Spring Practice 2013 – Making Better Auburn Football Players
“We are going to be very physical during spring practice. We are going to be getting after it with the basic fundamentals of football. We are going to stress discipline on the field,” Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn.
Speaking at his first spring press conference on Tuesday, the coach added, “I told our players today we have to get our edge back (to get) physically and mentally tougher.”
That has to be good news to the ears of the Auburn faithful. If there was anything that was apparent during Auburn’s disastrous 2012 season it was a lack of discipline, toughness, and basic football fundamentals.
Today begins the rebirth of a once proud football program. The Tigers start spring practice at 8 a.m. this morning. Work begins in earnest to remove the frustration of the worst football season in over 50 years and restore the Tigers to being a championship contender.
All the coaches seem to be not only excited but confident about the opportunity. Offensive Coordinator Rhett Lashlee said yesterday, “Coaching is taking a kid to a place maybe he couldn’t go on his own. Bottom line, as we go into spring ball … you have to develop them and get them as good as they can possibly be.”
Ah, player development. Could that be the key component to returning to winning football? It’s certainly right up there with discipline, toughness, and sound football fundamentals. And it has certainly been lacking the last couple of years.
More on making better players along with a video of Coach Malzahn’s press conference after the jump:
Truth is, work on shaping players to be tougher both physically and mentally has already began in the weight room. That’s why Coach Malzahn delayed the start of spring camp so that Strength Coach Ryan Russell could get the players in condition.
And they will need to be in condition to be prepared for the fast and physical camp promised by Malzahn. Daily practices will start at 8 a.m. and at 10:00 a.m. Saturdays.
In addition, he has made it clear that “all” positions will have to be earned. No one comes to camp as a starter or as a key backup; which means players will be pushing each other for a starting roll.
If he can deliver on his goals of discipline, toughness, sound football, and player development – the Tigers may be back sooner than many expect.
As Lashlee said, “That’s why they call us ‘Coach.’ We got to, obviously, install the system … but (first) we’ve got to make them better football players.”
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Video of Coach Malzahn spring press conference: