Coach O: We had another good practice today. Having Jamarca (Sanford) back out there gives us spirit. He brings a lot to our team.
Q: We noticed today that you have moved Johnny Brown to free safety ahead of Kendrick Lewis.
Coach O: Yes, Johnny will probably start there this week. His tackling ability is good. He's tough and he loves football. He played RB in high school and has some instincts about offense back there. With him and Jamarca back there, it gives us a little more of a physical presence back there. They are like having two smallish linebackers back there. No doubt they could both play LB. Johnny has earned his spurs and is just a little more physical than Kendrick. He got bange dup a little today and jumped right up and didn't miss a beat. His toughness shows.
Q: How is your linebacker situation shaping up this week?
Coach O: Tony Fein has had a real good week of practice and Ashlee Palmer practiced today after being injured a little agianst Akransas. Tony still has to do it more consistently in games. That's where he will turn the corner, but it looks like he is coming on now.
Q: What is Chris Strong's challenge at DT?
Coach O: Being at the right spot at the right time. I think he's done a good job of learning the defense. He looks very natural down there. The young guys don't pass rush like you want them to yet - they get caught up in there sometimes, but I think Chris uses his quickness real well and runs to the ball well. He is also learning a lot from Peria Jerry, who he is playing behind. Peria has been a good leader for us.
Q: What challenges does Auburn's defense present?
Coach O: They are fast, Florida fast, but I think they are more physical up front. Sen'Derrick Marks is a stud up front. He is something. I watched the LSU game and he was on fire. On third down, they are going to pick the best guy to rush on - the weakest guy. You never know where they are going to line up Quentin Groves. And they are real quick. They have fast linebackers who know how to get to the ball. They try to outman you. They are a sound football team.
Q: Coach Werner was saying they are not real complicated. True?
Coach O: They are pretty simple, actually, but they do things right.
Q: Do you expect to see a two-QB system out of them?
Coach O: We are prepared for that, but you never know. Kodi Burns showed up in a couple of games, but they go with Brandon Cox mostly. I am familiar with Kodi - he's a nice young man. You have to be prepared for it because it can throw you off balance. You have to do different things for a running QB.
Q: What are the challenges with their offense?
Coach O: They run the ball extremely hard. Their OL is coming around. They max protect well on their deep ball and their short passing game is efficient, but their run game is what stands out. You just have to hang in there and be in the right spots and keep tackling because they are going to keep on pounding it.
Q: Is their defense - simple but effective and not too complicated - what you would like to evolve to when you get the horses to do so?
Coach O: Sure. It's great when you are good enough to do the same things almost every down and be effective. It frees up the kid's minds and just let's thm go play. Good defenses are usually pretty simple, but they also have excellent players.
Q: How is Thomas Eckers since being nicked against Arkansas?
Coach O: He's OK. He looks a little gimpy, but if he is we have John Jerry we can start there. John has been doing well and has started a lot of games for us.
Q: How is Nate Banks doing at CB?
Coach O: He's doing fine, but we are still going to rotate him and Cassius Vaughn to keep them fresh. Since the Missouri game, we have done a good job in the secondary against the deep ball.
Q: How has Seth Adams done this week?
Coach O: Very good. He did not have any turnovers today and I can't recall any this week. He's doing fine.
Practice report, Wednesday
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