Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE
Defense is no easy fix
It has been a while since the Auburn Tigers have had a top defense in the SEC, which is why Brian VanGorder is the new defensive coordinator for this team. While there should be an improvement from last season’s horrible performances, he says that it will take patience from Tiger fans (via Charles Goldberg of AL.com):
We've got to gain a consistency just with our knowledge overall of the system from the linebacker position. Of all the positions, the linebackers and the safeties in our system are most difficult. And linebackers being up in the front seven, there's a lot more to what they've got to do in terms of proper alignment and coverage leverage and things right now that we're struggling with.
Auburn plays a high-scoring team in the Clemson Tigers in the season opener, and this defensive unit will need to improve significantly if the team expects to win. VanGorder says that the defense will be improved, but it needs much more time before it can reach elite status.
"I would expect that we would improve through the season," VanGorder said.
Jonathan Wallace receives praise
While the quarterback battle continues between Kiehl Frazier and Clint Moseley, there is a younger quarterback who is impressing the coaching staff. His name is Jonathan Wallace, a 3-star recruit from the 2012 class.
After Saturday's practice, head coach Gene Chizik said (via Charles Goldberg of AL.com):
He made another couple of really nice throws again today. He's making his share of freshman mistakes, but he's in to it, he's a football guy, and he's trying to soak it up every day.
Spring injuries are still hurting
Auburn had several players that missed spring practices, such as Jonathan Evans to an injury, as well as Ken Carter, Gabe Wright and Nosa Eguae.
Those players are struggling to keep up in the fall camp early on.
“Jonathan, mentally, is behind, and I think he knows it,” Chizik said, via Ryan Wood of OAnow.com. “He's got a long way to go to learn. This spring would have been a huge help for him.”
While they look a little sluggish to begin camp, defensive coordinator Brain VanGorder expects things to be okay.
“Those guys, they’re behind,” VanGorder said. “But they’re good workers and should establish a role on our defense.”