Saturday, March 29, 2014
Friday, March 28, 2014
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Yeah, I know it's a computer generated response, and not really an actual letter from Coach Malzahn to yours truly. Still, it's what each of you can expect when you visit the SEC Network homepage, and ask your local carrier to become a member of the SEC Network broadcast team. Below is a copy of the letter.
As a passionate and loyal fan of Auburn and the Southeastern Conference, I want to thank you for your commitment to the SEC Network. There's no doubt we're doing something really special here. Through the SEC Network you'll have access to 1,000 exclusive live events and 24/7 coverage of all SEC sports.
In addition to your support, I'm also hoping you'll be willing to help us spread the word. The more people who sign up at GetSECNetwork.com, the greater the chance we'll have of getting all TV provider's to broadcast our games. So please, tell your friends and co-workers to go to GetSECNetwork.com and call their provider today demanding the SEC Network before the 2014 season kicks-off.
The SEC Network is a must for all Auburn and SEC fans.
Thank you and War Eagle!
Head Football Coach, Auburn University
Head Football Coach, Auburn University
|Winter? What winter?|
This Saturday, the first real scrimmage of the 2014 spring session will take place. Your Auburn Tigers will look to separate the wheat from the chaff as it were, as these are the real tests of who starts to create a distance between themselves and their competition.
Not that any starters will be named, it is way too early for that. This Saturday represents the first taste of actual football the team will enjoy since the last defensive stand of the BCS Championship game.
The key positions that are truly up for grabs are embroiled in some really interesting battles. The first of which is at left tackle, where Greg Robinson once toiled his trade. Robinson will represent Auburn well in the NFL, and hopefully, he remains healthy enough to have a prosperous career.
Robinson spent most of last season as a part of the unit that led the country in yardage per game running the football. Auburn averaged 328.29 yards in each contest, at a remarkable 6.3 yards per carry. The individual who wins the starting job at left tackle this year, will have to be as adept at pass blocking as he is at run blocking.
Auburn's offense should be a masterful mix of pass and run, with the explosive ability to score from anywhere on the field. We covered the Wide Receivers earlier in our "Looking Forward" series. Click on the link to see that post.
While it's true that we will not be privy to what happens inside Jordan-Hare this Saturday, we can rest our hope in this; This team is hungry, and they are focused. Comforting thoughts so far away from the kickoff of the 2014 season. The Tigers are hosting Arkansas on August 30th.
The following is a letter from Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to the fans of the team. He has been embroiled in a battle about his franchise team name and logo. A name and logo that was chosen by Native Americans in the first place.
March 24, 2014
To Everyone in our Washington Redskins Nation:
Several months ago I wrote you about my personal reflections on our team name and on our shared Washington Redskins heritage. I wrote then – and believe even more firmly now – that our team name captures the best of who we are and who we can be, by staying true to our history and honoring the deep and enduring values our name represents.
In that letter, I committed myself to listening and learning from all voices with a perspective about our Washington Redskins name. I’ve been encouraged by the thousands of fans across the country who support keeping the Redskins tradition alive. Most – by overwhelming majorities – find our name to be rooted in pride for our shared heritage and values.
“There are Native Americans everywhere that 100% support the name,” Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians Chairwoman Mary L. Resvaloso told me when I came to visit her tribe. “I believe God has turned this around for something good.” She told me that it was far more important for us to focus on the challenges of education in Native American communities. I listened closely, and pledged to her that I would find ways to improve the daily lives of people in her tribe.
What would my resolve to honoring our legacy mean if I myself—as the owner of and a passionate believer in the Washington Redskins—didn’t stay true to my word? I wanted and needed to hear firsthand what Native Americans truly thought of our name, our logo, and whether we were, in fact, upholding the principle of respect in regard to the Native American community.
So over the past four months, my staff and I travelled to 26 Tribal reservations across twenty states to listen and learn first-hand about the views, attitudes, and experiences of the Tribes. We were invited into their homes, their Tribal Councils and their communities to learn more about the extraordinary daily challenges in their lives.
“I appreciated your sincerity to learn about our culture and the real-life issues we face on a daily basis,” Pueblo of Zuni Governor Arlen Quetawki told us after we toured his reservation. “I look forward to working together with you to improve the lives of Native Americans in any way possible."
The more I heard, the more I’ve learned, and the more I saw, the more resolved I became about helping to address the challenges that plague the Native American community. In speaking face-to-face with Native American leaders and community members, it’s plain to see they need action, not words.
Yes, some tribes are doing well. And in our candid conversations, we learned that we share so much with Indian country. We find their appreciation of history, legacy, caring for their elders and providing a better future for their youth inspirational and admirable.
But the fact is, too many Native American communities face much harsher, much more alarming realities. They have genuine issues they truly are worried about, and our team’s name is not one of them. Here are just a few staggering, heartbreaking facts about the challenges facing Native Americans today:
-- The official poverty rate on reservations is 29 percent, as determined by the U.S. Census.
36 percent of families with children are below the poverty line on reservations, compared with
9 percent of families nationally. Jobs are scarce, and so is genuine opportunity.
-- Rampant diabetes, alcohol and drug abuse, violence, and heightened suicide rates afflict Native American youth, adults, and veterans. Life expectancies in high poverty Native American communities are the lowest anywhere in the Western Hemisphere—except for Haiti.
-- Tribal reservations can lack even the most basic infrastructure that most Americans take for granted. For example, according to the independent, highly respected Millennium Project, 13 percent of Native American households have no access to safe water and/or wastewater disposal, compared with just 0.6 percent in non-native households. Similarly, 14 percent of homes on Native American reservations have no electricity, compared to just 1 percent among non-native households. It is hard to build for a better tomorrow without the basic needs of today.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Monday, March 24, 2014
What a tremendous weekend series the girls had at home entertaining MSU. Off to the best start in school history, the Tigers are playing some great ball.
Coach Clint Myers has led this team to their second straight SEC series win.
These Tigers have outscored their opponents by 296 - 81 an incredible margin. At 28-5-1 and 4-2 in the conference, Auburn has clawed its way into the national rankings at 21st in the nation.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014
In this interview with the Auburn beat writers, Coach Lashlee seems like he is much more confident in the ability of the offense and its personnel. I heard everything he said, like most of you are, I am pleased there will be a more resolved effort to control the ball. Meaning there will be fewer turnovers.
Several times last season, and indeed in the BCS Championship, Auburn had critical turnovers, that had a negative impact on the game for the Tigers.
That is not all I am seeing and hearing in this interview. I sense an air of confidence, a swagger if you will, that this team has the ability to achieve something extraordinary on the field next season.
The passing game is going to be better. They have worked on the finer points of the QB position with Nick Marshall and Jeremy Johnson. Things like footwork, ball placement, and timing are crucial for any QB to reach his highest potential. I believe that we are about to see some of the very best QB play we may have ever seen on the Plains.
That would be worth seeing, and I for one am anxious to see the results.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Auburn's Athletic Director Jay Jacobs announced yesterday that Bruce Pearl was chosen to be the next basketball coach for the ailing program. Jacobs had been derided by many fans and alum alike as early as a year ago. What Jay Jacobs has done is respond with a show of force. Not toward the fans, instead, for the fans.
It started with the hiring of a proven women's basketball coach in Terry Williams-Flournoy. Then it quickly snowballed in the hiring of a new football coach in Gus Malzahn, proven winners in their respective fields Clint Myers for the softball program, and Sunny Galloway for baseball.
With the hiring of Pearl, Jacobs has sent a message to the rest of the country. Auburn University will not take a backseat to anyone. Auburn will be able to compete with anyone in any sport, and be able to contend for championships!
The hiring of Pearl has energized a frustrated fan base, and immediately brought excitement to a disenchanted student section. Here some videos from various sites starting with the arrival of Coach Pearl. Click on the highlighted links if the video does not come up for you.
Start by checking what our friends at The War Eagle Reader have on ESPN's show PTI about Pearl.
From Jason Caldwell
Then Coach Pearl was announced as the new Men's Basketball coach at Auburn University. Video is by Bryan Mathews
Sunday, March 16, 2014
|Great teams can reach great heights.|
Recently we here at ATB have entered into a partnership with the facebook team at ALL THINGS AUBURN. We are excited about the new found partnership, and all the possibilities that are in front of us. Together ATB and ALL THINGS AUBURN will become a powerful duo that will continue bringing you unique Auburn insight, and opinion on all of your favorite Auburn teams.
As we strive to move forward, we promise that we will keep on promoting every aspect of Auburn University, and the great family fan base that this wonderful institution has.
There will be some changes in our appearance, although we promise there will never be any changes in our mission to bring you the very best and positive outlook on all parts of our favorite university.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
|LET THE SEARCH BEGIN|
Jay Jacobs dismissed Auburn's basketball coach, Tony Barbee immediately following the opening round loss in the SEC tournament. Barbee was 0-4 in the conference tournament, and had a losing record each season while he was at Auburn.
Whether you agree with the decision to go in a different direction or not makes no difference at this point. The time has come to move on, and the search for Barbee's replacement has begun. Just who will be in contention for the job is anybody's guess. One thing for certain, Auburn has a unique position when it comes to the name on the top of that list. Bruce Pearl.
Auburn's Associate A.D. of compliance Dave Didion, was on the NCAA infractions committee that investigated Pearl for NCAA violations while at Tennessee. I won't go into the charges here, it's old news. Pearl has paid his price for the infractions, and will have his "show cause" lifted in August. Well ahead of the start of the basketball season.
Jay Jacobs is said to be the sole person in the search for the new basketball coach.Without a doubt Dave Didion has all the inside information on the Pearl case. Some of which, I am sure can not be disclosed even to Jacobs. That should not be a problem for Jay Jacobs. He only needs to ask Mr. Didion one question. Do I have a thumbs up on pursuing Bruce Pearl for the Auburn basketball job?
We will all know the answer soon enough.
Friday, March 14, 2014
Thursday, March 13, 2014
|photo by Klell Lawrence|
I saved this one for last, because it is by far the most talked about position of the Auburn defense the last 5 or 6 years. Linebackers are a special breed, and it takes a certain mentality to want to be a linebacker.
Gone are the days of old when a linebacker was a run stopper with a mean streak as wide as the gap in his front teeth. The position carries so much more responsibility now, that just being good at filling the line of scrimmage is not enough. He must be very good at pass coverage, reading screen passes, and recognizing end around runs, and the ever worrisome reverse.
Auburn returns Kris Frost at the Mike. Frost shared starting duties with the now graduated Jake Holland. Frost it seems is the man in the middle, but Coach Johnson has stated that he was going to "mix things up a bit" this Spring so that we can be more versatile next season. Frost will work some at the outside linebacker spot where Cassanova McKinzy is the returning starter. This should be something to keep an eye on this Spring.
Our Tigers also return JaViere Mitchell, Justin Garrett, Kenny Flowers, Anthony Swain, Daniel Pond, Cameron Toney, and Grant Smith. The new recruits consist of Tre Williams, and De'Shaun Davis. That's eleven players for two spots on the field. If the coaches can find enough good players to step up, the rotation could go 3 deep at each position. A luxury not seen at Auburn in at least the last 7 football seasons.
I see much improved play at these positions simply because they will be playing the exact same defense with the exact same coach as last season. Another luxury not seen at Auburn in several years. This is certainly the two positions most critical for depth to be forged this spring.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
|Toomer's Corner. photo by Tiffany Pyle|
Oh boy! This is excitement that I have for this particular unit on the defense going into the 2014 season. There will finally be a tremendous amount of depth for all of the DB positions. This will only promote better play from all of these guys.
The returning Tigers are Jonathan Jones, Jonathon Mincy, Jermaine Whitehead, Joshua Holsey, Mack VanGorder, Mackenroe Alexander, Khari Harding, Robenson Therezie, T.J. Davis, Brandon King, Trent Fisher, Kamryn Melton, Adam Dyas, Luke Ebbesmeyer, and Jonathan Ford, who may play at RB also.
Auburn signed an impressive class of DB's this past recruiting cycle. They are; Derrick Moncrief, Stanton Truitt, Nick Ruffin, Kalvaraz Bessent, Stephen Roberts, and Joseph Turner. This signing class of DB's is probably the highest rated of any class ever at Auburn. This group has tremendous potential along with size and speed, look for some of these guys to earn playing time this season.
Even though Auburn finished 102nd in total pass defense last season, no other area of the team improved more last season than the men playing here. Even after the dismissal of the 2012 leading tackler Demetruce McNeal, and the complete gutting these guys took to injuries.
The Tigers secondary amassed 12 interceptions last season, vs. in 2012 where they had only 2. With another year in the same system, and with the same coaches for a second year, look for continued improvement. Cassanova McKinzy had the other INT.
Opponents will have to pass more often against this Auburn secondary, especially if everything goes according to plan on the offensive side of the ball. The Tigers adversary each week should be trailing late in the game, and that will force more passing situations against our defense. Plus the thoughts of our defensive front being better able to stop the run on 1st down will put more teams behind the curve and create more passing downs throughout the game. All adding up to more opportunities for these DB's to create turnovers.
|Gabe Wright & Dee Ford. photo courtesy of Auburn University|
I love to talk football, especially with people that truly enjoy the game. I recently had such a discussion with a gentleman while we were at a family gathering. We both agreed that the game is won in the trenches. What he didn't realize was, Auburn didn't lose every good player along the defensive front when Dee Ford finished his Senior season.
I smiled when he asked if Auburn signed any good players for our defensive front. Let's take a look and see what our Tigers will bring to the discussion this fall.
Gus Malzahn and company signed 6 new faces to the defensive line. Justin Thornton, Dontavius Russell, DaVonte Lambert, Andrew Williams, Devaroe Lawrence, and Raashed Kennion. All highly rated, and highly sought after recruits, that will try to make their way into the rotation.
Returning players are; Montravius Adams, Gimel President, Keymiya Harrell,Ben Bradley, Jeff Whitaker, Carl Lawson, Jackson Thomas, Chase Robison, Gabe wright, Tyler Nero, JaBrian Niles, Reid Brooks, Aaron Garrison, Elijah Daniel, Angelo Blackson, and Brian Walsh.
Last season defensive line coach Rodney Garner and defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson devised a plan to rotate as many players as they could without losing production from this group. Coach Garner must have been happy with the improvement by the defensive line from Washington State last season to the team that took the field vs FSU in the final BCS Championship.
Gabe Wright led the way at the Tackle position with 8.5 tackles for loss (TFL) With a proven interior, and star studded ends, this looks to be one of the better groups on the team. Maybe ranked just behind the WR position on offense, when compared to experience and sheer numbers.
Keymiya Harrell is coming off a knee injury and did not play last season. Chase Robison is the transfer from Texas Tech, and has not played a single down of college football. These two young men are going to be the wild cards in an already stacked deck.
With all of this experience returning, and a second year in this system, the first for any member of this Auburn defense, look for the run stopping production to improve. Last season Auburn finished ranked 63rd in the country vs. the run allowing 4.60 yards per carry.
An improvement into the Top 20 in the run defense category would be the single most helpful improvement this defense could make. This would allow for more three and out series vs. their opponents, and set up more pass defense plays for a secondary that improved drastically from the season before. More on them later.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
|The brick wall that Auburn needs to develop defensively in 2014|
It's no secret that Auburn must improve defensively, to consistently remain atop the SEC in 2014. A second year against the Defensive Coordinators in this league usually means the offense will have a more difficult time against league defenses that will be better prepared. With that in mind, lets look at the Auburn defense, and how it can help keep Auburn in the games where the offense runs into difficulties.
The Tigers defense of 2013 ranked 47th in scoring defense, 63rd in rushing defense, 102nd in passing defense, and 87th overall in total defense. The need for improvement is clear, when looking at those same numbers in conference standing, it's not much better.
Of the 6 SEC West teams, 5 were ranked above Auburn in the Total Defense category according to cfbstats.com and yet the Tigers were able to win the West and capture the conference title. Imagine how dominant Auburn could be if they could play defense ranked among the Top 25 teams on defense and keep that explosive offense.
Auburn allowed 117 first downs via the run game and 151 by the passing game.
We will break this down in three parts, and try to dissect where the key improvements need to be made, and look at the personnel involved with each position. Since my philosophy is that every game is won or lost in the trenches, that's where we will start. Next time.