Borges Trying to Tune Up Offense

Auburn, Ala.--Al Borges ordered overtime for the Auburn offense at Tuesday's practice to correct mistakes he witnessed in the Tigers' second major scrimmage of spring training.

"We are just trying to get the twos caught up on some of the blitz stuff," the offensive coordinator says. "It was mostly for the twos, but it was really for everybody."

After reviewing video of Saturday's major scrimmage, which featured 147 plays, Borges gave it mixed reviews.

"It is like the same old deal," he says. "We had some really nice plays, and we had some ugly plays. We need to get better with our pass protection, which is obvious, but to be honest with you it was the same way last spring at this time.

"I think part of that is because our emphasis early in spring practice was to run the ball. We are trying to get more pass reps in practice and that is what we are doing. As we throw the ball more in practice this week, we will get better and better at it."

The Tigers will play their annual A-Day spring football game at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Borges hopes the offense will continue to improve in practice this week prior to that game.

"You have got a lot of young players here who are still learning the system who have only been here for maybe a fall," the offensive coordinator says. "They are still trying to figure it out. That is one of the reasons we practiced a little later today."

Borges says with first team quarterback Brandon Cox going into his third year in the system, he has confidence in the junior that he can handle anything that is thrown his way. He notes that the Tigers have been able to get virtually the entire offensive package put in this spring and with Cox having a year's starting experience, Borges adds, "We are not afraid to try some things."

After grading the scrimmage video, several players drew praise from Borges.

"A kid I haven't mentioned enough who has shown a lot of improvement this spring is Antwoin Daniels," he says of the redshirt sophomore offensive lineman. "We have asked him to play guard. We have asked him to play tackle. He has done a real good job with his technique.

"He has always been athletic enough," Borges adds. "He is now becoming a more technical football player and it has really helped his game. I think he is in a position now to contribute to our depth if not be a starter. Who knows.

Tommy Trott (5) is on the run after making a catch in a spring practice.

"Tommy Trott, although still not totally attuned to what we are doing, is not far off," he says of the redshirt freshman tight end." He still has a few assignment errors simply because he hasn't repped them enough. We are throwing a lot of stuff at him.

"Because Tommy is a good receiver, we are trying to use him in different ways. We have got him moving all over the field. We are going to continue to do that as long as he continues to be productive. When he knows what to do, Tommy is a very effective player. He has been great in practices, good in scrimmages."

Borges also has praise for true freshman Ben Tate, the tailback who took early graduation from high school to join the team in time for spring training.

Borges notes that he had high expectations for Tate prior to spring drills, but says the tailback has exceeded those. "He has picked it up much faster than I would have ever guessed," the offensive coordinator says. "He is a real bright kid."

It is still too early to know if Tate will play this fall or redshirt, but Borges says the freshman can help if needed. "Now you know if push comes to shove he can contribute. He is certainly good enough to play. He has been doing a great job in the open field and as he learns the offense more you will see his receiving become more of a factor. Right now we are just trying to get him where he knows what to do on every play."

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