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Nick Marshall, Jeremy Johnson impress in Auburn scrimmage

March 29, 2014

Nick Marshall looking good in Auburn's scrimmage Saturday (Lauren Barnard photo)

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Gus Malzahn came away feeling good about quarterbacks Nick Marshall and Jeremy Johnson in a Saturday scrimmage that may have reached 100 plays.  

Marshall, last year's starter who has won much praise from his teammates this spring, has impressed his head coach, too. 

"He looks more comfortable every practice. His pocket presence each time out there improves, and I thought he threw the ball well," Malzahn said. 

Of Johnson, the backup, Malzahn said, "Jeremy is a lot like Nick… good command of the offense. He can really do the checks and everything that we've asked him to do. Jeremy has had a great attitude." 

Malzahn said Johnson, a big passer, has spent more time with the run-oriented read-zone with offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. 

"I know Coach Lashlee has been pleased with him," Malzahn said. 

It was the first scrimmage of the spring, but rain changed it before it began, denying the Tigers a chance to work in Jordan-Hare Stadium. They practiced in the indoor facility. That was OK with Malzahn. Most of his practices are there, anyway. 

"It really didn't bother us a bit," he said. 

He said 60 percent of the plays were runs, and a lot of players got into the action. 

"We kind of wanted to see both sides. We let everyone play," Malzahn said. "It was fairly equal reps. It was good for us to go into the film room with the first time of a true scrimmage.  

"I thought our energy level was good. I thought it was a very physical scrimmage, which was very encouraging." 

On other topics of the day… 

On running back Corey Grant.
"He's very physical. He's one of our stronger guys in the weight room, and he's a veteran guy, too. He'll definitely be in the mix." 

On the left tackle spot being contest by Shon Coleman and Patrick Miller.
“I think it was probably equal. We have been doing that. One guy will start out at practice first and the next guy will start out practice second. Once it gets going both guys were pretty much equal. Like we’ve said, we probably won’t make a decision and may not make a decision even after spring. Both of those guys are veteran guys and we feel like both of them have a starter-type mentality and talent." 

On running back-turned-defensive back Rudy Ford.
Malzahn declared Ford had a "really good hit." 

On receiver-turned-defensive back Trovon Reed.
"The thing about Trovon is he's a veteran guy. He's been around a long time. You play receiver you've got to understand DB, you play DB you've got to understand receiver and everything that goes with it. I know knowledge wise he's got a lot of experience. It's just a matter of the little technical things. He's got a lot of reps today, and that's a good thing moving forward." 

On the depth chart (which currently doesn't exist).
"After spring, both coordinators will do that and have their plan moving forward going to fall camp before the young guys get here."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer on Follow him on Twitter:



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