Offensively one of those things that is always important is the two-minute offense. With Gus Malzahn's up-tempo system it's not a huge stretch for the Auburn offense to employ because they are used to the fast pace, but junior quarterback Cameron Newton said it's just good to get a feel for how the offense changes when you're up against the clock.
"We needed it," Newton said. "Every time we get a chance to go two-minute it's very important in our scheme and in the situations that we feel comfortable. I think today it was pretty hot out there and we handled the situation good. Now we've got to do it better."
One of the concerns in any preseason is the health of the quarterbacks because of the amount of throws needed to fine tune a passing game. While Auburn does have four guys to spread the throws around, in Malzahn's offense there are a lot more chances to throw the ball in warm-ups, drills, and actual scrimmage situations. Because of that Newton said they've been careful not to push things too much with him at times to make sure his arm is properly rested for the season.
"I'm fine," Newton said. "Every chance I can get treatment on my shoulder I do that. It really hasn't been the wear and tear on my arm as much as it has for my body being in this heat. I'm just like anybody else, I'm tired but I have to get the job done.
"Being a quarterback in a system like this you're going to throw the football every single day," he added. "You have to treat your body like a professional athlete and just ice it down when you need it."
Now just 14 days away from realizing his dream of being a starting quarterback in the Southeastern Conference, Newton said at the moment the offense is coming along nicely but there is still plenty of work to be done.
"We're still making strides every day," Newton said. "We're never complacent. We can never stay in the same place. One day we feel great but we've still got to go out there and make our changes and get better every single day. Every time we have a bad practice we've got to come out the next time and get better. I think coach Malzahn and the offensive staff are doing an excellent job of staying on the players and making us execute each day."
Reed-y Or Not Here He Comes
While Newton was pretty firmly cemented into his role coming into preseason practice, true freshman wide receiver Trovon Reed had plenty of ground to make up if he hoped to get into the playing rotation right away. It didn't take long for the speedster to do just that as he's worked in right behind senior Terrell Zachery with the first offensive group. Even though he's accomplished his first goal of catching the eye of the coaches, Reed said there's still plenty to be done for both he and the team.
"I feel like I'm working hard every day and we're working hard as a team just to get better," Reed said. "Whatever they want from us we've got to give it to them. We're on scholarship. We can't go out there expecting them to lay everything out for us. We've got to work for everything we want if we want to be champions. Every day we remind each other to work hard."
With the fourth scrimmage in nine days and all of them in stifling heat and humidity, coach Gene Chizik and his staff have put the Tigers through the grinder as they hope to find out as much about the team as possible. Reed said while it has been tough to deal with at times, he knows it's something the team needs if it hopes to become a champion.
"In the fourth quarter when it really counts, whoever is more in shape is going to win the game," Reed said. "Whoever is more mentally tough is going to win the game. They are trying to make us mentally tough right now."