Chizik Likes AU's Second Spring Practice

Comments from Auburn coaches, players and news and notes from AU football practice are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--After two practices in shorts this week, the Auburn football Tigers may go to full pads and even do some scrimmaging when they get back on the practice field on Saturday.

That was the word from head coach Gene Chizik following Thursday evening's practice that was dedicated to fundamentals and installing the offensive and defensive systems put in by new coordinators Gus Malzahn and Ted Roof.

"It will be fun," Chizik said of the full pads going on for Saturday's session. "Saturday will be a fun day for them just getting a chance to get back into the contact and trying to build on being physical--trying to be a physical offense and defense. It will be good to see everybody out there have a chance to run around and get some contact. I think they have all been waiting for it."

Chizik said the coaching staff will evaluate video from practice and see if the team is ready to do some scrimmaging on Saturday. "We just have to see how far we are," he said. "Obviously, if we scrimmage we certainly don't want it to be a sloppy situation at all. We have to be ready to do that so we have kind of an intermediate speed we call thud tempo. Maybe we will get them into that."

Thursday's practice was day two of the 15 practices that are allowed in spring.

"I was really proud of their effort, Chizik said of Thursday's practice. "We were a little bit sloppy as far as execution goes on some things today defensively and offensively simply because we put in some more stuff today, but the effort was real good and we were focused for the most part."

Defensive end Antonio Coleman pushes the blocking sled as his position coach, Tracy Rocker, watches.

Practice Notes: Wide receiver Philip Pierre-Louis is very limited in what he is able to do in practice as he continues to rehab from a knee injury he suffered on the opening kickoff of the 2008 season...Quarterback Chris Todd continues to recover from a shoulder surgery, but is able to do some of the drills...Prospects Samuel Gibson and Nick Perry from Prattville High School attended the practice...Despite a significant amount of rain in the Auburn area the past two days, the Tigers were able to get a lot done at practice two with their outdoor artificial field and the two grass fields that drain well. There was some slipping on drills done on the grass...Auburn will be back on the practice field for two more sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn looks at his practice notes on Thursday.

Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker says he isn't sure when redshirt freshman Andre Wadley will get medical clearance to play. Rocker says he likes Wadley and hopes to get him on the field. The lineman became ill last summer and was hospitalized several times and never was able to participate in team practices during the 2008 season...Rocker says he likes the effort he is getting from Zach Clayton, but says he has to monitor him to make sure he doesn't "get sloppy" after he gets tired because Clayton puts so much effort into practice. Rocker says he hopes that Clayton will develop into a team leader, something he is challenging seniors Jake Ricks and Antonio Coleman to do...Ricks says he is learning new techniques from Rocker. The tackle says he feels like he needs to step up his level of performance this year. "I feel like I have really done anything for real," he says...New safeties coach Tommy Thigpen says he loves the football atmosphere at Auburn and it has been everything he expected. "It is the quickest tempo I have ever been around," he said.. Thigpen said that one of the players who has caught his attention in the first two practices is Drew Cole, a true sophomore. Thigpen said the main reason he came to Auburn is because he was told it is a "football place" and says he has not been disappointed. "Football is really important here," he says. "It is the culture of Alabama. These kids want to play. They want to please. They have done everything we have asked them to do and they are trying to go as hard as they can."


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