Friday is the next to last two-a-day. Saturday is the final full contact stadium scrimmage.
"This is day whatever," Swinney said after Friday morning's practice. "We're a long way into this thing now. I think we're starting to settle in on some direction.
"Tomorrow is a big day for a bunch of guys. It'll be our last full, live scrimmage. We had a pretty good bit of live work today, but tomorrow will be our last full scrimmage, so it'll be a really important day for some guys, because of how we're going to set that depth chart going into Monday."
From there, they'll begin preparing for the rubber match in the Georgia Dome.
"We have a two-a-day on Monday, but we're probably going to start flipping the script here really quick and start getting geared into Auburn," Swinney said. "[It's] a little earlier than we did last year, but the biggest reason is we've got so many young players. A lot of them have played but so many guys that we really have to count on in this opener.
"We're going to start a little bit earlier than we normally would. Last year, we had a veteran front, on both sides. We'll probably turn the script to Auburn on Monday, at some point. Then, Tuesday, and they'll start school on Wednesday."
THE PROGRESS BY NO. 2: Sammy Watkins set the world on fire during his freshman season.
He couldn't possibly improve upon that, right?
Well, he was only a freshman.
"We're never satisfied and everybody has their own standard that they can to," Swinney said. "Sammy, I think, he's had one day…it wasn't his best. He doesn't have many of those days."
Watkins brings it day in and day out.
"He likes to practice, he likes to compete [and] he's physical. It doesn't matter what drill you're going to. He's got his motor running," Swinney said. "That's what the great ones are like."
FILLING IN FOR WATKINS: A pair of high school teammates will carry the load at Watkins' vacant position during the Auburn and Ball State games.
"Adam Humphries has played that. Charone Peake will -- those two guys will primarily fill that position, as far as depth chart-wise," Swinney said.
In terms of production, Swinney is counting on Jaron Brown and DeAndre Hopkins to help fill the void.
THE LEADERS AT LEFT GUARD/RIGHT TACKLE: After Friday's practice, Swinney listed David Beasley as the leader for the starting left guard job and Shaq Anthony as the leader at right tackle.
Beasley continues to battle Kalon Davis while Anthony is competing with Joe Gore.
"I like what I've seen from Beasley and I like how Kalon has responded. He's trying to get a little bit better from day to day," Swinney said. "I'm just going to let those guys compete.
"Same thing at right tackle. I think Shaq took a step forward on Wednesday. Joe Gore took a step back. It's just kind of a competitive battle there right now."
Beasley's emerged after keeping a fairly low profile.
"He's just been a fairly consistent performer. He's more committed. He's a physical player. He's done a good job, from an assignment standpoint. He's just been productive," Swinney said.
Grinding through the dog days
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