Chizik Says He Likes Final Spring Practice

The Auburn football team cleaned up mistakes from A-Day game in final spring practice.

Auburn, Ala.-- The Auburn football team held its 15th and final practice of spring training on Monday and the head coach said that he liked what he saw from the Tigers.

The objective of the two-hour practice in shorts was to clean up the mistakes the coaches saw after viewing video of Saturday's A-Day Game, Gene Chizik pointed out.

"I thought today was a good ending," the head coach said. "Lot of energy out there today, that was good. Some great focus out there today."

"But overall, just big picture for the spring, I think there was a lot of progress made in a lot of different spots," Chizik added. "We certainly aren't anywhere near where we need to be, but taking into consideration just the newness of the offense and the defense, I feel like we ended in a place that's about where we'd thought we'd be so that's been a good thing."

Chizik said the quarterbacks made progress this spring, but that there has still been too many inconsistencies from the position. In Monday's practice he said the Tigers worked on ironing out problems with ball-handling, reads and techniques, including footwork for the offensive linemen or run fits, and alignments for all three defensive units.

The Tigers will now shift their focus to voluntary offseason workouts, conditioning and player-directed practices and video sessions. What happens between the end of spring practice and the beginning of fall camp is critical to how a football team is formed, Chizik said.

"These guys have summer workouts that bond your team," he said. "They've got a lot of work ahead of them so they've got to come in on their own and do some film work.

"They've got to be very motivated to, again, every guy trying to make themselves a better football player without the coaches around," noted Chizik. "You've got to be self-motivated to do that so it is a very critical time both in the weight room and conditioning, but also in them trying to get better as football players on their own and spending time doing that."

Senior wide receiver Emory Blake agrees with Chizik on the importance of taking advantage of offseason workouts and player-directed practices.

"Coach was talking about it today—either you practice winning or you practice losing," said Blake. "You don't want to go out there and practice bad habits so, as a leader, me and a few other guys need to step up and make sure this summer goes smoothly. We need to keep installing, keep implementing plays in so we don't get behind."

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