Football Coach Looking for a Better Mix

Senior wide receiver Anthony Mix has a chance to be a key player for the 2005 football Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--Anthony Mix has been a big target for Auburn quarterbacks for three seasons.

The large senior receiver from Bay Minette is looking to be a bigger part of the Auburn football team's offense this season.

Mix was smiling on Wednesday following Auburn's first scrimmage of preseason. He caught three passes for 63 yards in the session with two going for touchdowns. He showed his bullish power by pushing into the end zone early in the scrimmage on a 34-yard catch and run that had defensive coordinator David Gibbs fussing at his secondary about not tackling the whopper of a wideout.

Mix, a six-foot-five receiver who checks in at around 250 pounds, says he was happy about the touchdown catches, but notes that he could have done a better job as a blocker.

That is a sentiment also expressed by wide receivers coach Greg Knox. "He made some good catches, but missed a couple of big blocks," Knox says. "Playing receiver is a two-way street. You have got to be able to catch and block."

Mix says overall he saw some good signs from the offense on a wet field on a warm and muggy day at the intramural fields. The offense got off to a strong start, but didn't play as well later in the scrimmage. "Part of that might be because of fatigue because it is two-a-days," Mix says. "If we can make things happen when we are fatigued, it shouldn't be a problem to do it when we are in a game and we aren't tired. We are working to push through it."

Starting quarterback Brandon Cox notes that Mix can be a key player for the Tigers this fall. "He is improving a lot," Cox says. "He is getting comfortable where he can go up and get the ball. He is a big guy so he can use his size to go up and get it. There were a couple of times in the scrimmage where he was able to do it.

"He has improved a lot since last year," Cox adds. "He has a chance to be a big part of our offense."

Mix says he hopes to become a favorite target of Cox, who will be taking over at quarterback for graduated senior Jason Campbell. "If he is looking for me, I am all for it," says Mix.

Anthony Mix makes a catch in the first preseaso scrimmage.

The big receiver goes into his senior season with 34 career catches for 428 yards and two touchdowns. Mix, who has been limited at times by injuries while in college, is capable of doing much more.

"I am trying to become a complete player in general," he says. "I have room to improve with my maturity. I am trying to improve my route-running. I am working on my speed, too."

NFL scouts were at Wednesday's scrimmage watching Mix, who could have a chance to play at the next level as either a wide receiver or a tight end, a position he has played at Auburn.

"Hopefully, I will play receiver at the next level, but if I was moved to the tight end position I wouldn't have a big problem gaining weight," says Mix, who is already big enough to run through tacklers like a tight end. "Breaking tackles is part of my M.O," he says with a smile. "That is part of my deal."

Knox is hoping the deal includes a breakout senior season. "He has to really concentrate and study the game, know the inside and outside of it," the receivers coach says. "He needs to be mistake free, drop 10 or 12 pounds and increase his speed."

Mix and the Tigers are scheduled to practice twice on Thursday with workouts at 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the intramural fields as the prepare for the 2005 season opener on Sept. 3rd vs. Georgia Tech.

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