Pitts "A Little Up And Down" This Preseason

Montae Pitts talks about preseason practice and his desire to retain his starting role in 2005.

Auburn, Ala.--All of the offseason and preseason talk about the Auburn secondary being focused on who might lock in the starting cornerback position that was held by Montae Pitts for all 13 games last season seems to have taken a bit of a toll, mentally, on the junior heading into the 2005 season.

"It motivates me and then again it is kind of frustrating and it's disrespectful," he says of all the talk that has surrounded who would start at the cornerback position he occupied last season. "I started last year. I know it's another year, but a lot of young guys are saying they are trying to take my position, but they are not doing any better than I am doing. I don't know--I am kind of a little up and down so I just have to get my game ready and get ready for next week."

Pitts, who has been sidelined twice this preseason, has been working mainly with the number two defense over the past week except in nickel and dime situations. He says that his position coach, David Gibbs, wants to see more out of the junior before he puts him back in with the ones.

"He just says he feels like I am not giving my all," Pitts explains about why he thinks he is currently working with twos. "I had a hamstring problem and then a shoulder problem so I have been kind of nicked and bruised up. I am just trying to get 100 percent for next weekend. All I can do is just play my game. I don't know what's going on."

Pitts is Auburn's most experienced cornerback heading into the season opener against Georgia Tech.

The speedy junior notes that at first he was not happy about working with the second team, but adds that he knows he has just got to do what comes naturally to him on the field.

"At first it was embarrassing," he says. "I feel like I should be working with the ones at all times to get better, no disrespect to the twos' offense. But as I got in the rotation I was like, 'What the heck, I'll just play my game and keep playing hard and maybe he will come up with a good decision.' I just hope he makes the best decision for the game."

If Gibbs is going to make the decision to go with Pitts as his starter, the junior cornerback says he knows he is going to have to step up his level of play heading into game week.

"As coach said, some days I am looking good and some days I am dragging," Pitts notes. "He just wants consistency out of me. I'll be ready on Saturday. I'll give my all on Saturday, but they just want to see me do it more in practice and I have been working on that pretty hard, trying to work full speed."

Pitts says he is going to try to improve in several areas. "Just going 100 percent, believing in my game and just doing what I have been doing for the last couple of years," he says. "Just be more aggressive and try and get better every day. That is all I can do, just try and work hard. I just need to go full speed and give it my all."

Pitts adds that even though he has felt a bit up and down over the past few days, he knows that he is ready to take that step and show the coaching staff he has what it takes to make sure he keeps his starting position in 2005.

"I have been working hard at that over the last couple of weeks," he says. "It has been hot out here so when you are out here eight or nine plays you kind of get a little tired, but you know you are going to have to be out there in the game so you are just going to have to suck it up and go with it."

He also notes that if he doesn't get to start on September 3rd, he will simply have himself ready to play the game to the best of his ability and help his team.

"We are going to have to be ready," he explains. "We are going to have to play four quarters and we are just going to be ready for the rotation no matter who plays. I know I'll get in the game, but I just don't know when or if I am going to start or not, but I am pushing up to start because I started last year."

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