New defensive back Blake Countess is one of the reasons Gus Malzahn has endorsed preseason practices
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn has practiced what seems like a gazillion times this preseason...
...correction, 20 times...
...and coach Gus Malzahn said he likes what he has seen.
No corrections are necessary there.
Malzahn said after Thursday's practice his Tigers are "trying to do what their coaches are asking them to do with a great attitude, great effort. That's really the most important thing. I like where we're at."
Auburn is on the verge of starting real game-week preparation for its Sept. 5 season-opener against Louisville. The Tigers have practiced three times this week, and will make it four straight Friday in what Malzahn calls a "dress rehearsal to make sure we everything covered." The Tigers will take Saturday off before returning for a Sunday workout.
Malzahn was asked if this year's team reminded him of his 2013 team that played in the national championship game.
"It does from the standpoint of some veterans mixed in with some young talented guys. That's probably the biggest thing," he said. "We'll see what happens. That team got better each week. They won close games at the end. We've got our work cut out for us to follow in those footsteps.
"That's the plan and I like the makeup of our team."
Malzahn said there are only a handful of decisions yet to be made on starters. He said he'll announce his depth chart Tuesday.
"We still have a little bit of work to do. We have an idea about some positions more than others, but on Tuesday we'll have everything lined up," he said.
He predicted "quite a few young guys" will at least play special teams.
"We feel as good as you can before you play a game, There's nothing like, especially the young guys getting them out there in a game and seeing how they respond," Malzahn said. "I think we've got some guys that will bite, that want to get out there and do what we ask to do in that area.
"We've got a lot of question marks, we got potential, there's no doubt. But we're going to have to improve and we're going to have to win some close games, we know that. We're just focusing on this first one."
Malzahn said Auburn has had "a physical camp so we got to do a good job this week of getting everybody back, and we have a good plan."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine