Auburn Spring Football To Make Later Start

Auburn, Ala.--In recent years with Coach Tommy Tuberville, spring practice started earlier and earlier for Auburn football, but that will change in 2009.

The former Auburn coach planned to start spring drills on Feb. 24th this year, but new head coach Gene Chizik says the Tigers won't be ready yet for that to happen even if he wanted to start that early.

"We are going to obviously, with new offenses and new defenses and things of that nature, we are going to back it up," Chizik says.

"We have got a lot on our plate right now," says the coach who has hired six of his nine on-the-field assistants. Chizik is also dealing with recruiting and getting to know his new players.

"I have always been one of the mindset anyway of starting spring practice later because I don't think you can do a very thorough evaluation of the previous year if you don't," Chizik says. "That's just my opinion. It doesn't mean it is right."

Chizik says he isn't sure when spring practice will start or when the Tigers will play their annual A-Day spring football game.

Tuberville said he liked the earlier spring trainings because the weather was better in February and early March than in late March and April. Also, the former coach said if there were injuries in spring drills that gave them more time to heal before the start of the season.

However, Chizik says he prefers later spring practices. "That has always been my way of thinking," he points out. "You come out of a year, you want to have enough time to be able to really evaluate what you did good, bad and ugly before you decide what you are going to do for that spring.

"And, then I think it also gives Coach Yox (strength and conditioning coach Kevin Yoxall) time to get our team stronger," Chizik says. "And there are different philosophies on that. That is how I feel about it."

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