Rhoads Gives Opening Scrimmage Mixed Review

Auburn's new defensive coordinator comments on Auburn's opening scrimmage of spring training.

Auburn, Ala.--Early in Auburn's first scrimmage of spring training, the offense was struggling to gain yardage on the ground or in the air.

However, as the scrimmage progressed the offense began to find ways to move the football, something new defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads didn't want to see.

Both Rhoads and head coach Tommy Tuberville note that it looked like the defense had trouble keeping up with Tony Franklin's fast-paced offense that runs plays in quick succession out of a no huddle look.

"Once we got tired, we executed poorly," Rhoads says. "Hopefully, they have learned that lesson of the importance of it. I think they did. I don't think there will be a problem with that.

"When they were fresh, I thought we were pretty physical and I thought we tackled well," Rhoads says. "Then we we got tired, all of those skills started to diminish."

Sophomores Zac Etheridge and Josh Bynes led the defense in tackles with five solos and three assists. Mike Slade, a redshirt freshman safety, had three solos and five assists.

Rhoads notes he wasn't ready to single out any players for praise. "That is probably because I was taking so much in," he says. "Being new, on a day like this, I am trying to observe as much as I can. I can get the scheme and all of that off of the film later.

"I am trying to observe personalities," he adds. "I am trying to observe who are our leaders, who is providing enthusiasm, who's dog tired and not paying attention."

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