Gibbs Sees Positives In First Scrimmage

Auburn's new defensive coordinator comments on what he liked and what he wants to see improved following AU's first spring scrimmage.

Auburn, Ala.--New defensive coordinator David Gibbs says he is eager to get back on the practice field to correct mistakes from the first spring scrimmage, but also notes there were positives in the performance on defense.

"The kids really played hard," Gibbs tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "They gave great effort and the intensity was there. They flew around and it was a physical, up-tempo scrimmage, but we made way too many mistakes. I kind of figured that was what was happening during the scrimmage, but you never know for sure to you watch the film. We have a whole bunch of mistakes to correct.

"Like we have said all along, the young players are going to make mistakes," Gibbs adds. "That is what spring practice is for, but at the same time they have to continue to improve and not make the same mistakes over and over again. There were some older guys who made some mistakes that were disappointing, but they are the things that can be corrected."

On Saturday, the defense dominated the action for much of the first half of the scrimmage while the offense held the upper hand later in the session. Gibbs and the rest of the coaches gave extensive playing time to a variety of players on both defense and offense and have been studying their performances on video.

Gibbs, who is taking over as defensive coordinator and secondary coach from Gene Chizik, is running the same basic 4-3 system, but is adding some twists.

"Like we said before spring training, even though most of the terms stay the same, there are some differences in the coaching and all of the little things," he says. "We will keep working. The good thing is we get to go back out there and strap it up again and try to get better.

"Overall, I was okay with the scrimmage," the coach says. "I won't say I was pleased. Our offense does a good job. They know what they are doing. They know how to attack you and if you are not on top of your game they are going to move the football on you, which they did on Saturday afternoon. I think our guys will step up to the challenge and try to compete hard and get better."

While the defensive front, and the ends in particular, made the most big plays on defense, after grading video of the scrimmage Gibbs said safety Eric Brock and linebacker Karibi Dede were the players who caught his eye.

Eric Brock is a redshirt sophomore safety.

"I thought Brock had a good scrimmage and Dede had a good scrimmage," he says. "Our defensive ends, you are going to always think they had a good scrimmage because they can rush the quarterback. I am not sure they had great scrimmages because they didn't play the run like we are trying to get them to this spring so I don't want to call out their names until they start to play the whole game like we need them to play it.

"I hate singling guys out, especially this early, but I thought those two made plays and lined up and executed what they are supposed to do. There were other guys who did it, too, but those two guys probably jumped out at me more than anybody."

Karibi Dede
The Tigers will have scrimmage number two at 10 a.m. Saturday following practices this week on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.


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