Tuberville Looking To Build Depth

Coach Tommy Tuberville talks about Auburn's progress this preseason and what he's looking for in the coming weeks.

Auburn, Ala.--On Monday Auburn's Tommy Tuberville talked about his team as it reaches the halfway point of preseason practice before game week preparations begin for the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe. Tuberville talked on a variety of subjects, starting with the offense.

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The quarterback situation remains the same as Kodi Burns and Chris Todd will likely battle for the starting job right up to opening kickoff and it still may not be decided. Both have performed well Tuberville said and both are very likely to play in some capacity beginning with the first game.

Up front on offense with Jason Bosley expected back sometime this week after twisting his back and Ryan Pugh back on Monday after being scratched in the eye, Auburn's depth on the offensive line continues to round into shape. Tuberville said right now the main goal is to get healthy heading into the season and to try to get a second unit ready to go.

"We're moving people around just trying to find the right combination of the first two groups," Tuberville said. "We don't have a lot of numbers there and we didn't bring anybody in, in terms of being a signee, so all the guys that have been here are here with us now and have played those positions. We have a little bit of experience coming out of spring practice with most of the guys.

"The thing we want to make sure we do is get in and get ready for the season in two and a half weeks with two healthy offensive lines so we can play a lot of players in the first two games," he added. "As we go through the season you won't see as much substitution because the tempo really takes something out of those guys."

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One of the positions that has improved tremendously since last season is wide receiver. With young players such as Darvin Adams and Philip Pierre-Louis singled out by Tuberville because of their good start to fall camp, he added that it only adds to a growing list of capable receivers on the roster.

"When it all comes down to it we're going to have to have two groups that are going out there to compete, know what to do and make very few mental mistakes," Tuberville said. "It's very important that wide receivers run the right routes, the distance, the speed, and are able to understand coverages. It's going to be fun to watch these receivers. We're going to have a few playmakers and I think more of them are going to step up as we go along."

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At the running back position Tuberville said he likes his entire group and said that senior Tristan Davis could be Auburn's ace in the hole in 2008.

"Tristan Davis is really having a good fall camp so far," Tuberville said. "We just need to get another 10-12 practices out of him where he can get back into playing shape like he was last year. I'm proud of what he's done and how he's done it."

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Defensively Tuberville said that true freshman Harry Adams is fine and should be back by Tuesday after being banged up during Sunday's practice during a tackling drill. He said Adams fell and was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures after having a tough time breathing.

Tuberville added that Adams along with Neiko Thorpe and D'Antoine Hood will all have a chance to play this season at the cornerback position. He said just how many depends on Eddie Gran and his thoughts on who he needs for special teams play.

"If you look at our first group (in the secondary) it's pretty solid," Tuberville said. "You would love to have some experience behind those guys but we don't. It looks like we're going to have to play possibly those guys. We'll pick one or two out but it could be all three of them."

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With plenty of depth and experience up front on defense, Tuberville said the 2008 group in the front seven has a chance to be as good as any he's had since he's been at Auburn led by Sen'Derrick Marks and Antonio Coleman.


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