March 28, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN — Ellis Johnson's new 4-2-5 Auburn defense features more defensive backs and fewer linebackers than most schemes.
The "2" in the 4-2-5? Linebackers.
That's down one from last season's Auburn's defense, but that's OK with Kris Frost. The redshirt sophomore who has a chance to start at linebacker was impressed with how Auburn's defense performed when the Tigers began spring practice Wednesday.
"I love the defense," Frost said. "The 4-2-5 defense is great. It really gives you a lot of freedom, a lot of space to roam, a lot of freedom to blitz and do various things.
"Coach Johnson has great ideas. And it just makes it fun. I'm seeing everyone have a lot more fun. We're all getting excited and hyped up on the sidelines. Of course, when you're successful, you'll have fun, and the first practice was successful. We did some really good stuff. We had our linebackers knowing where to go and what to do."
Frost's Auburn career hit an immediate speed bump. He was injured as a freshman and was redshirted. He backed up veteran Daren Bates last season and finished with five tackles, including three in the season-finale against Alabama.
Frost says he wants to do more. So do the other linebackers. But there's one less starting linebacker spot now.
"Sometimes you really have to set aside the competition and really focus on learning your position," Frost said. "In the spring, anything goes. There's no position that is set a stone. We could move three times in one spring, just like I did last year. It's something where you can look at a lot of different guys and see how they play."
Frost and the rest of the defense — and the offense, for that matter — hit the field in full-speed mode Wednesday. Auburn is off Thursday, but figures to be in overdrive when practice resumes Friday.
Frost likes the pace of practice.
"It's fun. It's a new dynamic. Last year wasn't nearly as fast," he said.
The first practice, he said, was encouraging.
"We did a lot better than expected, running and off the field. But workouts for the spring got us prepared for it. We were just ready to get after it. I felt we did really well," Frost said.
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