Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trooper Taylor talks about evening practice

Auburn bounced back from a poor morning practice with something a little better in the evening. Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor met with the media following the second practice. Here's what he had to say:

Better practice this evening?

"They bounced back. They really did. And I could understand why he (Auburn head coach Gene Chizik) wasn’t happy this morning. This afternoon, I think the guys really tried to bounce back and that’s good to see. That means their leadership is coming through. That’s the things that we’re trying to get across to this team. We need guys to step up and there’s no excuse. Whatever it is, whether you’re a freshman or fifth year senior or a guy that walked on to the team. Whatever your role is, we need you to play that role. He’s going to get that out of them, I promise you."

What was the focus tonight?

"Alignment and assignment. Getting the guys to do what they’re supposed to do. Matter of fact, we didn’t install anything new. It was mainly going back and fixing the things that the guys blew up this morning. Came back and made sure that they could execute them ‘cause like Coach Chizik said: You either practice to win, or you practice to lose. And if you practice things the wrong way or do them the wrong way, that’s what you’re going to get. We’re big on trying to make sure that they do it the right way. Because there is a right way to do something. Whatever you demand as a coach, what you accept as a coach, you tolerate. And we’re not going to tolerate anything but the best."

Was pacing the problem?

"No. The problem was they were getting hit in the mouth. When you get hit, somebody’s going to flinch. This game is physical, and we introduced them to what ‘Auburn Physical’ means. I think they got a good taste of what that’s like. It’s a good thing because when they step in that stadium tomorrow and scrimmage, we don’t want that to be the first time. Now they understand what physical means. They thought they had an idea of what physical meant, but when you put a guy right in front of you and there ain’t no jumping around, it’s mano e mano, you find out who is going to flinch. We were able to see who thinks he’s tough and who is really tough. It’ll be interesting to see how they carry that over. We’re going to watch a lot of tape, do a lot of film study. And it’s great to be able to show a kid: Why’d you turn your head? Why’d you duck your shoulder? There is no excuse when you can show them on tape when he did those things. Football is a man’s game and we’re going to make sure they understand that."

How is Quan Bray progressing?

"I tell you, I’m proud of that kid. I’m probably breaking some rule, but the kid threw out all of that and had a 3.5 GPA and has learned all his assignments and is out there busting his tail. You talk about life throwing you some curve balls. Obviously that was personal for me because I recruited him and know his family really well. That’s a chance and an opportunity for us to stand up on what family really means. See, you don’t have to have the same last name or be the same color to be part of the same family. He’s a part of our Auburn Family. What we did is we just took him in and we loved on him. And that’s what we’re going to continue to do. We’re glad to have him. Glad to have him. He’s going to be something special. To go through that type of an ordeal and to still come out with over 3.5 and to be able to do the things that he’s doing on that football field, obviously he’s got a lot of motivation. But it also tells you the type of character and the type of upbringing he had coming from that home."

How about DeAngelo Benton?

"Doing a lot better. The last time I bragged on him, the guy was in and he stayed hurt. He split his finger, broke his wrist, broke his ankle. So all of those freshmen are raggedy, just in case you want to know. Just letting you know, because the last time I patted one on the back he didn’t stay very healthy. But DeAngelo, he’s like a different kid out there. He’s making some plays, his leadership is good, he’s got a deep voice - he sounds like Barry White when he talks and when you hear him talking to a guy or hear him correcting somebody, it really comes out. It’s good to see him out there doing the things that he’s doing. Seeing him teach people where before it was always getting him lined up. And then again, he’s healthy. Knock on wood. Hopefully he can stay healthy and we can see some of the things that we potentially thought that he’d be able to bring to the table."

What are you looking for from receivers tomorrow in the scrimmage?

"Play-making ability. We’ve got to have guys make plays on the perimeter because everybody knows we’re going to run the football. And if they can stack the box and put 10 people in there and we can’t run the ball, we have to be able to make plays out there to make people respect the deep ball and not be able to sit on our running backs. We’re very talented at that running back position. Those guys are proving themselves. Where the question mark is at is at the wideouts. And they know that. They understand that. I feel like the amount of pressure that we’re putting on them in practice right now and the amount of things that we’re asking them to do really coincides with their ability. We’re not asking them to do things that they’re not capable of doing. We’re asking them to do things that they are capable of, but to do it well. And I think that’s the beauty of Gus’ offense. We can take the guy that runs the best corner route and we put him at that position. We take the guy that runs the best slant and put him in that spot so they’re not locked into I’m an X, I’m a Y I’m a Z. That means nothing to us. What happens when we put the best 11 for that current play and then we switch out. It’s a lot for them to handle because they have to get formations and they have to get signals and all that, but it does allow them to make plays. I want to see if guys can make plays in space. If they can’t do that, it’s going to be a very long season for the Auburn Tigers. That’s just the honest truth."

Know how many plays you'll go in the scrimmage?

"No. Coach hasn’t said and then probably after watching this morning’s tape, we’ll be there til midnight. So he’s going to get it out of them tomorrow. This little bounce back practice isn’t going to get it done. He’ll make up for it tomorrow. So I’m not sure how many play. We haven’t discussed that. We’ll discuss it tonight."

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