|defensive linemen Craig Sanders & Corey Lemonier|
Coach - Mike Pelton
The defensive line has been the subject of many a discussion because of the lack of not only run stopping but also because of the inability to create a pass rush or generate sacks.
The D line has been woeful from the first game on despite having some very talented football players lining up on it. And let's face it the D line has regressed as the season has gone on. Defensive tackles create absolutely zero push and defensive ends tend to over-run almost every play leaving the linebackers and defensive backs to make virtually every tackle.
Lack of physical play and so many missed assignments are a direct result of coaching. Without a physical presence up front opposing offenses are executing their game plans at will.
As of this moment there doesn't seem to be anything to suggest this will change as the season continues.
Coach - Tommy Thigpen
Linebacker at Auburn has always been a position of strength and speed. That's not been the case this year. The inability to cover receivers in the flat or out of the backfield has allowed teams to methodically move up and down the field.
Also having players play out of position out of necessity does not help the situation at all. Darren Bates is truly a safety not a linebacker but has risen to the challenge time and time again. It's a shame he couldn't have played his career at safety where he would have excelled.
Poor tackling has plagued the linebacking position also. How many times have we seen a player appear to be down only to be let go and run for another 20+ yards. I'll tell you it's too many!! Lack of sacks from the linebacking position is also troubling. Getting in the backfield and then whiffing on the tackle has become much to commonplace.
The last thing I'd like to say is that I like the youth movement that is taking place in the linebacking Corp. The young guys seem hungry and although they may not make every play they are at least showing aggressiveness and a lot of potential.