Tigers Continue The Learning Game

Following a three-day hiatus from the practice field the Tigers used Wednesday's practice to correct mistakes and add more to both the offense and defense in preparation for this Saturday's scrimmage.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers welcomed back some familiar and much-needed faces on Wednesday as defensive end Reggie Torbor and cornerback Carlos Rogers both returned to work after being sidelined with hamstring injuries. The team practiced for more than 2 1/2 hours, focusing on full squad drills as they prepare for Saturday's second scrimmage of the spring.

Some position changes also highlighted the day as defensive backs Rashaud Walker and Junior Rosegreen switched positions in an effort to improve the depth in the secondary. With both having experience in high school playing their new position, it should allow each to be very versatile during the season in case of injuries.

"We had a few days lay-off and it kind of showed," coach Tommy Tuberville said. "We added a lot more to our offense and defense today and it showed. We had a lot of enthusiasm but we didn't get a whole lot done. We made a lot of mistakes but that's going to happen. We've only got six or seven days left so we're going to have to throw quite a bit at these guys in the next few days to get things done.

"Today we moved Rashaud Walker to corner to look at him over there. He knows what to do at safety. We moved Junior Rosegreen to safety. We're trying to make sure we've got enough depth going into next season. It's a pretty easy position to play mentally, but we want to see how it works out in the next few days...we just have to make sure we have enough corners going into the season that know what they are doing. This gives Junior a chance to play safety. That's what he played in high school. We moved him over to see if he can make as much of an impact there as what he's done at corner."

One defender who continues to make an impact on the defense is free safety Travaris Robinson. Singled out by Tuberville as a player that can really make a difference on this defense because of his experience and leadership, Robinson is currently working at first-team ahead of Donnay Young and Stanford Simmons, who returned to practice Wednesday after missing two days because of a death in the family.

Travaris Robinson takes a break following a drill with defensive coordinator Gene Chizik.

Both Robinson and Young made plays in the secondary as each had an interception during the team portion of practice. While current first-teamer Jason Campbell looked very smooth with the exception of an occasional errant throw or decision during the blitzing drills, Daniel Cobb didn't have his best day at all. Looking very confused by both the blitz fronts and the secondary, Cobb threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for scores by Karlos Dansby and Mayo Sowell.

During last Saturday's scrimmage, Campbell received much of the work with the first team but this time the shoe is on the other foot. Rotating both Campbell and Cobb throughout the practice, it's now Cobb's turn to see what he can do with the first team in Saturday's scrimmage. Tuberville said that he thinks both have improved already this spring, but it's obvious that Cobb needs to have a good day when it's his time to shine.

"I can tell both of them are throwing the ball a lot better," Tuberville noted. "Daniel always threw the ball well, but he's getting the ball off quicker. Their footwork wasn't as good as Coach (Bobby) Petrino would have liked. Sometimes we would throw it at four yards deep (in the pocket) instead of three yards deep and vice versa. The timing was also off. The thing I have been impressed with Jason is his release. He's getting the ball off quicker, he has a better spiral and he's a little more accurate than what he was. He's also a little bit more comfortable playing and that comes from being out there getting more snaps."

The Tigers return to the practice field behind the athletic complex Friday afternoon at 3:30 in the final tune-up for the second scrimmage of the spring. The scrimmage will take place inside Jordan-Hare Stadium beginning Saturday at 9:30 a.m. All spring practices are open to the public.

Tiger Ticket Extra: The play of the quarterbacks has obviously been the main focus on the offensive side of the ball this spring. But, one area that is receiving a big share of attention as well is up front where they must replace three starters, including both starting guards. That area is receiving an extra eye from Tuberville, who said that while they made mistakes in the scrimmage, the young guys including David Walker, Nate French and Danny Lindsey all showed some promise and potential. "You've got Nowland back that's played any at all and you have Monreko, the rest of them have never played. They made a lot of mental mistakes but the effort was good. We're going to be fine talent-wise. What we need to do is keep throwing it at them and then once we get to two-a-days figure out what we can handle and what we can't."

Horn lines up ahead of Carnell Williams in the Auburn backfield.

Tuesday also saw little-used fullback Victor Horn working with the first team. Impressing the coaches with his work ethic and obvious physical skills, the Huntsville native has a chance to earn some playing time behind starter Brandon Johnson if he continues at this pace all spring.

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