Field Working Hard As BackUp

Auburn sophomore Blake Field talks about his play during two-a-days.

Auburn, Ala.--Ask any Auburn player and they will tell you they're glad to be headed back home beginning on Tuesday for the first practice on the fields behind the athletic complex. The home for the team the rest of the season, the practice fields are lush and soft and inviting.

That's not the case for the intramural fields where the Tigers just finished two-a-days. Hard and unforgiving they take today's players back to when the game was very different than it is now. Quarterback Blake Field says that he's just glad they're done with the intramural surface for another season.

"This place is like practicing on a parking lot," Field says. "My knees are always hurting. I'm not going to miss this at all."

A huge football fan and the son of a veteran high school coach, Field isn't too quick to dismiss the experience as a bad one though. Growing up watching the game, Field recognizes the value of having a camp-type atmosphere such as the Tigers have during the first two weeks of practice.

"Definitely," Field says. "You look at training camps from the NFL and they've all got it set up the same way. You've always got to run a hundred miles to get to where you need to go. What I like is that we're not all close together. If Coach (Al) Borges wants to take us to the back corner he can put us by ourselves and we can't hear anybody. That's what's so good about it because he doesn't have to talk over a lot of other coaches."

Field is a very mobile quarterback with a strong arm who can make plays out of the pocket.

Unlike last season this was a two-a-days to enjoy for Field. Instead of being locked in a battle for the backup job, the redshirt sophomore instead concentrated on improving his craft. While he still admits he's got a long way to go, learning from Brandon Cox and helping to teach Steven Ensminger and Neil Caudle the ropes has been a good experience to this point for him.

"There's a lot less pressure because I'm not competing against somebody like Calvin every single day," Field says. "That kind of got nerve-wracking last year. This year is much better because I know the offense a lot better than I did. This two-a-days has gone by so fast because I haven't been worried every single day. I've actually enjoyed this two-a-days because I know the offense better."

Despite his improved knowledge of the offense Field still has his good and bad days. It's hard to imagine his day being much worse than Sunday. With Cox held out of practice Field got the word he would be taking the majority of the reps with the first team in the practice. Things didn't turn out quite like he hoped though as turnovers abounded on the day for he and the entire offense. Field said it's just one of those days that you put in the vault and try to never repeat.

"That's just one of those days that my number was dialed and I just wasn't ready," Field says. "It just shows that I have to keep getting better and keep preparing. It's one of those days I'll have to learn from and never do again.

"I knew but I didn't know they were going to be coming full speed," Field adds about his Sunday struggle. "The defense was stemming all over the place and moving around. I just have to think quicker than I did. Coach told me to learn from our mistakes and he's always telling us to recover. That's what I'm taught to do and that's what I did."

Up 10 pounds from last season, Field no longer resembles the skinny kid that first arrived on the Auburn campus. Now beginning his third season he's one of the veterans on the offense despite his lack of experience. He says that makes for a fun time when working with the younger quarterback who could be the future of Auburn football after he has moved on.

"They're always asking me questions and kind of reminding me of stuff," Field says. "Since I'm kind of trying to be a teacher to them in a way, both me and Brandon, we're also reviewing it for ourselves. Plus me and Steven are really close and he's always asking me questions. I have enjoyed having them around."

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