Mix Makes Another Position Move

The football Tigers returned to practice for one workout on Sunday evening.

Auburn, Ala.--A severe thunderstorm that broke Auburn's Sunday practice into two parts couldn't dampen the excitement of freshman Anthony Mix on the day as he returned to the practice field as a wide receiver again after practicing at tight end for much of two-a-days.

Happy with Mix's performance the last week, Coach Tommy Tuberville said the staff decided to move the freshman back to receiver so he can be familiar with both positions heading into the season.

Anthony Mix (89) watches a play being run on Sunday night at the indoor practice facility.

"I'm feeling pretty good today," Mix said with a huge smile. "I'm back where I want to be. I knew he (offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino) was looking for me earlier (in the day). I thought I was moving to defense. I thought it was some other kind of news, but it was good news." Tuberville had been talking for months about possibly moving Mix to depth-short defensive end.

"Right now I'm where I want to be and I'm going to make the best of it," Mix said. "I was trying to be positive. I was working hard every day, doing what they asked and I ended up back here at receiver."

Mix's move wasn't the only excitement of the day on the Auburn practice fields as several scary bolts of lightning close to the practice facility caused several players to duck and run for cover while making their way from the intramural fields to the compdlex. Quarterback Daniel Cobb was one of the unfortunates caught in the storm when it hit and he said he just remembers players diving for the ground when the lightning strike occurred. Fortunately, nobody was injured and practice resumed after a minor delay to change shoes for the players.

"Practice was obviously cut a little short," Tuberville said. "But we got half of it done on the practice field. Most of our technique stuff. We got everything else done inside. We weren't going to do a whole lot today. We were just going to do a little mental practice and get some of these guys back on the field."

Holding out several players in an attempt to get them completely healthy for the coming week, Tuberville said Sunday's practice gave the younger and inexperienced guys a good opportunity to polish up on their assignments on the field. Working Troy Reddick a great deal on the offensive line along with Jonathan Palmer with the absences of Mark Pera and Marcus McNeill, the offense spent much of the day on execution in the short passing game and running game. Because of the limited space in the indoor facility they were forced to work opposite from the defense to get things done.

Without several defensive line starters who were held out after Saturday's scrimmage, the defense continued to fine-tune its actions heading into the first off-day of fall practice on Monday. Working on fundamentals such as footwork, coverages and tackling before getting together for a group defensive session, coach Gene Chizik's charges appear to be ready to begin installing the game plan for USC beginning Tuesday.

That is the hope for the offense as well but before that can be done a decision will have to be made on who the starting quarterback will be. After reviewing the video from Saturday's scrimmage Petrino said the staff is going to wait until probably Tuesday before making a decision and could wait until after Tuesday's practice. While things didn't go great, he said that they did some good things but mental errors cost them time and time again.

"We have to get rid of the penalties," Petrino said. "We definitely hurt ourselves with that. Most of that was alignment mistakes, one by the tackle, one by Montae (Pitts). Those are very correctable. We actually lost 135 yards of offense because of those penalties. They are just something we have to correct and we'll do that. I was happy with the way we ran the ball in the first couple of series. I thought our guys were coming off the ball."

The Tigers will take Monday off for the first day of classes before returning to work on Tuesday on the practice fields. Just two weeks away from the opening game of the 2002 season, Tuberville said there is plenty the Tigers need to accomplish this week before cutting down the practices in game-week.

"We're going to move some people around and make sure we've got a good two-deep at every position," Tuberville noted of the plans for the coming week. "We're going to start working more on special teams. We will have quite a bit of contact this week and then after Friday it's basically going to be more mental stuff than anything else."

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