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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Summertime Football

While technically it is still spring, around these parts, 90 plus degrees and warm breezes mean only one thing: Summertime Football!

We will start our series of Summertime Football posts with an overall look at the program, and work our way toward the upcoming season, our opponents, and the potential to make the postseason playoffs.

The here and now.

Coaches are on tour speaking at various clubs and organizations, drumming up support and enthusiasm for Auburn football. All the while, recruiting, in one way or another, is foremost on the minds of these coaches.

All of Auburn's coaches are limited by NCAA regulations to just a few hours each week with the team during the summer. The lone exception is the strength and conditioning program.

The Tigers received commitments from several prospective student athletes for the upcoming recruiting classes. I won't rank them, or list them in any order of importance. I will say, this has the makings of another stellar group of young men.

The current team is hopefully working with each other, becoming closer, and getting better. That is the mission during the summer "Voluntary Workouts."

What I want to see.

As this team works its way to the start of the season, I want to see zero off the field problems. I want to see guys make big improvements, especially in areas we know we have little experience.

Experience as Coach Grimes says “There ain’t but one way to get experience. … and that’s to get experience, You can’t wish experience on ’em, you can’t pray experience on ’em. You got to throw them in and let them play. That’s the only way, and you’re going to have some growing pains. You just are." - ***via Justin Ferguson and SEC Country Auburn

How do "we" look.

Auburn's defense looks to be a very strong and experienced unit. Three years with the same coordinator, Kevin Steele, should pay big dividends considering the marked improvements the last two defensive unit made. This unit should truly be elite.

The offense will be in its second season under Chip Lindsey.  I look to see the maturation of Coach Lindsey's playcalling. I also hope to see some in game adjustments. Those adjustments need to be made quickly. The ability to adjust to what your opponent is doing during the game is fundamental. Championship teams can make adjustments on the fly, and not have to wait for time outs or halftime.

With the return of Jarrett Stidham, the expectations are high. The biggest concern is along the offensive line. Let's be honest here, this unit underperformed at times last season. 

The other area of concern is at the Running Back position. I have zero doubt Auburn has recruited guys who can tote the rock. Blitz recognition, and blocking in space need to improve tremendously, or there will be a lot of problems offensively.

Something inside of me believes our special teams are going to make improvements by leaps and bounds. Oh, it will be difficult to get better than Daniel Carlson, I agree. Legatron² otherwise known as Anders Carlson, the younger brother of Daniel, is expected to be the starting Kicker.

Christian Tutt is turning heads in the Kick Off return department, and the switching of special teams coordinators may help as well.

The future.

I will look into the schedule, upcoming opponents, and give you my best guess how this team will fare while facing one of the toughest schedules in all of college football.

Lets get through the summer unscathed by drama and injury. Get to fall camp with a mission in mind as a team. The future is bright, which is a very good thing. Just don't stare at the brightness, it may cause you to lose sight of the goal.

Until then,

*** Be sure to follow @JFergusonAU on Twitter

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