Tuesday, March 10, 2015
A New Day: Again
Today March 10th, 2015, Auburn University will start the long journey toward the College Football Championship.
Spring practices begin, and with that several key areas worth watching are:
Linebacker. With new coach Lance Thompson, the former coach at Alabama, and new Defensive Coordinator Will Muschamp there will be a steep learning curve for all the returning players. This will be the most intense spring and summer they will have faced while at Auburn. Muschamp will demand their very best, and all of their effort.
Defensive Line. Two highly rated young men return from injury, and several highly recruited new faces will work to establish a formidable defensive front, a long standing Auburn tradition. The 2014 Tigers never really developed into a cohesive unit, that could develop pressure on the QB and stop the run consistently. Look for big changes here, as the new mentality of Will Muschamp, and the passionate drive of Coach Rodney Garner turn this group into one of the most improved in the country.
Quarterback: Of course we have to mention this position simply because Nick Marshall has left to take his talents to the NFL. I really can not see anyone taking the job away from Jeremy Johnson, although Sean White is a beast! As Ohio State shown last season, you need three guys to be ready when called upon. This season, Auburn will have more than three quality QB's if needed. This may be Rhett Lashlee's best group, and his biggest test to date.
Offensive Line. Last season our Tigers fought with injuries along the front, and the chemistry was not the best at times. There is a ton of talent on the O line, and plenty of depth. Auburn must hope that the injury bug is not as severe in 2015. Then, these guys can develop into one of the better units in the league.
There are some other interesting areas to watch. Running Backs, Wide Outs, and Defensive Backs will have some interesting stories. Which players will provide the most dependability is the key with these three positions.
What we outlined above are the critical areas as I see them. With the addition of three new defensive coaches, our Tigers are going to have a lot to learn, and a short time to impress, if they want to play on Saturdays in Jordan-Hare Stadium.