April 15, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN — Auburn receiver Sammie Coates isn't wasting a lot of energy looking back at last year's difficult season.
"That was last year. This is a new year. We're turning things around," Coates says.
The sophomore wide receiver will have plenty of chances to help Auburn this season. Most of the wide receiver and slot receiver catches walked out of the door with senior Emory Blake.
Time out for facts? Consider these about the wide receivers and slot receivers in 2012:
•Blake had 50 catches for 789 yards and three TDs
•Quan Bray had 14 catches for 95 yards
•Trovon Reed had 9 catches for 122 yards
•Coates had 6 catches for 114 yards and two TDs (and a wide receiver-best 19 yards per reception)
Coates, Bray and Reed return, and there should be plenty of opportunities for other receivers to catch on in Gus Malzahn's offense as well.
"Since the first practice, we've improved a lot," Coates says. "At the first practice, a lot of people were tired and out of breath. Now, you've got people energized and can stay on the field long. We're getting a whole lot better with the pace."
Coates and company are working this week's toward Saturday's 1p.m. A-Day Game in Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers will practice twice after that.
Coates said last Saturday's scrimmage in the stadium could provide momentum heading into the final practices.
"We started scoring points, making big plays like we're supposed to," he said "We started to actually start looking like a really good offense. We're going to be real good. The pace is coming along. Everything's coming along as a team."
Coates said he's still working on the depth of his pass routes.
"I want to be an all-around guy," he said. "I'm coming along as I go. I'm trying to learn the offense, trying to get up with the pace."
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