AUBURN - Several of Auburn's assistant coaches met with the media following Wednesday night's practice. Here's what wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor had to say.
Why are you guys having so much trouble on bubble screens?
"Obviously the blocking on the perimeter's got to change and there's some things we do offensively to help ourselves with that, alignment wise. A lot of intricacies that go into that. But the biggest deal is put guys in position who can block, size-wise. Obviously you want speed but when it comes to blocking the perimeter, you want to have guys who have the size advantage. We're in a mismatch with an outside backer on Travante Stallworth. I'm asking him to do something he can't do. That's not his fault. Just when you pace, when you're going fast, we got caught a couple times. That'll improve."
How excited ia Quan Bray to get a chance this week?
"Quan is always excited. I don't know if you've ever been around him. The guys in the room are always trying to settle him down. The kid loves football. He'd do it all day. Unfortunately, you have class and weights and other things that go along with it. But if it was up to him he'd do football all day. But he's a great kid. Very excited. He understands football. He played quarterback, which helps there. I"m looking forward to seeing how he's going to do."
What's your confidence level in him?
"I feel really good. I trust him because he works hard and you got to trust what you see in practice. And I know you can't simulate a game but it's as close as you can, but he has done phenomenal. We contemplated putting him back before with two returners at a time."
Talk about how he has handled his personal problems
"To get the hand that was dealt to that kid. For him to make straight A's in that semester and doing well right now, and then to continue to play and not redshirt. He's phenomenal. Kid has great character. His family really has supported him and obviously the Auburn family. I think we talk about this kind of being his refuge.
"He and I discussed, we were just talking about my father passing away. I can tell him the exact time - it was 9/27 at 4:36 p.m. - I was 12 on the practice field. I told him that, and he can remember when he got the phone call. When you step between those lines, you're able to block some of those things out because everybody's equal. There's no qualms, no concerns other than what do I do on this play."
Talk about the job Emory Blake is doing.
"Emory's done a great job. I think a lot of it is carry over from last year. I think he got to see what great was like, working with Darvin and Cam and Mario, all those guys, T Zach...Work habits and tempo and he bought into that. He saw how important it was. Some people think two yards outside the hash is not a big deal...it is a big deal to this offense because spacing and timing and all those things make a difference. Emory's one of those guys who has a knack for that. He also understands the big picture - when I have chance to make a play, I have to make that play. While most people look at that as pressure, he looks at it as opportunity. That's not something you can teach. Some guys have that, some guys don't. I think that's a testament to growing up in a football family."
You have a new towel?
"No, it's been all year. It's TNG. I switch it up every year. It's just Tradition Never Graduates. That's what it stands for. I want these to guys understand. Players leave, tradition never does. You build your own legacy play by play and day by day. Ryan Smith, the stop on the goal line. Everybody's going to remember that.
"The towel started with me in high school and I've carried it everywhere I go. All that changes is the address and the hair line. And the waist line, but that's gravity - nothing I can do about that.
Do you sew?
"Actually I design them and I get them made. My sewing is not very good and my wife says she's not my maid. It doesnt' work like that at my house. I don't drive the train, I just take the tickets."