Aug. 8, 2013
Gabe Wright looks in during Thursday's first two-a-day practice (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- The media and fan attention in Auburn's fall camp has been on the race to be the starting quarterback.
Coach Gus Malzahn has to look at a much bigger picture, whether it's sending a message to his players (he made a point to say he was disappointed in Thursday morning's practice) or looking at the team concept (reminding receivers they have to do "the dirty work, doing the blocking, hustling on the backside of a play.")
Malzahn indeed talked about the quarterbacks' performances in Wednesday's scrimmage, reviewing them after the first practice of Thursday's two-a-days. But he also touched on a variety of other topics, like...
• He said the freshman defensive linemen, meaning Elijah Daniel, Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams, are improving.
"They're getting a lot of reps. I know Coach (Rodney) Garner is getting a good look at them and an evaluation. Saturday will be big."
• On freshman receiver Tony Stevens: "We really feel like he's talented. We're just trying to see how he reacts. You've got to understand: Fall camp for a lot of the freshmen coming in, there's a lot going on. It's 24/7 football. It's meetings, it's practice, it's sleep, it's eat, get up, more football. We're just really trying to figure out these guys -- who can handle it mentally and who can't."
• On injuries in Wednesday's scrimmage:
"A couple guys were banged up, but nothing serious."
• On Josh Holsey, the former cornerback who is now a safety, or at least for the time being:
"I think he did a solid job. He's a smart kid; he's got football instincts. He's a football player," Malzahn said.
Auburn practiced in full pads Thursday morning. The afternoon session was in shoulder pads and helmets. The Tigers will enjoy their first off day of fall camp on Friday before heading to Jordan-Hare Stadium for Saturday's scrimmage. Like every practice, it will be closed to the public.
Fan Day is Sunday.
Charles Goldberg writes for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: