Aug. 5, 2009
First Practice Gallery
Reporting Day Gallery
The 2009 Auburn football season got under way Wednesday with the first practice of fall camp on the Athletic Complex practice fields. A thunderstorm that rolled through the Auburn area mid-afternoon delayed practice by 30 minutes, but did not dampen spirits.
First-year head coach Gene Chizik was pleased with his team's first practice.
"It was a very good first day," Chizik said. "We have a lot of work to do as everybody knows, but overall I was really pleased with the outcome."
The Tigers went through a split-session practice that allowed players to receive more repetitions while keeping the work shorter and more intense. While one group was on the field, the other was in the weight room with the Tigers' strength and conditioning staff.
"We're trying to rep so many different people at different positions because we have a lot of positions that are wide open," Chizik said. "So we split the squad so that we basically had two practices and could really focus on reps. (We were) trying to be a little bit creative in the way we can give guys reps to really find out about them, especially with the young guys who might be able to help us."
Mid-way into practice, both groups converged for special teams work, before swapping from weight room to practice fields, and vice versa.
Individual work was the theme for majority of the session, with some team drills included.
The Tigers will return to the practice fields Thursday at 4:40 p.m. CT. Auburn opens the 2009 season on Sept. 5 against Louisiana Tech at 6 p.m. in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Quick Hit Q&A with Mario Fannin
How's the atmosphere been around the start of practice?
How did it feel to get out on the field for the first time this fall?
"I definitely missed being out there. It is always great to be around the team in a camp atmosphere and on the field."
"The coaches have given us a lot of energy so far, both in the meetings and in practice. With the team culture we have it is definitely a good atmosphere for us. Everything is more intense."
What type of expectations do you have?
"Expectations are high. We still have a lot of things to work on, but the coaches definitely trust us. We are going to get a lot in, and we will definitely accomplish them if we keep up the intensity. We started off well by doing that today."
On a personal level, how do you feel?
"I feel real good and strong. It is always a great feeling to get back out there for the first time like we did today."