Caudle Hoping To Show How Much He's Improved

Quarterback Neil Caudle talks about Tuesday night's scrimmage and what it means in the race for the starting job.

Auburn, Ala.--On Tuesday night the Auburn Tigers will have their first scrimmage of the 2009 preseason and it could prove to be a big day for one of the quarterbacks as offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said they're looking to narrow down the rotation at the position as soon as possible.

That means working the numbers down from five guys taking snaps to as few as three and possibly two before naming a starter. With senior Chris Todd, juniors Neil Caudle and Kodi Burns and freshmen Tyrik Rollison and Clint Moseley all taking reps in practice currently, things have been a little stacked up at times.

"It's really tough," Caudle said. "It's a lot tougher than people think to get out there and only get a few reps here or there. It definitely helps to get in a groove and a rhythm and in sync with all the guys around you. When they get it narrowed down it's going to help everybody and help the offense come together."

For Caudle fall camp has been about building on the momentum he developed in spring practice. Not a serious challenger for the job in his career at Auburn to this point, the Birmingham native is playing his best football and he said that so far his preseason is going well. He added he hopes that continues through Tuesday's scrimmage.

"It has been a good first few days," Caudle said. "I think we're all ready to get out there and scrimmage. We've just been splitting a lot of reps between the blue group and the orange group. I think we'll get a lot of good quality reps. It should be a good evaluation time for us."

If Caudle hopes to beat out his fellow candidates and become Auburn's starter, it's imperative he has a good day on Tuesday. With Malzahn wanting to begin to cut the field down, Caudle knows this is his chance to shine but he's not going to put too much pressure on himself to perform.

"It's a big day but you have to put that out of your mind and focus on what you have to do," Caudle said. "You can't focus on worrying about messing up and not doing the right assignment because then you will mess up. I think the tough thing to do is put that out of your mind and get ready to play and compete."

After missing much of his junior and senior years at Spain Park High because of injuries and then injured again as a true and redshirt freshman, Caudle has probably played less football than any fourth-year junior in the country in terms of snaps played in a game. Because of that he's someone that should only get better and better, progress he has shown a great deal of from the beginning of spring practice to now.

"I feel a lot better about it," Caudle said. "I know the offense a lot better. (Monday) we went over a lot of blitz stuff in the passing game and I felt comfortable in the pocket. I have 100 percent trust in those guys in front of me. They are doing a great job this summer. I feel a lot more comfortable out there. I feel good about my game."

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