It is hard for me to believe that spring football practice is almost ready to get started at Auburn. It is always a critical time of the year for a college team, particularly one that is making decisions on the quarterback pecking order.
This is also the time of year to experiment with personnel, moving players from one position to another, to see where they fit best. Most of the changes are players moving from one spot on the defense or offense to another, but occasionally you will see guys changing the side of the ball they line up on.
Heading into spring practice on offense getting the line solidified will be a priority for the Tigers. They need to find seven or eight guys who are ready to play and it would be helpful if a couple can play two or more positions.
The running back position looks to be the most stable on offense. All of those players are back.
Looking at the receivers there is talent everywhere, but there is a tremendous amount of work to be done to get the passing game where it needs to be for the 2017 season.
Defensively, the Tigers will be working on developing their playing rotation up front. You have to go into the season with more than four guys ready to play at the tackle and end spots and the Tigers should be able to do that.
The deepest position on defense is linebacker, particularly with some real talented coming in from the recruiting class to bolster the group.
In the secondary the team is going through a transition with the new coach, Greg Brown, learning about his players and his players learning what to expect from him. I?believe that will go smoothly.
Overall on defense, I think the big thing for the Tigers is to pick up where they left off last year, although I think there are several areas Coach Kevin Steele wants to see improved. I think the big one is creating more turnovers on defense and that will be a high priority this spring.
With Daniel Carlson returning the Tigers have a great kicker again this year. Tim Horton has been named the special teams coordinator and I expect he will do a really good job with that assignment while continuing to work with the running backs.
The Tigers need to come out of spring practice a more confident team that is prepared to head into the 2017 football season with momentum. I don’t see anything preventing that from happening.
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