March 26, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN - New Auburn coach Gus Malzahn laid out his spring practice goals as easy as you please Wednesday.
One. Two. Three. Here we go toward the first day of spring practice on Wednesday.
One, he said during his first spring press conference, "We've got to give our edge back, that's physically and mentally tougher. We're going to be very physical during spring practice. We're going to have our pads on, we're going to be getting after it with the basic fundamentals of football. Also, we're going to stress the discipline on the field. That's a big part of what we're doing."
Two, he said, he wants "player understanding of our base offense and defense. I think that's very critical. We want our guys, when they leave spring, to have a very good understanding of our base offense and defense. The reason being, this summer, we want them to build upon things and not to develop bad habits.
Three, Malzahn said he wants a "two-deep depth chart. All positions are open. We want to leave spring with a depth chart early."
Malzahn said some players could be moved to new positions, if necessary, though he didn't speculate on such moves.
Two players have already moved on. Fullback/H-Back Blake Burgess plans to graduate early. Defensive back Erique Florence has left the team for what Malzahn said was personal reasons. Malzahn said Florence hasn't been with the team this spring. Malzahn wished them well.
Malzahn said he believes the players are ready for a new start.
"I can tell they're excited and hungry, and that's very important for our staff," he said. "We're a work in progress. We know that. We understand it. But there is nothing better than getting out there and improving each day."
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