March 30, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN — There were all kinds of drills early, but Auburn finished its first day in pads Saturday with extended 11-on-11 work in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Was it serious?
"It was tackle football," said coach Gus Malzahn.
It was also fast and it was physical, and it wasn't perfect, not on the third day of spring practice.
"We really strained them. It was good for us as coaches to see how they responded in different situations," Malzahn said. "It was the first chance to see blocking and tackling and everything that goes with that. We've got a long way to go. That's what I told the players."
Malzahn said the players still don't have the fast tempo down.
"I thought there were some guys who really tried to and there were guys who have a long way to go," Malzahn said. "A lot of them are in shock with everything how fast, the pace and everything that goes with that. Fatigue is a factor. We have to get them in our playing shape. But I believe our guys want to do that."
Malzahn said the defense impressed at times.
"I'm very proud of those guys in the way they handled the pace," he said.
The offense tried to stay steady, relying on the fact many players were with Malzahn at Auburn two years ago when he was the offensive coordinator.
"But even the guys who were, it's an adjustment. They were use to huddling up last year. We're still getting back in the flow," he said.
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