Defensive Coordinator Likes The Effort

David Gibbs comments on the second major scrimmage of spring training.

Auburn, Ala.--Defensive coordinator David Gibbs said he liked the pass rush and the intensity on defense at Auburn's second major scrimmage of spring drills.

"The kids played hard all day," Gibbs said. "Anytime you play against your teammates all week long in practice and do it again in a scrimmage there are going to be ups and downs. I was pleased with the effort, but we had too many mistakes."

Neither the offense or defense dominated the scrimmage at the football complex on a sunny and windy Saturday. Head coach Tommy Tuberville said he thought the intensity and physical play was better than in the first scrimmage.

"They ran around and there was a lot of physical contact going on around there," Gibbs said of the defense. "They played fast and made mistakes, but again it is spring ball and you are going to make mistakes."

Quentin Groves gets down low as he turns the corner rushing the passer.

One of the highlights for the defense was the pass rush led by ends Quentin Groves and Stanley McClover, who each had three sacks. Three other defensive linemen had a sack, too--Chris Browder, Tez Doolittle and Pat Sims.

"They are doing a pretty good job of rushing the quarterback," Gibbs says. "Our offensive line is pretty good pass protectors so they are getting some really good work right now--both sides--which is making our offense better and making us better defensively."

With starting linebackers Travis Williams, Antarrious Williams and Kevin Sears sidelined while recovering from injuries, the defense has been practicing at a disadvantage. That has given Kevis Burnam, Chris Evans, Merrill Johnson, Courtney Harden and Chris Evans plenty of playing time and individual attention.

"Those young kids are doing a good job," Gibbs says of the linebackers. "They are fighting their tails off. Sometimes they are not in the right places. They are doing the best that they can right now. Again, we just need to get them better and better. That will help us with our depth this fall."

Gibbs said that he needs to study the scrimmage tape to get an accurate read on who played well individually. "I am one of those guys...I refuse to pass judgement until I sit down and watch the tape and spend four or five hours watching it. Anybody who passes judgement off an eyeball, I don't think he has done a fair job of evaluating," Gibbs says.

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