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Auburn ready to mix things up at practice

Aug. 4, 2013


Gus Malzahn talks a little football at Saturday's practice (Todd Van Emst photo)

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By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn coach Gus Malzahn's plan for the first two days of fall practice was to work his veterans together early, then work the newcomers late. 

Sunday will be different. 

"We're going to put everybody together for the first time," Malzahn said. 

Auburn will also practice in shoulder pads for the first time, though the first day in full pads is Tuesday. Still, "it will be very good for us to evaluate the guys up front." 

So far, it's been good for Malzahn. 

"Overall, I feel like our approach to practice today and our attitude and effort was good. The pace was better, and we definitely challenged our guys for that," he said. 

And he gave all four of his quarterbacks a chance to impress. 

"The two new guys did feel more comfortable," Malzahn said of Nick Marshall and Jeremy Johnson. "They were able to relax a little bit more and play football." 

Veterans Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace also took their turn. Sunday, Malzahn said, "we'll mix and match a little more than we have before." 

 Malzahn said he's looking at other candidates to play tight end after Ricky Parks was dismissed for a violation of team rules. 

"We're still working through that. We'll probably have that a little bit more defined in the next day or so," he said. 

 Malzahn said he's not worried about 1,000-yard Tre Mason, who missed most of spring practice with an ankle injury. 

"He was in our system as a freshman and did some good things. He feels very comfortable with the offense and with the communication," he said. "It may have been a blessing in disguise to get those other guys some reps. Tre knows this offense, and he feels very comfortable with it." 

 Defensive back Demetruce McNeal missed his second practice with an undisclosed injury.

"It's not anything major. We just want to make sure he's 100 percent before we get him back out there. He's a veteran guy and has a lot of experience," Malzahn said.

Charles Goldberg writes for Follow him on Twitter:



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