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Fall Scrimmage #1: Afterthoughts

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Pads, helmets, actual plays, defense, all that jazz!

The Auburn Tigers held their first scrimmage of the fall practice schedule this morning, and Gus Malzahn visited with the media right afterward to unload some of the particulars... let’s just give you the goods.

After Malzahn said he’d like to start establishing starters two weeks into practice, they’ll take the time now to assess a ton of guys. As for the offensive line, Auburn’s got a boatload of experience and some guys who’ve been really strong, but there are still a couple positions to be settled, especially with transfers Casey Dunn and Wilson Bell trying to find spots.

With the offensive line rotating so much, that could be the reason the defense was so good against the run today, even though that was a relative strength a year ago. It’s good to see that at least the first string defense has kept that up to this point.

You know what Pettway and Johnson can do, and with the way the offense really bogged down last season with Pettway injured, this is a smart move. I bet you the defense doesn’t mind not having to deal with tackling him in practice as well.

Here come the requisite bumps and bruises that you get anytime contact really starts, especially through the first couple of days when guys haven’t quite gotten their sea legs back.

From some reports, Jarrett Stidham threw a couple of interceptions, with Jamel Dean taking one back for a score.

Let’s not all panic at the same time!

Obviously when your offense and defense go against each other, one side has to win and one side has to lose. If Stidham torched the Tiger defense for five touchdowns in the scrimmage, we’d think Kevin Steele had some work to do. As it is, the reinforced emphasis on snagging turnovers this offseason seems to have worked through the first scrimmage. Looks like Jamel Dean might get to enjoy the armchair privileges for the next defensive backs meeting.

Reports are that Noah Igbinoghene (still had to look up how to spell it) has been really impressing the coaches and could be in line for a rotation spot. In seeing how Auburn’s freshman receivers ended up being some of the biggest playmakers last season, it’s not surprising they’re giving Iggy a shot during fall camp. Sounds like he’s taking advantage.

Sal Cannella’s another one of the guys in Kodi Burns’ group that sounds like he’s making waves. With Jalen Harris the likely tight end, Cannella’s been a slippery receiver that looks like he’ll be able to play in multiple positions.

Now, here’s the news we don’t really want to hear. With the way the Carl Lawson injuries derailed things for the defense in 2014 and a good portion of 2015, we’d like to believe that the “day-to-day” diagnosis is correct. Davidson’s probably not quite as important to this defense as Lawson was in those years, but he’s primed to have a fantastic sophomore year from the defensive end spot. We’ll need him healthy.

As long as we don’t lose to GSU.

Tomorrow, there’s another open viewing window for the media at practice, and then we’ll get to hear from selected players afterward. Until then, War Eagle!