Bynes: We're working hard. We're doing a lot of team sprints and stuff like that. We're doing a lot of things where if one messes up that it's going to cost the whole team.
Do you go to the 6 a.m. or 3 p.m. workout?
Bynes: I go in the mornings every morning. I like to get mine over with.
Who does go to the 3 o'clock workout?
Bynes: I don't really know. It's too hot out there for that. I get mine out of the way in the morning.
It's an entirely new staff of coaches, but what's it like to still have Coach Yox (strength and conditioning coach Kevin Yoxall) around?
Bynes: Yox is not going to change. I don't think Yox is ever going to leave Auburn. Just to have Yox, we already know what to expect out of him as far as the workouts go. Bringing in someone else would have changed our mindsets. It would just be inconsistent from what we've done the last few years. Keeping Yox is going to keep our same mindset that we're going to come to work every day regardless.
Has that made the transition easier?
Bynes: Yeah it has. The fact of the matter is that coaches are going to come and go. Not every coach is permanent at every school. Just have a strength and conditioning coach that's been here regardless of the transition of coaches is going to make it easier. The season is only so long and the offseason is constantly working hard and training. Who's going to be that guy for us besides Coach Yox? Keeping him here is great, especially with a lot of young guys coming in.
I was talking to Mario (Fannin) the other day and I asked him if anybody has stepped and become a leader. The first name he said was Josh Bynes. Is that accurate?
Bynes: I can't really call it. If you ask a couple of teammates and they feel it's true, then I guess it's true. I just try to do what I have to do as being a linebacker on the defense. I have to give out the call. I have to do this and that. In order for everyone else to be right, I have to be right. In other words, I have to say something regardless. If I feel like something is out of line or there is something that us as upperclassmen have to do, I'm going to say it. If anybody else doesn't say it, trust me, I'm going to say it. If I'm saying it then I'm going to do it out there on the football field as well. If Mario feels that I'm a leader, then I guess so.
Josh Bynes heads into his junior season number one on the depth chart at middle linebacker.
People say the middle linebacker is the quarterback of the defense. Are you taking that to heart?
Bynes: Honestly it's been like that playing the position. It gives you that responsibility. It gives you that power. It just comes to you. You have to be the person that takes over for everybody. When anything breaks down they're going to be like, ‘Okay Josh, what was this call?' They've got to come to you for the answers. Being the middle linebacker for any team in the country you have to be that person where everybody on defense comes to you and asks what's going on. You have to be able to answer and make sure everybody else is lined up properly.
Do you have any freshmen looking up to you? Can you sense that?
Bynes: I don't even know yet. They're trying to get familiar with themselves. When I came in I wasn't really looking up to anybody. I was just like, ‘How do I do this and that? Am I doing it right? Too fast or too slow?' I was just trying to get to the same level as the other upperclassmen were. If they are, I wouldn't really know. The other freshmen linebackers, I'm trying to get them used to the system and get them used to the plays and get them affiliated with the program.
Have they started working out with ya'll?
Bynes: They just started working out this week. Not with us, but them as a freshmen group.
Have any of them caught your eye as somebody who can help out this fall?
Bynes: They've only had a couple of workouts so far, so it's not really time enough to tell. Everybody comes out of high school with a certain kind of hype. I came out one of the top linebackers in the country, but that doesn't mean in college I'm going to be one of the top linebackers in the country. It just depends on if they can translate it into college. Some can, some can't. There are a lot of freshmen being looked to play, but at the same time you've got to get through Yox. They've got to get in shape for what they're going to go through this season.
Over the next year for the new guys, what's going to be the toughest part?
Bynes: When I was a freshman, we practiced in the morning on certain days and then we went to class. That was hard, trying to stay up in class and pay attention when you're so tired. The rest of the day you just want to sleep. The hardest part to tell you the truth is trying to balance the season and school. You've got so much going on. Of course you've got fans, you've got everybody looking for you to do this and that, and it's just so hard because you've got so much going on in one season, and then on top of that you've got school. Just to balance them two at the same time is so hard for a freshman coming in. It comes so fast and it hits you hard. You've got to try to use your time wisely.
You look like you've gotten bigger this offseason…
Bynes: Yeah, I've gained some weight. I'm 240, 241 now.
How are you moving around?
Bynes: Good. I've gotten stronger. My power cleans went up big time. My bench, everything so far has gone up for me. On the football field, even though I gained about nine pounds this summer, I still feel like I'm moving the same as I was at 232. I feel better.
Was it intentional that you put on the weight?
Bynes: Actually it just happened. I was 232 at the beginning of the summer and then next thing I was 236, 238 now I'm 240 or 241.