Junior Tre Williams (above) is Auburn's only returning linebacker with significant game experience.
Auburn, Ala---Going into spring training the inexperienced linebacker group was a major concern for the Auburn football team.
With the Tigers heading into the home stretch of spring practice the linebackers have gotten the attention of Kevin Steele, Auburn’s new defensive coordinator. He said that he is encouraged by what he has seen from the players as well as the team’s new linebacker coach, Travis Williams.
“At the linebacker position I would tell you this, I?am presently surprised in terms of the progress,” Steele said. “Travis has done a great job with the guys.
“DeShaun Davis and the Williamses, Tre and Darrell, and (Montavious) Atkinson have really worked hard to progress in terms of just playing with their eyes and being fundamentally sound and being gap responsible and being physical,” he pointed out.
“They have made a lot of progress,” the coach added. “Are they there yet? No, but we don’t play until the start of September so we’ve got plenty of practices left to keep building.”
Williams, who was a defensive analyst the past two seasons for the Tigers, coached the linebackers in the bowl games the past two seasons. After Auburn’s bowl victory vs. Memphis, he was promoted to the full-time role as the on-the-field linebackers coach for his alma mater.
Travis Williams was a standout linebacker for the Tigers before returning to AU to coach.
Steele said that Williams knows what he is doing as a coach and the two have a good working relationship.
“We go over everything in the meeting room and talk through things,” the defensive coordinator said. “He’s a good football coach, he’s very, very intelligent.
“The good thing about it is Travis has been in very similar systems as a player, both here and in the NFL. It was very similar to what we’re doing. When you’ve played it as well as been in it in the NFL level, that makes it a little bit easier.”
Steele added that he has noticed that Williams is a “very, very good teacher” and said, “He is a very smart guy and we were on the same page when we started. That made it easy.”