March 25, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN - Auburn figures to be all business when spring practice starts Wednesday.
The Tigers, who are beginning spring work later than any other SEC team, have jammed their 15 practices in a 24-day period culminating with the A-Day Game on April 20. That's a lot of learning in a short time, but, "I don't think that's a problem," says defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.
Neither does offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
"We'll be smart this spring," he said. "We're not going to wear out our six wide receivers, we're not going to kill our two running backs or quarterbacks.
"We have some other guys, anyway. This is a great opportunity for them to show they can contribute."
The advantage of delaying the start of spring practice was to get the new coaches working from the same playbook, and for the players to get the feel for things in offseason workouts.
"It's been good for the first year because it's given us more time to learn the players a little bit and for the staff to come together and get on the same page offensively, defensively and special teams," Lashlee said. "We're definitely ready to go. The good thing is once it gets going it happens pretty quickly. The carryover should be a little bit better."
Johnson said the depth chart is "in pencil right now."
"I think there will be pretty good competition on every spot on the field," he said. "I'm optimistic because we have good depth right now. I don't think, in the last 12 years, I've seen this many decent bodies lined up at every position. At lot of springs you don't have much depth, but that's not a problem. I think we'll have a good, physical spring practice because of it."
SEC spring schedules
(from conference office)
|School||Practice Begins||Spring Game||Pro Day|
|Alabama||March 16||April 20||March 13|
|Arkansas||March 10||April 20||March 15|
|Auburn||March 27||April 20||March 5|
|Florida||March 13||April 6||March 12|
|Georgia||March 2||April 6||March 21|
|Kentucky||March 18||April 13||March 21|
|LSU||March 14||April 20||March 27|
|Ole Miss||March 17||April 13||March 7|
|Mississippi State||March 21||April 20||March 6|
|Missouri||March 12||April 20||March 7 & March 21|
|South Carolina||March 5||April 13||March 27|
|Tennessee||March 9||April 20||March 20|
|Texas A&M||March 2||April 13||March 8|
|Vanderbilt||March 15||April 13||March 22|