should be going to prom in about a week," Chizik noted, saying he is proud of the effort the trio of early grads are putting in this spring. "Patrick Miller played a bunch of snaps the other day with Greg not being here. I think he did a really, really nice job of just getting in that scrimmage and mixing it up.

Patrick Miller switched commitments from LSU to Auburn and enrolled at Auburn for spring semester.

"He and Shane and Zeke are all in the same boat--a lot of moving parts for them so I am proud of where they are at. They know they have a long way to go, but they are going to be alright."

*Chizik said he is seeing progress from sophomore Devaunte Sigler, who came in as a 255-pound linebacker this year and is currently 290-plus playing defensive tackle. Sigler missed the scrimmage with an injury, but is expected back soon.

Chizik said that Sigler is improving. "He is still a real young player and he is learning. He has gotten bigger, he has put on weight. He has got to learn to carry that weight, but up to this point I feel like he has done that well."

Practice Notes:

Monday Auburn Football Practice Notes, Part 6

Monday Auburn Football Practice Notes, Part 5

Monday Auburn Football Practice Notes, Part 4

Monday Auburn Football Practice Notes, Part 3

Monday Auburn Football Practice Notes, Part 2

Monday Auburn Football Practice Notes, Part 1

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