Young QBs Get the Work As Cox Takes Day Off

Comments from quarterback Brandon Cox and offensive coordinator Al Borges are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Al Borges decided his starting quarterback needed the day off and the backups needed more practice time. The combination of those factors made Cox a spectator much of the evening as the Tigers practiced on Sunday evening at the intramural fields.

A year ago, Cox developed a sore arm from throwing a large number of passes in preseason that sidelined him in August drills as the Tigers prepared for the opener vs. Georgia Tech.

"I don't want to see the same thing happen to him that happened last year," Borges says. "He was getting a lot of throws. It's not that he is sore and has much pain. He is a little bit tired. I am not going to lose him for a week at this point. I felt that hurt us a year ago and we lost our edge in practice so we are not going to push that. We decided to talk to Coach Tub and give him the day off. It is more pro-active than anything else."

Cox says he didn't ask for the day off and notes he could have thrown the ball if needed. "Coach wanted to give Blake (sophomore Blake Field) reps with the ones and give the young guys (Steven Ensminger and Neil Caudle) more reps so he could evaluate them."

Cox, a redshirt junior, says he feels good about how preseason has gone for him. "I am making strides," he says. "I am progressing each day getting better."

His teammates say that the lefty is throwing the football harder than he did last year and Cox agrees. "I had a good spring and summer with Coach Yox (strength and conditioning coach Kevin Yoxall) getting stronger. I can tell a difference in the velocity."

Cox's absence was noticed in the passing drills and the 11 on 11 work on Sunday as the secondary had a good day deflecting passes and picking off passes.

"The young guys are still learning." Cox says. "I think they will recover and will be all right."

Borges agrees and says that he is seeing good signs from the second offense and the No. 2 QB Field. "I want to believe we can still function without him (Cox) in there," Borges says. "We will be all right. Blake has had a heck of a camp. He has played better than he has ever played. Today was a little more pressure with the ones, but he will learn from it and be all right."

Blake Field is showing with the first team at Sunday's practice.

Borges was not happy with the interceptions he saw from the backups. "We have got to be better decision-makers, particularly in situations that will kill you," he says. "We will get better at it. You have got to experience it.

"Sometimes you have to make a few mistakes to realize you are making mistakes," the offensive coordinator says. "That is part of growing up in the position. It is a shame it is just one of those positions that when you make a mistake everybody knows about it and it can really, really hurt you. It is an occupational hazard. I think we will be okay. We just need to iron some of the wrinkles out. We will learn from it and get better, hopefully."

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