Jason's Friday Mailbag: Talking Tigers

Talking Tigers as Coach Gus Malzahn's team takes a bye week before facing Kansas State on the road next Thursday.

spiritsoarsatjordanhare: Do you expect to see an expanded role for Jeremy Johnson in the KSU game and not just a snap here or there?
I don’t think you will see a huge role for Jeremy Johnson, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have a series in the game where the Tigers come out passing. That would give him a chance to get into a little bit of a rhythm and keep the defense off-balance.

TheBandit10: Who do you think are the top 5 NFL prospects (draft eligible or non draft - eligible) on this years team?
My guesses for the top prospects are Sammie Coates, Duke Williams, Shon Coleman, Montravius Adams and Reese Dismukes. I’ll add that Ricardo Louis has a chance to be a big-timer if he can just get consistent enough. He will be a combine freak.

carnellisanescalade: Based on the team's performance to this point, which team on the schedule presents the biggest challenge for Auburn?
That’s an impossible question for me this early because I haven’t seen enough of the other teams on the schedule. Right now I’m still leaning towards Georgia and Alabama at the end of the year

ATLtiger07: Regarding QB recruiting for 2015, it sounds like we are most likely finished. Can you talk about Sean White's development and how that impacts the position moving forward, and also, where do you think Torrance Gibson ends up?
I think Auburn has set itself up very well at the quarterback position moving forward with Jeremy Johnson, Sean White and Tyler Queen. White is going to be a good player and can throw the football with excellent accuracy. It would be a little bit more of the Jeremy Johnson look on offense with him back there. As for Torrance Gibson it’s anybody’s guess at the moment. When it’s all over I won’t be shocked if it’s Miami.

accau: It seems that no one is recognizing that AU played pretty sloppy last Sat with errant passes, dropped passes, fumbles, penalties, incorrect D alignments, allowing big plays, and whatever else I didn't enjoy...... Is there a reason for this or am I wrong in my assessment????
There were some areas that need to be cleaned up, but I thought overall it was a pretty solid performance in the second game. San Jose State isn’t terrible, and Auburn won 59-13 while playing reserves the fourth quarter. It was pretty solid if you ask me.

Boone91: Since we are not redshirting Roc, do you think his role in the offense will expand as he gets more experience, or will he just get mop-up duty here and there? If you think his role will expand, what is your best guess to what it will look like later this season?
I think you will see Roc get more involved as the season goes along. I could see him getting some carries about every third series depending on how he does the next few weeks. He’ll get some touches on special teams for sure.

givhandy: Is it too early to ask how Alex Kozan is doing?
Nick looked out of sorts last week, including his option reads. Is it fair to expect him to settle down and just let his instincts kick this team into a higher gear?
Kozan appears to be doing fine at the moment. It will probably be later this year before we really know about his timetable. As for Marshall I thought he missed a few throws, but at least two were the fault of the receiver on route running. As for his reads I thought San Jose State did a good job of playing outside-in. That’s why the middle was open for some big runs. I think Marshall will be fine.

howells: After two games, do you think our schedule is easier than anticipated before the season in any way? Do you feel like the road that Alabama has to atl is any harder than anticipated before the season? I would say yes to both. USC and UF are not as most, other than me, predicted.
It’s just too early to tell at the moment. I still believe Auburn’s schedule is going to be among the toughest in the country, starting with Kansas State. As for Alabama’s schedule I still don’t think it’s much tougher honestly. Tennessee won’t be a threat for them I don’t believe. Florida has the talent, but on the road that will be tough.

au3020: How are Jaylon Denson and Carl Lawson coming along on rehabbing from injuries? It has been right at 1 year for Denson which I have heard is a normal time frame for recovery from his injury. Will we see him on the field before LSU?
Has Lawson been able to start working out his injured knee and put it through some basic movements that would be required during a game to test it out or is he still trying to strengthen the knee more before he tries to cut or turn on it?

Jaylon Denson played last week against San Jose State and we will probably see him get more involved during the season. As for Lawson he’s just starting to do some basic stuff. He looks good, however, and predicts he will be back this year.

DozerTiger: How much do you think we will pass against K. State? Do you think we can win if we have to rely on our passing game - either our running game gets shut down or we are behind and we have to throw to conserve time and score?
If Kansas State sells out to stop the run I think Auburn will make them pay with the passing game. Unless teams start putting seven or more in the box, the Tigers will continue to run first and take what the defense gives them.

AUtigeritaville: How many interceptions do you think our DB's will get this season? And please break down how many you think each DB contributes. TIA
It all depends on how the pass rush continues to develop. I’ll go with 13 and Jermaine Whitehead leading the way with four. Two each for Jonathan Jones, Rudy Ford and Trovon Reed. Mincy will get one, but teams will stay away from him. Derrick Moncrief and Josh Holsey with the others.

Jello1: The thought on DE Andrew Williams not playing so far? Is he a likely redshirt?
I look for Andrew Williams to redshirt. That’s especially true with Gimel President coming on strong.

rileyb: How will Ellis deal with a running QB?
Have we seen the end of Montravius and Gabe at DE?

I think you’ll see Auburn play more zone in the secondary than usual, but when they are in man I wouldn’t be surprised to see Robenson Therezie shadow him at times as well as one of the linebackers. As for Montravius and Gabe at end I think they are both headed inside and that should make the defense stronger. We could still see them some at end depending on situations.

Tiger45: Are we still recruiting the OL from Bessemer who showed up very well vs. Daron Payne in someone's camp? I thought he had an offer from us. Is he a plan B at the moment?
Darryl Williams is a good player, but Auburn is basically waiting on Martez Ivey on the offensive line and that’s it. The Tigers feel good about the offensive line class coming in.

Actman: Do you think that Nick not being sharp Saturday is being overblown by the media?
In a word, yes. Was Nick as sharp as he could have been, no, but it was far from all his fault.

settindown: What is your overall impression of how the OL has played in two games?
So far I think that group has performed very well. I have really been impressed by the play of the tackles and the overall chemistry up front. With a week to work out even more of the kinks I’m expecting a very good performance against Kansas State.

bigplayer2404: What are the realistic expectations on Marshall's passing game? Do you think we will see more passes to the backs for hot reads?
I said during the summer that if he got close to 65 percent with the amount of deep balls he throws then it would be huge. Right now he’s 56 percent, but has thrown just 25 passes. I believe once he gets into more of a rhythm throwing the ball it’s going to be fun to watch. I have already seen some good signs for him, such as dumping down to the backs and going to second and third reads. Those show improvement.

TexasTiger02: After Duke missed the two blitzing from his side and Nick throwing it to his feet... It seemed like Duke wasn't very happy. DC patted him on the back on the sideline and he seemed Irritated... So is Duke happy? Being fed enough passes?
I think that had more to do with Duke being upset at himself for missing the read. Those are just some of the things you deal with early in the season. I think he’s more than happy with how many looks he’s getting.

Roc Thomas is a freshman who made his debut vs. San Jose State.

TexasTiger02: Is Roc being fed the ball enough? Is Peyton Barber two carries enough for him? It seemed like we were giving Roc numerous carries because we made a promise to him?! Is that true?
I think they want to see what Roc can do and that is why he got nine carries late in the game. I would have liked to see Peyton Barber get more work as well and I think it’s coming.

TexasTiger02: Has somebody stepped up at DE causing Gabe to go back inside? Because we still have two big running teams in LSU and bammer on our schedule... ?!?
The development of Gimel President and Davonte Lambert has been important for the Tigers to go along with Elijah Daniel and LaDarius Owens. That gives Rodney Garner four options at defensive end, not to mention freshman Raashed Kennion.

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