Holland Steps Up, But Wants More Improvement

Comments from Jake Holland and Brian VanGorder are featured following Auburn's first preseason football scrimmage.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Gene Chizik and Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder emphasized Auburn's inconsistencies on the defensive side of the football Wednesday night after the Tigers' first scrimmage of fall camp.

"I thought it was sloppy, but much needed," VanGorder said. "We've got a lot of guys that are in the developmental phase so the live reps are good. And bad experiences are good right now so we need to let them see it on film and get it solved so it doesn't happen again."

Adding that the first string played well at times, VanGorder said it is important for the defense to gain consistency to stop big plays from occurring. He noted the defense played well for most of the scrimmage, but a couple of explosive runs "changed that statistic real fast."

"Throughout camp we've had misalignments and that goes with a new defense," said linebacker Jake Holland. "But we are learning concepts, we are learning alignments, we are learning leverage. That is going to help us be successful."

VanGorder said the linebackers have a lot of learning to do, adding they need to continue to be pushed and driven in preparation for the Tigers' first game.

"I felt like we stopped the run," Holland said. "There were a few explosive plays that gashed us and last year we had a lot of those. We've got to get that corrected. We can't have those, but I feel like the run game was pretty good today."

Defensive tackle Gabe Wright pointed out that Holland had one of the best days for defensive players.

"Jake Holland really impressed me in practice today," Wright said. "He has really been struggling, not a lot, but to the point where VanGorder has really been staying on him. Just like (Mike) Pelton does with us on the defensive line, we've all been struggling some. Jake Holland had a really good day."

Holland said he felt it was his personal best scrimmage in VanGorder's system even though there were a few misfits that allowed explosive running plays and a couple big pass plays in the scrimmage that ran approximately 65 plays.

"I'm working every day to get better and I can't keep making the same mistakes," Holland added. "It has to be a one timer. If I make a mistake, I have to correct it and move on to the next day."

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