Moves At Guard Working Out, AU Coach Says

Auburn's rebuilt offensive line is off to a solid start to the season at the guard positions.

Chad Slade (above) is in his fourth season as a starter for the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--With an injury prompting the Auburn football Tigers to play musical chairs with the guards in preseason, Offensive Coordinator Rhett Lashlee said those moves are going well.

When Alex Kozan hurt his back while llfting weights at home in Colorado over the summer he was lost for the season after starting every game last year and earning Freshman All-SEC honors.

Looking to put an experienced player next to Shon Coleman, the new starter at left tackle, Lashlee and Offensive Line Coach J.B. Grimes moved senior Chad Slade from right guard to left guard.

Avery Young, who finished the 2013 season as the starter at right tackle, moved inside to the right guard spot. Patrick Miller took over the right tackle position and the only unchanged spot from last year is center, where Reese Dismukes is a fourth-year starter.

Chad Slade (left) and Avery Young (right) are part of an Auburn offense averaging 544 yards per game.

“Overall, they are doing very well,” Lashlee said of the guards. “It took Avery probably about 10 days in fall camp and then you could tell he finally got adjusted and then it was just like a light came on--night and day.

“He is so athletic,” Lashlee added about Young, a redshirt sophomore. “He is doing really well. Same thing with Chad.

“I don’t think it is as much of an issue of where they are at,” the offensive coordinator said. “They have just got to continue to get used to working with the guys. Avery and Pat are working together a lot of times and Chad and Shon are, and they always work with Reese on stuff on the inside, but there is a lot to that.

“Last year you had Greg (Robinson) and (Alex) Kozan always working together,” said Lashlee, who noted that he expects Slade and Young will be more effective the more they play beside Dismukes and the starting tackles. “Overall, I've been very pleased with the way they have transitioned,” the coach added.

The Tigers, who are off this Saturday, will return to action on Thursday, Sept. 18th when they travel to Kansas State. Both teams will take 2-0 records into that contest.


Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories