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Monday, August 4, 2014

Chemistry & Other Notes

Team chemistry is always a crucial thing for any sport. Guys don't have to be best of friend, but they do have to work together as one to get the team where it ultimately wants to be, a champion.

This past week we found out that Auburn had lost Alex Kozan, an All-SEC offensive lineman, for the entire season. This was not the type of devastating news that brings despair to this Auburn team, although every single member of this team feels for Kozan. 

Yes, it hurts to lose such a key player in an offense that is more complex than what you see at first glance. There is ample experience at his backup position, and plenty of talent beyond that. The real problem lies in the what if. What if another starting lineman were to suffer a season ending injury? What if there were more than one? We saw this phenomena last season with Florida and Georgia.

The only caveat of good news is that it happened now, instead of at the end of fall camp. At least now, we have a full three weeks to bring a couple more players up to speed. 

Last night I watched the Top 3 games of 2013 according to the fans on ESPNU. I know I wasn't alone, because twitter assured me I wasn't. I noticed several things in those three games.
 1. We are going to miss Steven Clark. He was truly a weapon down the stretch for our Tigers. I hope he gets a chance to do the same in the NFL.
 2. In those final three games, Nick Marshall missed a lot of open receivers. If Nick can connect on most of those, Auburn will be a force untamed in college football this coming season.
 3. Cody Parkey, or Parker if you announce for CBSsports, kept most teams from having a big play in the Kickoff return game. When Parkey did kick the ball where it could be returned, it hurt us a lot. We need to work on that aspect with diligence this fall.

Defensive Coordinator Ellis Johnson has high praise for Rudy Ford so far this fall, and nothing makes me happier. Rudy gave up his dream of being a star tailback for his college team to learn a defensive back position. He played there in high school, but this is a bigger stage. Kudos to young Mr. Ford.

Don't forget that there are a group of us who are going to be praying for football players this fall. They don't have to be Auburn players. High school, other college teams, and even NFL players need prayer, so feel free to join in. We have started a new Facebook page called Prayers4Players. Come join us.
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