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Auburn game week: 'Really feel good about their effort'
Aug. 31, 2015

Gus Malzahn and host Rod Bramblett take it all in during Auburn's Tiger Talk radio show Monday night

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. Auburn will release its first football depth chart of the season Tuesday, but Gus Malzahn suggested Monday night the defensive starters may be written in with pencil, not ink.

Malzahn said defensive coordinator Will Muschamp's competition on defense is "a daily deal."

"The depth chart changes day to day," Malzahn said on Auburn's Tiger Talk radio show.

Malzahn gave a tip of the visor to Muschamp, who has brought in a physical style of practice.

"He really felt strongly we needed to get our edge back," Malzahn said.

And that's why Malzahn's approach for his Tigers heading into Saturday's opener against Louisville has been to "strain them and mold them into what you want them to be, especially the young guys. We have some experienced guys who help with that, but it's good for them also.

"We felt like we had to go back to 2013 mentality. Let our guys compete. We were very physical in fall camp. We were banged-up at times, but it wasn't a bad banged-up, it was just a physical banged-up. I really feel good about their effort. They want to be coached. I told the staff the other day I really feel good where our team is."

Malzahn said Muschamp's energy means "he has no bad days. He brings his A game to the practice field and the meeting room every single day. It's been great for the whole program."

Muschamp said Sunday that eight true freshmen could play in his defense on opening day.

"When we recruited guys," Malzahn said Monday, "we told them they'd have to come in and play. It's a good thing for the future. Those guys are prepared as they can be going into this first game."


• Malzahn says he has looked at some plays develop on stadium video boards in the past, and now he has college football's largest video board to check out at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"I'm liable to be looking up there quite a bit myself," he said.

• Malzahn was asked a championship season:

"Our goal every year is going to be to win the SEC Championship. When you do that, you have a real chance to win the whole thing. I really feel good about where our program is right now."

• He said his offensive line has "more quality depth than any time since I've been at Auburn."

And he said lineman Shon Coleman reminds him of former first-round pick Greg Robinson.

Coleman, Malzahn said, is "much improved from even where he was last year. He's more confident. He's super strong. He's kind of Greg Robinson strong. I really like where he's at."

• Marcus Davis said Sunday he'll be returning punts. Malzahn the kickoff returners will be among Roc Thomas, Stanton Truitt and Rudy Ford.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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