Football Tigers Work On Getting Physical

News, notes and quotes are featured in this Auburn football practice report.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn passed the halfway point of spring football drills on Wednesday as Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers put on the full pads for their eighth of 15 spring sessions.

The Tigers did some limited scrimmage work at the practice as they got a break with the weather and were able to practice outdoors for the full two hours plus.

"Overall I thought they took a step forward trying to be physical," Chizik said. "Where we are at, we are not satisfied by any means, but our guys are moving in that direction so that is a positive.

"We did a good bit of 11 on 11, some of it situations," Chizik said. "A little bit of it was live. I just wanted to get the officials out there for different formations and different things to make sure we are doing all of the little things right."

Gene Chizik talks to the officiating crew that worked at Wednesday's practice.

With the Tigers halfway done with spring, Chizik was asked if there are any areas where the Tigers are ahead or behind schedule.

"I don't want to isolate any phase of the game," he said. "I think we are a long way away in most areas. in my opinion. I like their attitude and I like their effort moving forward, and they have done that every day. I don't think there has been a day recently where we have taken a step back, but I don't feel like there is a comfort level with anything."

In other news and notes:

*Quarterback Clint Moseley has been battling a sore shoulder that has limited his passing. "He is getting better day by day," Chizik said. "Clint played a little bit more today. He threw some today. I think slowly but surely we are weaning him in. We are doing a lot of treatment with him."

*Kicker Cody Parkey has been held out of practices while he recovers from a muscle pull. The head coach said there is no need to risk further injury with the returning starter. Walk-on Alex Kiviklys had a good session kicking field goals.

*Linebacker Jawara White missed practice on Wednesday. Chizik said he would know more about White's status at a later time. The sophomore is suffering from a head injury and headaches that have sidelined him. Previously in his career the former Charles Henderson High from Troy was sidelined with a neck/spine problem.

Jawara White

*Linebacker coach Tommy Thigpen said he saw progress with his players on their alignments on Wednesday, but added the players need to be more physical. "Whatever you preach is what you get from your players," Thigpen said of why he has been harping with the linebackers about getting tougher.

The coach said part of the equation for being physical is to be able to quickly read and react without too much thinking as well as lining up correctly so the linebackers will have the best pursuit angles to the ball carrier. "If you are a yard off on alignment it can be disastrous if you don't know exactly where you are supposed to fit on football plays."

Redshirt freshman Kris Frost is making a push for playing time at outside linebacker. Thigpen said that Frost still has a long way to go to be ready for his first season of college football.

*New secondary coach Willie Martinez said the cornerbacks and safeties are inconsistent halfway through spring drills, but he noted that he is encouraged with the progress they are making.

"We have good effort and a willingness to learn," the coach said. "Guys are doing a good job. We have only been here eight practices. You can see the progress being made, especially from our basic calls we have since we first put them in and see them executed as time has gone on."

*Martinez had praise for the play of sophomore cornerback Robenson Therezie. The coach noted he had several good plays in Wednesday's practice, including an acrobatic interception. "He is doing good,"?the coach said. "You can see him feeling more comfortable in what he is supposed to do, which is very encouraging." Martinez added, "He had an unbelievable interception in a red zone period. That was really good to see."

*Another defensive back, Jermaine Whitehead, received praise from Martinez, who is working the sophomore exclusively at safety this spring. Last fall Whitehead played cornerback and nickel back.

*Martinez also had praise for walk-on 6-1, 192 sophomore Trent Fisher from Nashville, who is working with the second team at free safety. "Trent is doing a great job," the coach said. "He is a smart player and he is tough, too. I like those guys."

*The Tigers will return to practice on Friday and are expected to have their second scrimmage of the spring on Saturday.

More notes and message board discussions can be found on the links to the Tiger Ticket forum:

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