Tuberville Pleased With Tuesday Practice

A report on Auburn's Tuesday football practice is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--After a day off the Auburn Tigers returned to the practice field on Tuesday with fresher legs for what head coach Tommy Tuberville called a good practice.

On Wednesday the Tigers will do some situational scrimmage type of to work concentrating on specific down and distance situations as well as the kicking game.

"We are going to run 60 or 70 plays," Tuberville said. "We are going to try to move the ball up and down the field."

The session will feature contact, although the running backs will join the quarterbacks as players the defense can't tackle. The Tiger running back numbers are down with Carl Stewart (hamstring), Tristan Davis (broken bone in his foot) and Mario Fannin (groin injury) not practicing on Tuesday. Fannin could have practiced, Tuberville said. The redshirt freshman tailback is expected to practice on Thursday.

"Hopefully, by the end of the week will pretty much have everybody who is out back other than Tristan," Tuberville said. "He got a good evaluation the last couple of days from Dr. (James) Andrews and the people in Birmingham. He has got another week or so with a pin. then they will take it out and starting rehabbing it and get ready to go."

Offensive tackle King Dunlap got a cramp at Tuesday's practice at a hot and steamy session.

Looking at the big picture, Tuberville said, "We got a lot out of them today. It was a good practice. We have got some good leaders. Guys are stepping up and pushing the younger guys. It was awfully hot out there about mid-practice. Some guys were looking a little far away from home, but we finished strong.

"I thought it was a good day for the offense running the football. Our running game is coming around. We are doing a lot of contact--very physical practices. Obviously we have got some guys not going. Mario Fannin is not going. Lee (Byron Isom) was back to day. Montez Billings was back for about three-fourths of of it.

"Defensively, we are looking a lot more crisp," he added. "We have a lot of speed on defense. We have changed a little bit from last year. We have gone more back to a four-man front. We are doing a few more things we were doing a few years ago along with some things Will brought in. It is a little bit of a change."

In other news from Tuesday's practice:

*Freshman wide receiver Chris Slaughter said that he has made major strides in the past week learning the offense. He says he isn't certain if he will get to play opening night, but expects to get into a game early in the season.

*The entire team had to run wind sprints because kicker Wes Byrum missed a field goal at the end of practice. Tubervile said it was the freshman's only miss of the day.

*The Tigers worked on the punting game at the two-hour session and Tuberville said that phase of the game is "coming around."

Chris Slaughter runs after catching a punt at Tuesday's practice.

*Freshman lineman Kyle Coulahan, who started preseason drills on offense before moving to the defensive line, is back on offense. He is scheduled to redshirt this year. Tuberville said the coaching staff is excited about Coulahan's potential as an offensive player.

*Senior offensive guard Leon Hart is improving with his ankle injury, the head coach said. He notes that he hopes Hart will be ready to play by Sunday.

*Another player with an ankle injury, true freshman fullback John Douglas, is not expected back for a week and half with a "high ankle sprain." Tuberville said that Douglas is a guy the Tigers have considered playing this fall depending on how senior Carl Stewart bounces back from a hamstring injury. "It is not set in stone that Carl will be ready (for Kansas State)," Tuberville said. "He is looking pretty good out there. He is running 3/4 speed, but again he hasn't done anything in three weeks."


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