Tigers Tune Up For First Major Football Scrimmage

Auburn's second Friday workout was a lighter session than the busy morning workout. Comments from players and Tommy Tuberville are featured in this report.

Auburn, Ala.--After an intense practice Friday morning, Auburn went through a short, non-contact walk-through in the afternoon to get ready for Saturday's scrimmage.

The first 45 minutes of practice were devoted to special teams, then the offense and defense broke into separate groups for the remaining hour to work on assignments and communication.

With David Irons going down with an ACL injury in Thursday's practice, as well as Courtney Denson's recent decision to transfer, the biggest area of concern heading into Saturday's scrimmage is cornerback depth. "We moved Kevin Hobbs back to cornerback already," said head coach Tommy Tuberville. "He'll play both positions like (Junior) Rosegreen did last year. We just needed to have a little more depth over there with losing Denson and Irons."

Hobbs, a part-time starter at cornerback last season who switched to a backup role at free safety during spring practice, feels comfortable with the move back to his old position. "Playing cornerback is coming back to me," Hobbs says. "It's just the little stuff like the timing that's a little off. At safety we kind of get to stand up (straight), but at corner I have to get low and get my pads down. It's just little technique stuff."

Hobbs tied for the team lead in interceptions last year with three, and he also scored the only defensive touchdown.

Tuberville said on Thursday night that he expected Irons to have season-ending surgery to repair his ACL damage. On Friday the head coach said there is a chance that the junior may try to play this season. "He's got to make a decision on whether he's going to try to rehab it and get back or go ahead and have surgery," Tuberville says. "That's strictly up to David. I think probably in the next two to three days we'll have an idea on what direction he'll take."

Tuberville says he was pleased with the effort Auburn showed at both practices on Friday even though there is much improvement needed before the first game. "We had a good practice this morning," he says. "We still look real sloppy in some areas. We've got a lot of work to do, but we've got a lot of effort and that's all you can ask. As long as we're getting effort we're going to get better.

"Tomorrow (Saturday) we'll have a little better idea of where we're at," Tuberville adds. "The scrimmage will start at about 10:15 a.m. We'll start warming up at about 10 a.m. We'll have some kicking beforehand and we're going to go 80 to 100 plays. Everybody out here will get a shot to get on the field, and some will get more than others."

Redshirt sophomore cornerback Montae Pitts, who was battling for the first string job with David Irons prior to Irons going down the injury on Thursday, says he doesn't want to win a starting job by default.

Montae Pitts

"David was playing well and I wish him the best," Pitts says. "Everybody on our team knows how hard David worked to get here and how much he wanted to play this season. Not having him on the team will hurt our depth. We want to have four to six cornerbacks ready to play. You can't just play two cornerbacks in a game."

David Irons Sr. said Friday evening that he and his son are still discussing whether or not ACL surgery is the best option for the redshirt junior cornerback and they should make a decision next week.

Tiger Ticket Extra: Silas Daniels, Tre Smith and Carnell Williams spent time fielding punts at the second practice on Friday...Former invited walk-on Pete Compton, who recently earned a scholarship, looked good on all of his deep snaps on Friday...Backup punter Patrick Martyn has shown a strong leg so far this preseason. Most of his punts are just as high and far as the ones from first-stringer Kody Bliss, but Martyn has an occasional shank...With Cooper Wallace still sidelined with a sore hamstring, Cole Bennett and Kyle Derozan have been getting most of the reps. However, Bennett and Derozan continued to struggle catching the ball at the Friday workouts.


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