Tuberville Sees Room For Improvement

Auburn's head football coach comments on the Tigers with opening day just over two weeks away.

Auburn, Ala.--It was the kind of applause that you can hear on the PGA tour when a golfer taps in from three feet out after making a bogey. It is polite, but not not particularly enthusiastic.

That was the sound coming from the 1,000-plus spectators as the coaching staff blew the final whistle of Saturday's scrimmage. The sentiment of the crowd mirrored that of the head coach, who was not exactly thrilled with what he saw, but not disappointed either.

"We were dead-legged today," Tuberville said. "Guys were dragging around. This was a gut-check."

The head coach should not have been surprised his team was sluggish after putting his Tigers through a tough week of two-a-days in the heat and humidity, including a leg-burner of a workout 24 hours earlier on the same intramural practice fields.

Tuberville says he was disappointed with the young receivers dropping too many passes. He noted that there were several illegal procedures called when the young offensive tackles were not lined up properly, but says that should be easy to correct and it is a reason he had officials calling the scrimmage. Tuberville says the fullbacks need to improve their blocking and wants to see more consistency from Damon Duval on his punting.

On the plus side, the head coach says that he liked the running of reserve tailback Chris Butler and notes he thought the overall execution was cleaner on offense than at Wednesday's scrimmage. Tuberville says he is encouraged by what he is seeing from true freshman tight end Anthony Mix and adds that he expects him to see playing time this fall. Juco transfer offensive tackle Thomas Anderson, who is the nephew of former Auburn star Bo Jackson, was singled out for praise by the head coach, who predicts "he is going to be a good ball player." Anderson, who is 6-7, 295 pounds, has had a solid week of practice and has looked good one-one-one drills. He is scheduled to redshirt this season and will have two seasons to play for the Tigers after the redshirt year.

Tiger Ticket Extra: Tuberville gave few hints on who he is going to name the starting quarterback other than saying that "Cobb is probably a little bit ahead on leadership because he is more vocal."...Tuberville says the past two scrimmages have been good for redshirt freshman weakside offensive tackle Steven Ross, who is running No. 1 there with Mark Pera sidelined with a hip flexor. Pera, a junior, is expected to return in time to regain his starting job for the opener. Ross was injured and missed almost all of spring drills...Wide receiver Marcel Willis missed the scrimmage as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury. Tuberville says he hopes to have the senior back at practice by late next week. "They (the team doctors) say he is coming along good." Willis was hurt his entire junior season with an ankle problem.


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