Malzahn: "We put last year behind us" - WRBL

Malzahn: "We put last year behind us"

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AUBURN, Ala. -

Don't ask the Auburn Tigers about 2012.

"We put last year behind us," said head coach Gus Malzahn. "We've gotten a little mentally tougher from the time that we first got here. But when you start practice, you just start fresh and you kind of judge it day by day and how it goes. Like I told them, our goal is each day to get better."

As the Tigers begin their yo-yo of offensive styles from the spread-no-huddle to a pro-style back to Malzahn's spread-no-huddle, the new coach knows he has to take baby steps. After the team's first practice on Wednesday, Malzahn spoke several times of "learning to practice."

"With him being offensive coordinator, and having such of a fast-paced offense, it's only right that the team go that fast now," said junior defensive back Jermaine Whitehead. "I like it. With both sides moving that fast, you can't go wrong."

The task for Malzahn has been and will be re-programming players' mindsets, thrown off-kilter by a horrendous season a year ago.

"When I first got the job, it was evident we had some players with mental scars," Malzahn said. "But it's a new day, and we have good enough relationships with our guys [that] the standard's high, and we're just looking forward to the future."

The attitude permeates the team, out to prove 2012 was a fluke and a national championship was the norm, not the other way around.

"Those teams think that they ran over you last year," Whitehead said. "They have that pushover mentality in their minds about us. We have to get our edge. We can't let that happen anymore."

Auburn goes back to work Friday morning, and coordinators Rhett Lashlee and Ellis Johnson—along with Malzahn—will speak to the media.

Jonathan Huskey

Jonathan comes to News 3 from Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Ark., where he anchored weekends and reported during the week on some of the best high school sports in the state. More>>

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