Aug. 9, 2013
J.B. Grimes graded film of Wednesday's scrimmage in his hospital room.
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. - Offensive line coach>J.B. Grimes wasn't sick, but he knew something was wrong. And he quickly found himself in the hospital on Wednesday undergoing a medical procedure on the same day Auburn's football team had its first scrimmage of preseason camp.
Friday, Grimes was no worse for the experience. He said he was feeling well.
"I know my body, and I knew something wasn't right," Grimes said. "I do a lot of exercise and things like that. I could just tell something wasn't right."
Grimes talked to team doctor Michael Goodlett and then to his specialist, who recommended he have the procedure immediately. Wednesday night, still in the hospital, Grimes was already back at work.
"I actually graded the tape on Wednesday night in a hospital room," Grimes said. "I was still a little loopy, but I graded it."
On Thursday morning, Grimes watched practice from the balcony outside his office and saw head coach Gus Malzahn working with the offensive linemen. Thursday afternoon, he was back on the field for the second practice of the day.
"I was watching. Gus was down there coaching them," Grimes said." He always tells me 'That's my one desire. I always wanted to be an offensive line coach.' He got his one chance yesterday. Gus is going to teach them who to block, and he does one great job. There is always that how, too. That's where I come in."
Going into Saturday's scrimmage, the second of preseason camp, some of Grimes' questions have been answered. But there are still decisions to be made.
"We had a little separation at some positions," Grimes said. "The thing we are really trying hard to do is identify and see who the best eight guys are. If you can find three guards and three tackles and two centers you feel like you can put in the football game, you are ahead of it. If you get more than that, you are really ahead of the game."
Junior center Reese Dismukes, and sophomore left tackle Greg Robinson and junior right guard Chad Slade are locked in as starters. Grimes said redshirt freshman Alex Kozan has a significant edge at left guard.
Sophomore Avery Young is getting the first-team work at right tackle, but Grimes said sophomore Pat Miller and redshirt freshman Shon Coleman are pushing hard.
"I think that is the position where the most competition is taking place," Grimes said. "Right now, the three names are Pat Miller, Avery Young an Shon Coleman. We are trying to get them all reps and see who trots out there against Washington State."
A look at each position:
Grimes' take: In the grind, the guy is a warrior. I'd take that dude anywhere. He's what you are looking for right down the middle of your football team. The grind isn't getting to him. He's too tough. I like that toughness. He's mentally tough, too. He could play any position out there and not miss an assignment. He's played a lot of snaps at Auburn, and it shows. He's been there and done that and he's leading us.
1. Alex Kozan, 2. Devonte Danzy.
Grimes' take: "If we trotted out there today, Alex Kozan would be the guy. Devonte Danzy is a work in progress. He's got a lot of ability. He can run and those kinds of things, but we have to break some old habits and he has to get used to the offense."
Grimes' take: "Chad does a good job. He's a good player. Jordan Diamond) hasn't play a lot of football. We've got to get him healthy and (strength and conditioning coach) Ryan Russell has to get him quicker. Right now, he's not a quick athlete. That's going to come."
1. Avery Young, 2. Pat Miller and Shon Coleman.
Grimes' take: "(Young) is a little hesitant at times because he's still processing pre-snap. That's the job of the coach, to make everything slow down and go from there. He's working his butt off. He's doing everything he can to get himself better. We've really emphasized them working their hands. I saw him take that to the scrimmage."
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: