Thursday, April 9, 2009

Notes from Thursday's practice

Harry Adams walked into an argument during Wednesday’s coaches meeting.
He soon realized the argument was over him when coach Gene Chizik approached him.
“After I got done working out, I came up to the office and the coordinator was sitting in there and the offensive coordinator and coach Chizik said, ‘Both these guys are fighting over you. I’m in the middle to make a change,’” Adams said. “He said, ‘What do you want to do?’
“I say, ‘I think I want to move to receiver because cornerback wasn’t working at first.’”
So Adams, who runs a 4.37 40, spent Thursday’s practice making his debut at receiver.
Chizik thinks the 5-foot-11, 185-pound receiver can help a position currently lacking in depth.
“We just feel like Harry brings a little bit of a speed element to that position, which we feel like we need help at,” Chizik said after his team’s 10th practice.
Receivers coach Trooper Taylor said he’s excited to have someone with Adams’ speed.
“Either you got speed or you don’t,” Taylor said. “He’s a kid who went out there and made plays today that really got be excited about the potential of what he can do.
“I thought having a guy who could stretch the defense a little bit would be exciting on offense.”
Adams said he’s excited to move back to receiver. That was his primary position in high school and he said the transition has been seamless.
Still, he has to learn the details in a new offense as well as learning the little things, such as alignments.
Because of the learning curve, Taylor said it could take time for Adams to contribute to the team.
“It will take time,” Taylor said. “You’re not going to just walk in the SEC and switch over. The good thing about it is he’s smart enough to do it, he’s talented enough to do it and now it’s going to be about whether he’s willing to do it. I’m going to find that out pretty quickly.
“The first day, I was impressed.”

SPREAD PUNT: Special teams coach Jay Boulware said Tuesday that he will not employ the standard punt formation. Instead he will spread out the line and put a three-man wall in front of his punter.
That, Boulware said, helps punt coverage.
“Basically, we have (six) gunners,” Boulware said.
Boulware puts a premium on speed on the unit.
Normally, tight ends and linebackers make up the punt coverage team. That’s not the case this year.
Boulware even removed receiver Tommy Trott from the unit.
“He wanted to play on the punt team this year and I told him he wasn’t fast enough,” Boulware said. “We put speed out there. We want the most speed we can possibly get. We basically have six for sure guys that are athletes. That’s probably one thing our fans will notice about our punt team next year is that we have a lot of speed on it. We’re going to look like we’re a lot faster.”

INJURY UPDATE: Running back Eric Smith suffered a leg injury Tuesday night.
Per his policies, Chizik didn’t elaborate on the injury, but said he would be fine.
“He’s good to go. The whole team’s beat up. He’s one of the guys that’s a little beat up right now. It’s been physical up to this point, which is by design. He’s going to be fine.”
Chizik said Smith is day-to-day. He doesn’t know if the sophomore will return for Saturday’s scrimmage – the second of Auburn’s fall camp.
Tailback Ben Tate, though, said he thought Smith would miss the rest of spring practice with what he termed a knee injury.
Tate added that he expected Smith to be ready “in a month or two.”
Taylor confirmed Thursday that he expects receiver Montez Billings (undisclosed injury) to miss the remainder of spring practice as well.
Defensive end Antoine Carter is among the other players with known injuries.
Carter was carted off the practice field Sunday with an undisclosed leg injury. Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker said Carter has not returned to practice. Another defensive end, Cameron Henderson, has been hampered by an ankle injury. Rocker said “it’s just like playing with ten out there when he’s out there.”
Still, Rocker isn’t looking for any extra help.
“There ain’t none to pick from,” Rocker said. “What we got, we’ve got to make it work.”

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