AUBURN, Ala. — The Tigers practiced in pads for the first time on Friday afternoon. There was no media viewing period, but defensive coordinator Kevin Steele spoke with the media following the workout. Steele began by saying that players returned to Auburn in good shape and have had a good attitude.
Junior Tre Williams said on Thursday that Steele is simplifying information for his players and the coaching change has been going well. Steele echoed those sentiments, explaining that the challenge of learning a new play book is difficult (regardless of if players are competing at the high school, college, or pro level). Says Steele: “Of course the playbook they were in, the playbook that we have is from the same family tree, and so there’s a lot of similarities [so] that helps in some areas.
Improvements have been made over the first few days, but the biggest emphasis? Steele said the Auburn’s biggest challenge is developing their mental toughness.
- DB Joshua Holsey opened up about battling back from a second ACL tear.
- Tray Matthews admitted to the media that he had two torn labrums in 2015, and had two surgeries four weeks apart in the offseason.
What we know:
- Miami (Ohio) transfer Marshall Taylor was not at practice on Friday. Steele responded to questions from the media by repeatedly saying those questions were going to be answered by head coach Gus Malzahn.
- Josh Holsey, who has been taking most of his reps at nickel and corner, says he expects to play those positions throughout the season.
- Holsey said the intensity of secondary coach Wesley McGriff is helping the unit become one of the best Holsey has seen in his time at Auburn.
- Holsey On McGriff’s coaching technique: “He knows what he’s talking about, and coaching in the NCAA and the NFL, he has a lot of experience. He kind of doesn’t really give us just one style of play. He kind of gives us a lot of techniques, and he kind of wants us to use those, which fits us best. He’s not really a robotic coach.”
Quote of the day:
“Going into that game, I really didn’t know what I was going to do. I saw him coming and I was, like, it was kinda like a business decision because I didn’t want to pop my shoulder all the way out of place and miss the whole season. I was like, ‘OK, let me hit him up high and try to grab him and bring him down.’ I actually jumped too high. My adrenaline was running. I’ve got healthy shoulders now, so you know, we’ll see what happens this year. ” — Tray Matthews, discussing his notorious hit on LSU’s Leonard Fournette last year.