Bray Suspended As Tigers Return to Practice

Gene Chizik talks about his decision to hold Quan Bray out of action and Sunday night's practice as the Tigers returned to practice following a break.

Auburn, Ala.--After having more than 48 hours away from football workouts, the Auburn Tigers hit the field for close to two hours in a longer than normal Sunday night practice.

Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers began putting in the game plan for this Saturday's home contest vs. Arkansas, which is scheduled for an 11 a.m. start with television coverage on ESPN2.

One player who won't be a part of the game plan is sophomore Quan Bray, who was arrested on Thursday night in Carrollton, Ga., on three misdemeanor charges on the University of West Georgia campus as part of a traffic stop from playing music too loud.

"The reality is that Quan for the last year and a half has had a lot of challenges," Chizik said of the player whose mother suffered a violent death. "He has been a great teammate, he has been an honor role student.

"I am proud of the way in last year and a half he has carried himself and overcome a lot of adversity," the coach added. "Unfortunately, he made a bad decision this weekend and what comes with that is consequences so he won't be playing in the game this week, and I will let you know when he is going to be back out on the field. It certainly won't be against Arkansas."

Quan Bray

Bray is a starting wide receiver plus he returns punts and kickoffs. Fellow sophomore Trovon Reed is expected to start in Bray's spot at receiver and handle punt return duties. Freshman Ricardo Louis is also expected to get a look as a punt returner and a kickoff returner.

"He understands that consequences come when you make bad decisions," Chizik said of Bray.

"Part of our job as coaches is to help young guys grow up," Chizik added. "In a perfect world you don't want any of these things to happen. My job, as well as winning football games, is to help young boys come in here at 18 and grow into men when they leave at 22. That is our goal with any guy who makes a decision that is not what you want. A high percentage of our guys on our football team do exactly what we ask them to do."

The Tigers took advantage of their indoor facility on a rainy Sunday night for a session in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts. Chizik noted he liked what he saw after the Tigers practice just three times last week.

"We had a great practice tonight," he said. "I feel really good about the last four practices in a row--this being the fourth. In terms of intensity, I feel like we are improving.

"I feel like the culture of our practices, the way we are practicing in terms of physicality and intensity, I feel good about it. I feel like it is a move in the right direction. Tonight they came back after a little bit of a break and I feel like it was a very spirited practice again. That was very pleasing to see."

This week's opponent is struggling even more than Auburn. The Razorbacks suffered a 58-10 loss to Texas A&M to fall to 1-4 for the season. The only win was the season opener vs. Jacksonville State.

However, Chizik's Tigers have struggled against teams with good quarterbacks, which is something the Razorbacks feature with Tyler Wilson running the show. The Razorbacks also feature Cobi Hamilton, who has 31 catches for 591 yards and four touchdowns.

"Cobi Hamilton is a tough target," Chizik said. "I remember when he was coming out of high school."

Wilson has thrown for 1,355 yards and nine touchdowns with five interceptions this season. He missed the Alabama game due to an injury. "We understand this is a great quarterback and they have some other good receivers," Chizik said.

The Auburn coach also said that the Razorbacks have another threat on offense. "Let's not forget about the tailback (Knile Davis). He is an NFL prospect tailback. They have got some guys on offense who can really be productive."

Auburn's offense has struggled through four games and quarterback Kiehl Frazier has had problems moving the Tigers. The sophomore spent a good bit of time during the off-week in the video room going over film of games one through four as well as watching video of outstanding quarterbacks who offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler uses as role models.

"He spent a lot of time up here on his own," Chizik pointed. "I think anytime you have the chance to do that without a game right in front of you, where you can re-assess and re-evaluate everything you do, I think it is invaluable. I think last week was a really good week for him to improve."

Kiehl Frazier is in his first season as Auburn's starting QB.

Frazier said after Sunday night's practice that was a good thing to watching himself in action as well as watch video of players like Tom Brady and Chad Henne. Frazier noted that he needs to improve his footwork when he is the pocket looking to pass. "That is something we have got to fix from last week to next week," he said.

"That is something I can improve a lot on in a short period of time just seeing that," the quarterback added. "I think that will help me a lot. I should look a lot different from LSU to Arkansas."

In other news and notes:

*Middle linebacker Jake Holland cut his hair during the break. He plans to donate his locks to a charity to be used for a wig. Holland said a key to success this week on defense is for the Tigers to improve their pass coverage. Wilson will head into the Auburn game averaging a nation-leading 17.15 yards per pass completion.

*Senior tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen agreed with Chizik that the Tigers had a good practice on Sunday night and said the break from practice was needed as the Tigers try to regroup from their 1-3 start.

"You try to win each month," he said. "We didn't win the month of September. We have got good things going for October--a lot of games that we feel good about."

The tight end said the Tigers "don't have a good taste in their mouth" after the 12-10 loss to LSU. "We are just ready to get back out there. We just need to bring that physicality we brought against LSU into each game starting with Arkansas."


Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories