Practice report, Tuesday

Rainy weather normally forces the Rebels inside to practice, but Coach Ed Orgeron opted to hold a physical workout on the practice fields in crisp, drizzly "football weather." He was pleased with the results.

Coach O: We went over the scouting report on Auburn today. The guys were in good spirits and they worked very hard today in a very physical practice. We worked on a lot of Auburn's plays. They are very similar to our plays, so there is some familiarity.

Q: Did you work inside or outside?

Coach O: We went outside. We get better film out there and it was a nice day. It drizzled a little, but it was good, cool football weather.

Q: How is Jamarca Sanford doing?

Coach O: He looked good. I feel pretty good about him being ready for the Auburn game. He adds a lot to our defense. He makes everyone confidet and his tackling ability is critical to us. Get him close to the ball and he makes the tackle.

Q: What is it about Auburn QB Brandon Cox that has made him such a good fourth-quarter QB this year?

Coach O: His offensive line has improved, for one thing. They are more mature. In their running game, Brad Lester has really shown up. And he's taking care of the ball better and Auburn is calling things he can execute.

Q: How is Chris Strong doing on the DL?

Coach O: He had a good day today. I hate to say anything is permanent, but it looks like he will be a DL. I see him playing in a backup role against Auburn, but he's not ready to do everything yet. How could he be? He will spell Peria (Jerry). He's a good kid who has handled this move well. He wanted a shot at LB and I recruited him as a LB and gave him that shot. He went as far as he could with it.

Q: How did Allen Walker look at LB?

Coach O: I thought he played very well in the game. There are things he has to work on - he needs to gain some weight and learn how to play that close to the line with the physicality of the trenches, but his feet were really good, he was very quick and he made some plays. I think the bigger and stronger he gets the better he will get.

Q: How was QB Seth Adams today knowing he is on a shorter leash, as you said in your press conference?

Coach O: He's fine. QBs have pressure. You have to tell them like it is. They play in front of 90,000 people. We have Auburn, LSU and State left - there's no room to be timid.

Q: Do you expect a tight, low-scoring game this year with Auburn?

Coach O: You don't know, but last year's game was very tight. We played 79 plays and had 9 players play all of them and 2 play 77 with 2 subs on defense. You go back and see Marcus Tillman playing DT, Rory Johnson making plays all over the field, Patrick Willis. We did a lot of good things against them last year. We have confidence we can do it again, but we have to play very well.

Q: What does the OL have to do better in pass protection?

Coach O: With Quentin Groves in there, you have to pick up the blitzes. The speed of their blitzes is impressive. We have to play with good fundamentals and recognize.

Q: Who is responsible for the blitz to pick it up?

Coach O: All of them.

Q: How is the battle at middle linebacker going between Tony Fein and Brandon Thomas?

Coach O: Both of them came out and had good days. Brandon had one of his better days. It's amazing how that works, isn't it? Gets pushed some and plays a lot better. We are going to let them go at it all week and see who surfaces. I think we get more out of them that way rather than naming a starter early in the week.

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