Offensive Coordinator Seeing Signs Of Progress

Al Borges gives his assessment of the offense in the final week of spring practice.

Auburn, Ala.--In a departure from the norm, Auburn's annual A-Day game is not the end of spring football practice.

The Tigers have two more sessions before putting away the pads until August. On Tuesday new offensive coordinator Al Borges will be adding more to his system in preparation for a final spring scrimmage on Wednesday.

After a slow start, the offense has outplayed the defense for most of the 13 spring practice dates. That was the case on A-Day and Auburn's new offensive coordinator says several players stood out after grading the game video.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Cox, who was named MVP of the A-Day game, won praise from Borges, who doubles as quarterback coach. "I thought Brandon Cox threw the ball very accurately, which is huge in our offense when the guys are open you have got to be able to hit them," Borges says. "That is so big. It sounds almost obvious, but believe it or not it doesn't always happen. So, I think he did a very nice job."

Brandon Cox completed 12-13 passes in the spring game on Saturday.

Cox has widened his lead over fellow backup Kelcy Luke in the battle for the number two quarterback position. Luke was the least effective of the three QBs who saw action on Saturday.

"Up front, I think Danny Lindsey and (Jeremy) Ingle both played pretty doggone good, pretty solid. Troy Reddick was pretty solid." Lindsey is a senior guard, Ingle a senior center and Reddick is making a move outside from guard to tackle as a junior. Lindsey started at center last year and was a starting guard the previous season.

"Our tight end, Cooper Wallace, was very steady," Borges says. "He was darned near assignment error free, which is critical. I would like to get him the ball a little bit more though than we have been getting him the ball. But, that aside I thought he did a nice job.

"Silas Daniels made a big play for us at receiver and a couple of little plays that I thought helped. In the brief time that Ronnie (Brown) and Carnell (Williams) were in there they were very productive, but they weren't used too much. Tre Smith has been his usual steady self. Every time we scrimmage he does make something happen and I think he is going to really help us with depth now and when Ronnie and Carnell are gone he is going to be a very valuable player in our offense.

"Jason Campbell only had 22 plays," Borges says. "He hit eight of 10 passes. He really didn't make any major mistakes other than he threw one too late on a deep ball that slipped out of his hand, but for the most part he had a pretty good scrimmage."

Al Borges is installing his version of the West Coast Offense this spring.

Inconsistent play from the receivers was a major problem with the 2003 offense. This spring that group is showing signs of progress. Their overall performance in the spring game won praise from Borges.

"The thing I have been the most happy about with the receivers is the ability to make the routine plays," the coach says. "We haven't dropped a lot of balls and I knock on wood when I say that. We are doing a pretty good job of getting open for the most part, but even more importantly when the ball comes to them they are catching the ball and we need that to happen. Plus, we have had a couple of great plays. I mean Ben (Obomanu) had a wonderful catch right on our sideline. I think our receivers probably as much as anything have been the most pleasant surprise for me as a coordinator."

When the Tigers hit the practice field on Tuesday, Borges says they will continue to add to the offensive package. "We are going to just keep developing what we have been doing for the most part," he says. "We are going to add a couple of little deals, some formations and such, but that aside just keep refining and adding more nuances to what we are already doing rather than reinventing new plays.

"Like I said before, the nucleus of our offense is in, but we still are a ways off from putting all the little stuff in. So we are working on some of that these last couple of days--a couple of different formations and a couple of different looks."


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