Tuberville Wants to "Tone Down" Tigers

Auburn, Ala.--Round two of the first day of Auburn preseason football practice featured most of the veteran players and a lot of energy from the Tigers.

"Everybody is trying to run over each other," head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "They have got way too much energy. Everybody is trying to impress everybody the first day. As I told them, it's a long process and it is going to take many a rep.

"We will just have to tone them down a little bit," Tuberville said. "It is good to see everybody out here running around. Hopefully, we can keep them all out here for the next four weeks. We are going to need it."

An exception to everybody being out there was the most important player on the team, fifth-year senior quarterback Brandon Cox. He has flu-like symptoms, notes Tuberville, and will likely be held out of practice for the next few days.

The Tigers will practice twice again on Friday with a morning workout at 10 o'clock featuring mostly younger players and a 4:30 p.m. session at the intramural field featuring older players.

Defensive tackle Pat Sims runs through a drill.

Commenting on the split-squad practices, Tuberville said, "We are going to rotate the quarterbacks around and we will rotate the running backs with the early morning group and maybe a couple of other guys." The coach added that Blake Field and Neil Caudle threw the football well in the evening session.

"I think it is going to be good for us this way where we can get a look at everybody, coach them a little bit harder and have more time with younger players," the coach added.

"The guys are fired up and we have a lot to work to do now. We are not very good right now, but we have four weeks to get ready."

The Tigers open season Sept. 1st vs. Kansas State at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Sophomore wide receiver Montez Billings catches a pass.

Linebacker Tray Blackmon, who missed all of spring practice while out of school taking care of what Tuberville called personal problems, looked at home on Thursday at his new position, middle linebacker. "I feel really comfortable there," said Blackmon, who made the move from weakside linebacker.

Off the field the redshirt sophomore said that his life is in order. "I am on a track to succeed right now," he stated.

Commenting on Blackmon, Tuberville said, "He looked good. He has a lot of work to do until we figure out what we are going to do with him. He is doing everything we have asked. He has got everything going for him. We are just glad to have him out here."

Also at Thursday's practice:

*Sophomore cornerback Jerraud Powers had a good day defending passes.

*Junior wide receivers Robert Dunn and James Swinton stood out catching passes. Dunn looks to be performing at a higher level than in his previous two collegiate seasons.

*Ralph Jordan Jr., the president of the Auburn Alumni Association and son of AU Hall of Fame head football coach Ralph "Shug" Jordan, attended practice and talked with Tuberville, who invited Jordan to come on the field for a closer look at the action.

Ralph Jordan Jr. left watches practice with Tuberville (right).

*Tuberville says the kickers looked solid on Thursday as they worked by themselves at the south end of the intramural fields. Team kicking drills will begin in several days.

*Auburn's coach says there is no update on the status of signees Chris Slaughter and Nick Fairley, who have not been academically cleared to join the team.

*Center Jason Bosley, who Tuberville noted has a strained pectoral muscle, was able to get in some limited work in the non-contact session in shorts and helmets. Mike Berry took the snaps at center with the number one offense.

Thursday Practice Notes Part II

2007 Auburn Football Guide

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