Dye-Gest: A Good Atmosphere At Spring Drills

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about spring football at Auburn in this edition of his Dye-Gest column.

Junior defensive tackle Dontavius Russell and his teammates have been busy this spring.

I have been to half a dozen Auburn football practices this spring and I am impressed with what Coach Gus Malzahn is getting done on the field effort-wise, practice-wise and coaching-wise. From what I have seen, and also from what I have been told, they haven’t had a bad day of practice this spring.

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Avoiding bad practices, or even just dull, routine ones, is a hard thing to do, especially in the spring when the regular season is such a long way off. The Tigers may have a bad one coming, but so far the practices have been good ones.

I know the coaches are excited about the effort they are getting from their players along with the attention to detail. It is just a good atmosphere on the practice field and it is something fans might be able to notice on Saturday at the annual A-Day Game.

I have noticed that the kids are really competing, but they are also helping each other while doing it. That is really fun for an old football coach like me to watch. I have been there before and know how important that is in building a team.

Of course, it is important those practice habits show up on the field on game days, but my experience is that it will happen as long as you have enough good players to be competitive with the opponents you face on Saturdays.

I know a lot of Auburn people, and maybe rightly so, were concerned about so many changes with the coaching staff after the 2015 season. However, it didn’t seem to affect the recruiting class the Tigers signed and, if anything, it may have helped it. That is not surprising to me because I know that change in a coaching staff can be a good thing when you are bringing in new blood.

I am particularly excited to see Coach Malzahn hire a pair of former Auburn players, Travis Williams and Kodi Burns, as position coaches. Burns is coaching the wide receivers with a lot of energy and Williams is doing the same thing while working with the linebackers.

That youth is a wonderful thing on the practice field when you have guys like Travis Williams and Kodi Burns who are so eager to do a good job. They are coaching with enthusiasm, which is something that carries over to the players. I like what I am seeing from those guys and overall I like what I am see from this team so far.

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