Early practice notes, Day 2: Gus Malzahn visits QBs

Aug. 3, 2013

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Gus Malzahn has a few words for the team at Auburn's practice Saturday (Todd Van Emst photo)

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Gus Malzahn, head coach at Auburn University, likes to visit every position in practice. One of his first stops Saturday was a familiar spot: The quarterbacks. He was an interested observer, but shelved any hands-on coaching during the portion of practice that was open to the media. 

Auburn's early quarterback drills included handoffs to the likes Corey Grant, Peyton Barber and Cameron Artis-Payne

What's that mean? Nothing. 

Kiehl Frazier, Jonathan Wallace, Nick Mashall, Jeremy Johnson and Tucker Tuberville were all throwing for the coach.

Covering kicks 

Special teams coordinator Scott Fountain had access to much of the team for a how-to drill on how to cover kicks. 

Returning the football 

Nine players were getting a look at returning kicks and/or punts. They were Jonathan Jones, Ricardo Louis, Corey Grant, Johnathan Ford, Tre Mason, Trovon Reed, Chris Davis, Marcus Davis and Quan Bray.

Former Auburn CB takes in practice, remembers how it was

John Wiley was a long way from home but felt at home Saturday at Auburn’s second practice of the preseason.

Wiley, who finished his career as an Auburn cornerback in 1990, is the athletic director and defensive coordinator at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento, Calif. He was visiting with his son Jared. 

As Auburn players went through their warmups, Wily recalled what it was like in his day. 

“We’d be about on our third practice by now,” Wiley said. “We had four a day. You didn’t have time to do anything but practice, eat and sleep.” 

There were few rules limiting the amount of time coaches could demand. At Auburn, which was on the quarter system, classes didn’t start until late September. The coaches had the players for as long as they wanted them.

Wiley was part of three straight SEC championship teams  1987-1989. 

“We had a lot of great players,” he said. “It was a great time.” 

Bray expects better things for 2013 Tigers

Jayson Bray, junior Auburn wide receiver Quan Bray’s cousin, also was on hand to watch Saturday’s package in shorts and helmets. Bray, also a cornerback, finished his career in 1996. 

“I think this year is going to be a lot better than last year,” Bray said. “I can’t wait to see it.” 

— Charles Goldberg and Phillip Marshall