Tigers Put On Full Pads for First Time

News and notes from Auburn's Monday football practice are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--News and notes from Auburn's Monday football practice are featured.

*The Tigers practiced in full pads for the first time this this preseason on Monday, which is also the first two-a-days practice. They will have a second session late this afternoon, but are not expected to be in full pads for that one.

*Morgan Hull got a chance to show what he can do in field goal drills today. He made his first five kicks (PAT, 27 yards, 32, 37, 42) and missed his final two from 45 (wide and short) and 47 (low and short). Wes Byrum was very sharp in Sunday's practice. Chandler Brooks, who walked on in the spring, is not kicking right now due to a muscle pull.

*Senior walk-on Clayton Crofoot, who held for field goals last year, is expected to win that assignment again this year.

*On the subject of the kicking game, a major change for 2009 is that the Tigers will punt out of a spread formation. In drills today the punters had some large guys in the backfield as personal protectors such as big John Sullen, Vance Smith, Jared Cooper, Andrew Parmer and Nick Fairley.

*For the first day in pads, linebackers Harris Gaston and Spencer Pybus are still out of action as is freshman defensive end Dee Ford and junior defensive end Antoine Carter plus junior defensive tackle Mike Blanc along with junior offensive lineman Bart Eddins and freshman OL Aubrey Phillips.

*Eltoro Freeman brought a smile to the face of defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Ted Roof this morning with his ability to change directions quickly and attack the ball carrier.

*Clinton Durst continued to boom the football Monday in punting drills.

*Offensive line coach Jeff Grimes said after spring training a goal for August was to develop depth in his group. He says that is still a work in progress and notes that he doesn't think any of the backups are ready to start if needed.

*One of the backups who is making a lot of progress is Vance Smith, who moved to tackle from tight end in the spring. The true sophomore has grown two inches and gained around 45 pounds since getting to Auburn last summer. He hopes to play at around 6-4, 290 this fall.

*Trooper Taylor had praise after today's first full pads practice for wide receiver Darvin Adams. The sophomore receiver is coming off a strong spring performance. Taylor says that junior Terrell Zachery is having a good preseason. The wide receivers coach notes that Zachery has dropped a little weight and that is helping his speed.

*Veteran wide receiver Montez Billings had a good day of practice, says Taylor, who points out the senior is making a move for a lot of playing time as is walk-on, juco transfer Jay Wisner. Wisner is shown good hands and runs good routes. Taylor says he wants to have six players ready for the wideout spots by opening day.

*Emory Blake, the true freshman receiver from Austin, Tex., is having a good preseason, too, according to Taylor, who says the son of former NFL player Jeff Blake has an excellent understanding of the game.

*Blake said on Monday he feels good about the way he is playing so far in practice and has been trying to pay attention to the small details that his wide receiver coach is emphasizing.


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