Defensive Coordinator Eager To Push Ahead

David Gibbs comments on the Auburn defense as the Tigers resume practice.

Auburn, Ala.--Following a 53-hour pause from practice to rest weary legs and to allow players get organized for the start of fall semester classes that began this week, the Auburn football team will be back on the practice field for a Thursday evening workout.

Head coach Tommy Tuberville says it is too early to get into intense game preparation mode for the Sept. 3rd season opener vs. Georgia Tech. First-year defensive coordinator David Gibbs notes that the Tigers will use practices this week at the football complex to sort out the depth chart across the defense.

"There is still a lot of practice to go before we determine who the starting lineups will be," says Gibbs, who replaced Gene Chizik as defensive coordinator just before the start of spring training.

"When they get back on the football field we have to focus on improving," Gibbs says. "We still have a long way to go before we will be ready to play Georgia Tech.

"We have got to keep getting better," Gibbs says. "We have to still have a training camp mentality when we get back out here on the field."

Gibbs says the Tigers have gotten a lot of physical work done in the first two-plus weeks of workouts and notes that there is more of that to come.

The defensive coordinator and secondary coach also notes that he has seen some good competition for playing time. "We are making strides," says Gibbs, who adds, "We have got good football players all over this team," he says. "Every time you line up, you are lining up against somebody pretty good. Because of that, you have to get better.

"If you are out there competing, you are going to get better. We have got to keep doing that. We have to get our injured guys back and get them back in the hunt. We just have to keep working, pounding the rock like the old school coaches used to say. If you do that, good things will happen."

Gibbs is counting on Stanley McClover to be a force rushing the pass this season.

Projected starting end Stanley McClover is out with a hamstring injury, but should be back at practice soon. The same is the case with Marquies Gunn, who is also nursing a hamstring problem. Gunn is pushing for a starting job, too.

To avoid scheduling conflicts with classes, the Tigers will start practice at 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. They will practice on Saturday morning to close the week's schedule and will start the following week's schedule with a 6 p.m. workout on Sunday.

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