Young Auburn Quarterback Looking To Improve

Redshirt freshman Blake Field is in the hunt for the number two quarterback job for the 2005 Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--For offensive coordinator Al Borges, a decision on who will be the number two quarterback for the 2005 Auburn football team will have to wait.

Borges, who doubles as coach of the quarterbacks, says that redshirt sophomore Brandon Cox is the clear number one. After that, though, he says there is no separation between the next two quarterbacks following 15 days of spring practice.

"I am listing Blake Field/Calvin Booker on the depth chart as the co-number two quarterbacks," Borges tells Inside Auburn Tigers. "Right now it is too close to call. We will probably let them compete for several scrimmages in August before we make a decision on who the backup will be."

Borges notes that both quarterbacks improved from day one to practice 15 in the spring, but says each player needs to spend time in the offseason studying the offense, how to attack defenses as well as spending time throwing the football with the wide receivers.

"I still have a lot to work on with the run checks and things like that," says Field, who played at North Florida Christian in Tallahassee his senior season in high school. "I feel like my patience is coming along and I am also calming down when I am out there on the field."

Field and Booker signed with the Tigers in February 2004 and both redshirted and played on the scout team during Auburn's 13-0 season. Neither got off to a good start in spring drills, but Borges notes that each showed signs of improvement the last five practices.

Field is shown in action during spring drills.

Field says he is sure he made progress. "I am a lot better than I was because I am so much more calm than I was at the start of spring practice," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I am not as fidgety out there on the field because coming in to practice one I hadn't really set in the pocket and gone 11 on 11 very much. Even though I feel like I have improved a lot, I still have a long way to go."

In Auburn's final scrimmage of the spring, Field had the longest play of the day, a touchdown bomb to walk-on wide receiver Rodgeriqus Smith. The memory of that hookup brings a smile to the quarterback.

"I give a lot of credit to the number two offensive line," Field says. "I was able to sit back there in the pocket and it was the first long pass that I have been able to throw in a scrimmage. I knew Rodgeriqus was going to be open because he is very fast and I saw (safety) Pete Ruzika come down. I just sat back and threw it to him."

Borges says that he liked the toughness Field showed by bouncing back quickly from a painful shoulder injury suffered in the second scrimmage of the spring. Although he didn't return that day, Field didn't miss a practice even though his range of motion was limited by the injury he was on the field for every drill the rest of the spring.

For Field, Booker and starter Brandon Cox, the challenge is to become stronger both physically and mentally over the offseason. Borges says that is an important part of a quarterback's growth. "I thought Jason Campbell made a tremendous amount of progress from the end of spring practice to the start of two-a-days in August and I expect the quarterbacks to put in the same type of effort to do what Jason did last year."

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