Friday Mailbag: Auburn Fall Camp Week 1

Jason Caldwell of Inside the Auburn Tigers answers questions about the Auburn football team in this edition of his Friday Mailbag Column.

Jeremy Johnson (above) was named Auburn's No. 1 quarterback following spring training.

Aubie16: Barring injuries, In your opinion, which four defensive lineman will play the most snaps this year?

I think they’re going to play eight or nine guys a bunch of snaps, but I’ll go with Carl Lawson, Dontavius Russell, Montravius Adams and Davonte Lambert as the four with the most snaps.

mgeagles: How is Tim Irvin developing and understanding the defensive system? Will he be big enough to be our Nickel corner as a true freshman?

Tim Irvin is picking things up very well after being in for spring practice. That’s a big plus for his chances of playing very early for the Tigers. He’s definitely big enough to play that role in Auburn’s defense with Josh Holsey a guy I expect to get some work in there as well.

Toomersforever: Who do you expect to be the 2nd team safeties?

My guess for the second team safeties will be Nick Ruffin and Markell Boston to start with, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Montavious Atkinson make a run at playing time during the year.

tryn2: How often do you think they will let Pettway run the wheel route...???

Pettway has good hands and could be a weapon catching the ball out of the backfield. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that route at least once a game in the right situation with Chandler Cox also a very good candidate to get the ball thrown his way.

Jello1: Will Auburn regain it's 2013 effectiveness in short yardage situations? Will Jeremy Johnson be the main guy, or one of the RB's in those short yardage plays.

I think that’s a good question about Auburn’s effectiveness in short yardage. I think that’s where Pettway and Cox could pay off big by having a true lead blocker. As for who will get the ball I wouldn’t bet against Jovon Robinson.

irontiger: Will not having an SEC quality TE hurt the offense, especially the running game?

Having two versatile guys like Pettway and Cox should make this offense run very effectively because both are good blockers but can also catch the ball. I think from a physical standpoint they’ll be at least the equal of last year and should be better with some experience.

justafanwde: What is tougher, trying to fill the summer void in FB. Hoops and BBall or putting in the hours and hard work for the next few months? I would enjoy the access you guys have, but wouldn't have the patience needed to do the kind of job y'all have.

There’s no question the summer months are more difficult than any other part of the year. With unofficial visits going on daily during that time it makes for a whole lot of phone calls and Twitter messages to try to reach guys. During the season we’re on more of a schedule so that’s a welcome change for us.

howells: Who is the best player in the SEC, outside of Auburn, that we don't know now but will before the season is over?

I’ll give you one each on offense and defense. Offensively, I think it’s Joshua Dobbs at Tennessee. He’s such a quality kid and is pretty athletic as well. I think he can make them a dangerous team because of his ability to extend plays. On defense my pick is Lorenzo Carter. I think he’s going to be a terror for Georgia.

WSPTIGER: Who will be the punter? and what players on the team would actually stand a chance against Rhonda Rousey?

I think Kevin Phillips will be the guy. He’s got some experience and I think his consistency could be the difference there, but if Ian Shannon can show that consistency he’s definitely got a stronger leg. As for Rousey I really have no idea, but I wouldn’t want to tangle with Carl Lawson or Tray Matthews.

wtbtiger: What team that we will face on the road gives you the greatest concern and why?

I’m leaning towards Arkansas in this spot although I’m not sold on them defensively this season. They will be able to grind it out on offense however, making for a tough game no matter what they do on the other side of the ball.

grayjaytiger: What effects do you anticipate the new video board having on fans, players, opposition, and press...particularly at night? What is your general overall sense about this team? Do they seem more focused/united than last season?

I’m not really sure how it’s going to impact the fans other than possibly being a distraction. I don’t think that will be the case for the players. Most places have big video boards so something bigger won’t be a big deal after they see it for the first time. As for the press other than photographers having more light I don’t think it’s going to really impact what we do. As for the team I think the focus is there more mainly due to the offseason last year. That definitely caused some distractions.

aubtime: Do you see our third RB getting more snaps this year?

The third running back may get a few more touches, but I don’t see anything close to equal carries. Gus Malzahn likes to ride one guy and I think it may take a little longer, but I expect by the middle of the season we’ll see that play out again.

autigerman: Will JJ pass for 2500 yds?

I think there’s a good chance he could get there. That’s just about 50 more yards per game than Nick Marshall averaged last season, something that is very doable this year.

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