Mincy Sees Improvement Despite Mistakes

Auburn cornerback Jonathon Mincy talks about the defense through the first week of preseason practice, Saturday's scrimmage and more.

Auburn, Ala.--Even though he was one of several defensive regulars who got little or no action in Saturday's second preseason scrimmage for the Auburn Tigers, junior defensive back Jonathon Mincy had a front row seat for much of the action from his teammates at Jordan-Hare Stadium as the defense made some plays but also allowed several long passes.

Watching closely as Ryan White, Jonathan Jones, T.J. Davis and Kamryn Melton got much of the action at cornerback, Mincy said he enjoyed seeing the production from the front four on Saturday, always a big help for defensive backs in the passing game.

"They just have to get a hand on the quarterback even if they can't make a tackle," Mincy said. "They just go through the motion of it (in practice). It was something that was very good to see in the last scrimmage with the quarterbacks being live. Today I think we had a few sacks, but we're definitely going to be more productive and working every play."

So far the cornerbacks have been solid in preseason camp and that's probably a good thing considering last season when the group failed to grab an interception the entire year. Forcing turnovers has been a point of emphasis since spring practice and Mincy said the key is getting comfortable in the Tiger's more aggressive defense and just making plays while also being conscious of not giving up the big play in the passing game.

"I think we have come a long way just putting into consideration that last year we didn't put our hands on the ball as much as we should with interceptions or even pass break-ups," Mincy said. "That's something we pride ourselves on this camp. We're trying to make sure everybody is playing the ball and doing whatever they can to stay close to their man.

"You're competitive even if you're off the field," he added. "We have to make sure that everybody has that mindset, that nobody gets beat deep--ever. That is something we're going to get corrected from last year. That is something the defense has to take pride in."

Training with Coach Melvin Smith, Auburn's cornerbacks have worked on playing the ball more heading into the 2013 season. That is one of the many things that the veteran coach has brought to the table for the Tigers coming from Mississippi State. Mincy said that his experience at the position is something that should pay dividends moving forward throughout the preseason and into the year.

"I feel like he's a great teacher," Mincy said. "We all have that coach-me attitude. It's great every day waking up and being with him out there. Just being around him we're all trying to be like a sponge and soak up everything we can from him. He has been around so long and it's just great having him around."

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