Aug. 2, 2014
Kris Frost gets ready during the first day of fall practice at Auburn
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Kris Frost has the experience, the tackles and the know-how to suggest he'll be a starting linebacker this season.
"But we're not in the first game yet," he cautions, "so as of right now, it's all about getting better."
Auburn started fall football practice Friday with six returning defensive starters. Officially, Kris Frost isn't one of them. But he played a lot last season, to the tune of the fifth most tackles on the team, and he figures to join Cassanova McKinzy to make up Auburn's starting linebacker duo.
Frost says the defense grew last season, its first under coordinator Ellis Johnson, and said he expects more improvement in Year Two. Even by the end of last season, Frost said, "we felt like we could just play loose and play fast. It feels even better now. We all feel like vets. We have all been there before and we’re just making strides really."
Frost started one game last season, yet finished with 59 tackles, six of them for a loss.
Frost said he already feels more comfortable this fall "as far as how I move around and how my thought process plays out, pre-snap read as well as while the play is going on."
"It's not all about knowing a play and running a play. There are a lot of components that go into it. It's pre-snap recognition, going back to watching film and knowing what their tendencies are.
"When the ball is snapped, the pre-snap read is already giving you an idea of what will happen, so you kind of have a list, so when it does happen, you're ready for it. You play fast and you don't have to worry about thinking during a play."
Frost said Auburn is ready.
"The first day went great. Everybody is on track as far as their responsibilities and knowing what all we’re supposed to do makes us feel like we have more control over practice and control of the defense," he said. "I can definitely speak for the linebackers when I say it was a great day for all of us."
There's playing with McKinzy, which he did a lot of last year. Frost said the other linebackers are poised to make an impact, too.
"Having guys into the mix like Javiere Mitchell and Anthony Swain and Kenny Flowers also. We have different guys coming in and out and being able to not miss a beat and not miss calls and making sure we’re on track with everything."
Swain missed spring practice because of injury. He's back and "surprisingly, it seemed like he didn’t miss a beat," Frost said. "I’m pretty sure he worked outside of spring while he wasn’t around. He looked good. He looked focused and everything seemed good. You get to the point where us vets know how to practice and how to handle certain situations in practice. It’s just all about maturing and I feel like we have done a great job with that so far."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine