April 9, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN -- It was an option built into practice at the halfway point of the spring schedule and, Monday, Gus Malzahn took advantage of it.
He canceled practice to grade video, to have players meet with their coaches and to, at least, consider a playing rotation.
"Now, we have time to have a good plan moving forward to the second part of the spring," Malzahn said.
Auburn will return to practice Wednesday, as scheduled. The canceled practice will be made up two days after the April 20 A-Day Game as a final review of his first spring as Auburn's head coach. The review at the halfway point of spring? This is what he told his players:
"We've got some good information now. I told them we ought to be able to improve greatly in the second part of spring now that we have people in specific positions."
Malzahn had to take a few minutes Monday to do some things head coaches have to do away from the meeting room. This time, it was a photo shoot for a university posters and schedule cards. He had the props: A football, headset, visor.
But he had to wonder when, for one photo, he was asked to look up and act as if he was focusing on something in the distance.
Malzahn is looking for things he can actually see, like improvement on the football field. He's hoping the first seven practices will be the groundwork for a push during the rest of the month.
"All 11 guys ought to be executing better," he said. "We'll evaluate quarterbacks and everything that goes into that. The execution part in the second part of spring should be a lot better where we can get better at evaluating the players."
Malzahn said the playing rotation will start to take shape, too.
"It'll be more than it has been in the past, but there will still be some flexibility for people to move up the depth chart. We won't make any final decisions until after the last day of spring," he said.
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