Another day, another starting slot filled on the Auburn roster.
Ian Shannon, Auburn starting punter: pic.twitter.com/kwZdkTYnYM— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) August 15, 2017
The biggest hole that Gus Malzahn mentioned when he spoke to everyone at SEC Media Days has been filled. Ian Shannon was named the starting punter this afternoon, not so much winning the battle, but at least taking control of the position. Now, Daniel Carlson won’t have to serve as the punter, placekicker, and kickoff specialist. The pieces are starting to fall into place a day after Jarrett Stidham won the starting quarterback job, and things are coming together with a little over two and a half weeks left before the opener against Georgia Southern.
As for the other tidbits we were privy to from this evening, defensive coordinator Kevin Steele met with the media to talk about how his defense has progressed over the past couple of weeks. There’s a good bit to unpack from his visit.
Steele says Auburn's defense has been "very energetic" throughout practice during the first two weeks.— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) August 15, 2017
Steele: "We are a work in progress, to say the least." Still working in the young guys on defense.— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) August 15, 2017
Looks like Kevin Steele is definitely depending (rightly so) on some young guys to build depth. I believe we’ll see some freshmen get playing time early on as they did last year in big games. The good news is that the starters should mostly be experienced players, with freshmen getting time to learn and fill out the depth.
Steele said the defense has rotated a lot of young guys with the 1s and 2s. Mentioned Truesdell, Jackson, Peters and Leonard specifically.— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) August 15, 2017
Steele mentions freshman T.D. Molutry and Markaviest Bryant working w/ the 1st-team defense intermittently during this preseason. #MGMAuburn— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) August 15, 2017
‘Scuse you, that’s Big Cat Bryant. Officially.
Steele says the injuries in the secondary aren't likely to be a problem when Auburn opens the 2017 season vs. Georgia Southern. #MGMAuburn— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) August 15, 2017
Asked what he expects from Jamel Dean this season, Steele said "To be a dominant player and do his job."— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) August 15, 2017
Jamel Dean’s such an interesting case. The Ohio State transfer has unbelievable size for a cornerback (NFL size, to be honest), and if he ends up filling this role of being a dominant player and doing his job, Auburn will be hard pressed to keep him around for a good long time, as the pros will come calling.
Kevin Steele says there are 4 Auburn LBs that could play in any situation right now. Then 2 or 3 more that are ready for certain situations.— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) August 15, 2017
We’ve known that the linebackers are probably the strength of this Auburn defense. They’ve got seniors and guys that have performed very well. This should be great news that we’ve apparently got a full two-deep of starters and another string that can help out when needed.
Kevin Steele "has every reason to believe" Marlon Davidson and Andrew Williams will be ready to play Week 1.— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) August 15, 2017
All told, Kevin Steele’s defense should be pretty good this year. They were the 7th best scoring defense last year and if they reach that again with the possibilities of the explosive offense we’re expecting, things ought to be pretty nice on the Plains.
Tomorrow, we’ll get Chip Lindsey to talk about his side of the ball, expect to hear a good bit about the decision to name Stidham the starter, but hopefully we’ll get some extensive information on the offensive line and how that battle’s shaping up. Until tomorrow, War Eagle.