Auburn assistants say chemistry is good - WRBL

Auburn assistants say chemistry is good

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AUBURN, Ala. -

Gus Malzahn was obviously less than pleased with the Tigers' second day of spring practice, but still said the team improved in its tempo and pace.

Malzahn has said there is no first team, no second team, just yet, and Rhett Lashlee said that any quarterback working with any team is completely at random.

"Every job's open," Malzahn said. "It doesn't make any difference to us whether it's a freshman, a senior or a walk-on. We're going to play the best people."

Friday was also the second day for the new Auburn coaching staff to get comfortable with their players.

"It's been a typical first few days of practice, regardless of what we're running," said defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. "We've kind of loaded them up with a lot of things, and for the most part, the retention on the field's been pretty good. We've had a lot of meeting time, a lot of film time and a lot of preparation off the field."

Both extremes are represented on Malzahn's staff. Johnson with his famous 4-2-5 defense and 30 years of experience, one more year than offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee has on this earth. The 29-year-old is in his first SEC job after following Malzahn from Arkansas State. He echoed a need for players to become comfortable with the "chaotic" pace.

"I'd like to get, really quickly, to where our coaches aren't having to coach the pace and tempo as much," Lashlee said. "We can coach more fundamentals, the X's and O's things."

The coaches are also having to get used to working with each other.

"I like to use the word ‘experience,' and not age," Johnson said, referring to the ease with which the staff has gelled. "There's a lot of coaching experience in that group, and so all of us have seen a lot of ways to do things. Personally, I don't think there's one way to do things. The Auburn way is the way to do it."

As for Lashlee on offense, there have been no issues with the younger offensive coordinator overseeing more experienced assistants.

"We're all on the same page, all moving in the same direction," he said. "Coach [Dameyune] Craig, Coach [Tim] Horton, they know exactly what we want now, they're coaching it exactly how we want it, and the five of us, I think we're doing well together."

Auburn will practice again on Saturday, at Jordan-Hare Stadium in full pads for the first time.

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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