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Link sAUsage: 12 July 2016

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NCAA Football: SEC Media Day Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday was Auburn’s day at SEC Media Days, so today’s link dump is football only. I looked for non-football news, but I couldn’t find any.

If you’re looking for a recap of the interviews themselves, you can check out our Tweetcap/Recap from yesterday. You can also check out the interviews themselves here. For the most part, the answers to those questions served as the basis of plenty of articles about Auburn last night. Let’s hit the highlights.

Roster minutiae

With the release of the new media guide, we now have numbers for the incoming freshmen. This is always of interest to me. I think I just like to see what numbers new players choose and compare them to players that have worn those numbers in the past. Want a fun game for a gathering of multiple generations of Auburn fans? Have each of them name their favorite player to wear a certain number.

As for the numbers themselves, there are a few unused numbers. 2, 7, 34, and 88 are unused as expected, with the last 3 officially retired and the first one unofficially retired. Also unused are 26, 35, 53, 60, 74, 86, 87, 92, and 93. Though there are several incoming players that haven’t been assigned numbers yet. There are also plenty of duplicate numbers, so that “tradition” hasn’t changed.

Players

On the injury front, it looks like everyone but reserve quarterback Tyler Queen should be ready to go for fall practice. The late addition of Kamron Martin eases the situation, but it’s still good to know Auburn will have Malik Miller available for running back depth.

Marcus Davis didn’t get as much attention as Lawson and Adams at Media Days, but the official site had a good one about how Coach Malzahn thinks of him as another coach on the field. Davis is going to be a key receiver to rely on for whoever the quarterback is. The coaching staff will need to make sure to find ways to get him the ball as he attempts to leave his legacy in his final season.

Auburn players were complimentary of former defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. The one season with him was a bit tumultuous, but Adams and Lawson answered questions from South Carolina-based media well.

Coaching

Gus Malzahn focused on several things that he would like to improve over last season other than just quarterback play. He’d like to get back to playing with pace (YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU). That should go hand-in-hand with Malzahn taking a more vested interest in the offense this year rather than attempting to be a “CEO-coach”.

Malzahn also emphasized coming up short in close games. Auburn only lost two games by more than 8 points last year. While last season was still a struggle, even flipping two of those games makes 9-4, which looks a lot better than 7-6. Maybe Auburn “close-game” luck from 2010-2013 (17-4 in games closer than 8 points; it’s 13-1 if you take out 2012) is finally coming home to roost.

Auburn is also embracing the underdog role this season. I won’t spill any more virtual ink over Auburn’s record versus expectations, but it’s good that the players are embracing their situation.

Finally, Coach Malzahn downplayed the “hotseat” for this season. I tend to agree that Malzahn isn’t necessarily coaching for his job this season. Unless the bottom absolutely falls out, Auburn doesn’t need to jump into another coaching mess this off-season.

War Eagle!