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Auburn Football Spring Practice 2016: Practice #12 Observations and Kevin Steele Press Conference

Lots of great pictures, videos, observations, and then tweets from Kevin Steele's very informative press conference following the 12th practice of the Spring.

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The Tigers were on the field again today with only one more practice day to go before this Saturday's A-Day. Below are practice observations from around the Auburn Beat and press conference details.

Pictures, Video, Observations

You have to hate hearing Tyler Queen is back in a sling. I really hope he's ok.

The position groupings are intriguing, but as noted, 1) Auburn has done a ton of different position groupings all spring long, and 2) with how closed Gus can be, it wouldn't shock me if some orders are deliberately obscured.

Of the position groupings, it's interesting to see true freshman Marlon Davidson and RS Freshman Jamel Dean getting work with the first team. Davidson was highly recruited - at one point he was a 5* before getting the "Auburn Downgrade" that some players seem to get - but it's a pleasant surprise to see him in there with the 1s this early. The defensive line is always in flux, though, as Rodney Garner likes to have 8-10 linemen he can constantly swap in and out.

As far as the returners go, Marcus Davis came on strong at the end of last season at punt returner, so that's no surprise. Roc Thomas has worked at kick returner since his freshman season, though Ricardo Louis seemed to be back there more last year with Rock injured. Rudy Ford has been there a good bit his whole career, too, and he's downright dangerous if he gets a seem.

Now here are the tweets with links to videos, observations, pictures, etc. The press conference thoughts will be below those!

Press Conference

This is normally where I say "there's a few tidbits" from a press conference because Rhett Lashlee and Gus Malzahn can be tight-lipped. Not so Kevin Steele! Kevin will drop some knowledge on you, and there's a lot of it in here about the defense and the way Spring Practice has progressed.

I love the effort talk and the emphasis on tackling, but we've heard that for years, it seems. We need to see it on the field. Hopefully the linebackers are taking Travis Williams to heart on running through the souls of the ball carriers.

Steele confirms some of the quiet talk that's been about on how Deshaun Davis has had a great Spring at linebacker. He also has great things to say about Marlon Davidson. I'm really trying not to get too excited about how good the defense could potentially be.

The statement that the defense stopped explosive plays in Saturday's scrimmage at first warrants a "well, every other team could do that last year, too" comment, but then you have to take in mind that there were reports of a few really big plays in the previous scrimmage. So this may be a good sign of progress.

As for moving players in the secondary, Auburn is trying to find a way to put the best DBs on the field that they can. You have to figure that Carlton Davis, Rudy Ford, and Tray Matthews' starting jobs are almost locked in, so where is the talent going on the depth chart when we need to spell those players or if one is injured?

The part about the defense needing to become better at communicating is concerning. It's concerning because it seems like that's been the exact same complaint made by Muschamp and Ellis Johnson before him. Tackling and communicating. Why has that become so difficult? Or is this just yet another example of coach speak?

Now to the Tweets!