Trotter, Caudle Getting Looks at Practice

A report on Auburn's Tuesday football practice is featured with comments from Tommy Tuberville.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn returned to the practice field on Tuesday with the emphasis on trying to repair the offense and find out who will be the number two quarterback behind sophomore Kodi Burns.

Tommy Tuberville said the Tigers are still considering pulling the redshirt off of true freshman Barrett Trotter and are also still considering moving Neil Caudle up from third string to the backup role with Chris Todd struggling in last Saturday's 25-22 loss to Arkansas.

"We wanted to start looking at some things we want to do on offense," Tuberville said. "Defensively, they just basically went back through the fundamentals."

With no game until a week from Thursday at West Virginia, Tuberville said,"We've got a lot of things to do on offense to get to the point where we feel we have got an opportunity. Kodi, of course, is our quarterback right now. I said yesterday he is the quarterback for us through the year.

"Obviously, if somebody steps up and does better, and you have competition at every position, that could change. I feel like Kodi didn't play all that bad last week. He just made some mistakes as you would think a third game starter would probably make.

"We obviously have got to get better in a lot of things we are doing on offense," Tuberville said. "That is what we have done in the last few days--evaluate, talk to a lot of the players, try to get some semblance of an identity on offense and we are going to do that. We are going to have that ready to go by this time next week. It has been tough. It has been tough for all of us. I think these guys are resilient. They want to play well, they want to get better, they know where we are at and what we have got to do."

The Tigers are 4-3 overall going into their first off-week of the season.

Trotter led Briarwood Christian to the Class 5A state championship game last season. He played well in preseason practice, but former offensive coordinator and QB coach Tony Franklin made the decision in August to redshirt the freshman.

"We are going to see what he can do," Tuberville said. "We are going to make our decision Sunday on who is going to be the number two guy, but in terms of wanting to be part of it he has decided to do that, but again the decision will be ours. We are not going to play him as a third team quarterback. He would have to be the second team guy. We are looking at Neil Caudle. Obviously this week we are going to rest Chris (Todd). He will start back working on Sunday. We will just go from there."

Commenting on much Trotter would likely to play as the number two QB with five regular season games remaining if the decision is made to use him this year, Tuberville said, "It will really depend on what Kodi does, . Players reported for treatment of injuries and watched game video on Sunday with their positions coaches

"He throws the ball well," Tuberville said of the freshman. "He has good touch on the ball and throws the deep ball and he has run this offense before--a lot of the spread.

"You know, last week we just didn't throw the quick game very well. We have got to be able to complete some passes to even be able to have an opportunity to run the football...When you take the high percentage passes, you have got to make a high percentage of completions. We want to see if he can do that. Kodi has struggled with that, but he will get better. But again, we are just looking for the right guy to be number two for the future."

Neil Caudle is a redshirt sophomore who has yet to play for the Tigers this season.

Tuberville said another point of emphasis this week will be to get the team's quickness back after doing a self-scout. "One thing that was definite, after seven games, our first three games were much faster on both sides of the ball than we were the sixth and seventh games," the head coach noted.

"The number one thing we want to do this week is mentally get back into it like the start of a new season and physically get our legs back because you don't want to lose that part," Tuberville added. "You want to get that drive back."

Cornerback Jerraud Powers, who has been out of action since the second quarter of the Vanderbilt game with a hamstring problem, was able to do some running on Tuesday. Powers said he should be able to play vs. West Virginia, but noted that is still to be determined.

Defensive end Antoine Carter is still recovering from an ankle injury, but could return to practice on Sunday, Tuberville said.

A decision is expected this week on whether or not middle linebacker Tray Blackmon will need surgery to repair a cracked bone in his wrist. He only played on special teams last week while wearing a large cast.

Wide receiver Robert Dunn, who played briefly vs. Arkansas due to an ankle problem that kept him out of the Vandy game, was full speed on Tuesday, said Tuberville, whose team will return to the practice field on Wednesday evening.


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