Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chizik talks about first scrimmage

Auburn held it's first scrimmage of fall practice Wednesday morning at Samford Stadium.

Here's what Auburn coach Gene Chizik had to say following the scrimmage.

Opening statement.

“Went a little over 70 plays, went live as from the line of scrimmage plays. Thought we did some good things today both sides of the football. Did some good things offensively, had some explosive plays. Defensively, conversely, we did some good things, forced some turnovers, which is big. But overall, great effort back and forth, got a lot of things to clean up, think there’s going to be some learning moments from that. Had an opportunity to take some live kickoff returns and some live punt returns, so got an opportunity to look at a lot of the young guys both on return units and coverage units. So I think it was a very productive day. Like I said, I think it’s overall going to be a great teaching tape, so it’s really going to be our first good evaluation with good live reps to help us move forward with what we’ve got to do.”

Was the time of day based on first three games?

“No, not at all. I’m just kidding. Yes. Pretty much all of our scrimmages are going to be around the 11 a.m. hour give or take. When we got down to scrimmaging, we were probably somewhere around the middle to late fourth quarter in the game, more than likely. We wanted to get used to where the sun was for our returners on our return game. We wanted to get used to the heat, which our kids are already used to, but mainly the direction of the sun and some of the roles that that plays in our return game was the main reason, but we’ve got to get used to those first couple games with 11 a.m. starts.”

How did the the quarterbacks look?

“All of them did well today. They did some good things, they did some bad things. Again, we’re not going to know more until we go back and evaluate it, but I thought all three of them moved the football team and again, I can’t say where this puts everybody in terms of position, but they all did some good things and obviously, they’ve all got some things they need to work on as well.”

How about the return game?

“We’re kind of in a good spot there simply because we have options. Anytime you put a young guy in the return game you have a little bit of caution because when the lights come in front of 90,000 you don’t know what you’re going to get. But your try to as accurately as you can try to figure that out. We’ve got some young guys who have an opportunity to be our returners. We worked a lot of those guys today and we’ll continue to do that, but we’ve got a good mix in our return game with a couple guys who have done it and a couple guys who are pushing.”

How did they handle the heat?

“I thought they handled it well. This is practice eightish? The last few have been in pads, very physical, so today was fast and it was physical and it was hot, which was exactly what we needed, but I think they handled it well.”

How did the young guys do?

“I’m really proud of those guys. I’m really interested to see … you have one impression when you’re out there and you have another impression once you watch the tape. But I’m just really encouraged with a lot of our young guys. They’ve got to push through the mental part of the game right now, that’s becoming difficult for them just with new installations and getting used to the speed of the game and kind of everything being thrown at them at once. But eventually the game will slow down for a lot of these young guys. Nobody that I can say right stands head and toes above the others but they’re all working well and I’m proud of them.”

How did the defensive line look?

“Again, I thought there were some good moments there today. I thought there was some good pressure from our defensive ends a couple times. Our inside guys are still a work in progress. We’ve got so many young guys there. But we’ve got a long way to go, but they did some nice things today. We’ve got to go back, refine our technique, work on it every day, and these young guys will eventually come around because they have to.”

Did the wide receivers make some plays?

“As a whole, the receiving group … again we had some explosive plays on offense. Some of them were balls they should have caught because they were open, but again, for me to say anybody is head and tails above the rest, that is simply not the case.”

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