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Gus Malzahn says 'quality depth' keeps Auburn ready
Oct. 1, 2014

Auburn's Kris Frost looks to be ready for action against LSU

By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala.  Backup or no, linebackers Anthony Swain and Tre' Williams are ready to step in if they're needed to replace Auburn's starting linebackers in Saturday's 6 p.m. home game against LSU, coach Gus Malzahn said Wednesday.
Malzahn said the pair are capable replacements for Kris Frost, who is dealing with a leg injury; and Cassanova McKinzy, who has a mild concussion. They were among the players who were injured in last Saturday's 45-17 win. Both could be in the starting lineup against LSU.
Malzahn said Swain and Williams have "handled it well" since their roles increased in the midst of last week's win, and that's thanks to defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson working his players deep into preseason practice.
"The good thing is Coach Johnson has given them a lot of reps anyway up to this point, and they've had some reps during the game. So it definitely helps in that area," Malzahn said.
Malzahn didn't volunteer the status of his injured players. As far as Wednesday's practice, "they were all out there. Some of them participated, some of them watched. It's still day-to-day. We're hoping that we have all of them. 
"They're all out there and locked in. If their bodies let them, mentally, they're there."
Malzahn said "every situation is a little bit different" on how much practice is needed this week in order to play Saturday.
"They are all veteran guys," he said. "They're kind of mature guys that can handle playing after not getting a lot of reps
"As a coach, you put your guys in there and get them prepared. The good thing is we have more quality depth than we had last year. That's the positive."
Malzahn also said…
• Auburn also lost offensive lineman Pat Miller to injury last week. Like Frost and McKinzy, he could return for the LSU game.
"We have a lot of confidence in the guys that finished the game, and we have a little bit more depth up front than we had last year, which is a good thing now that we are having some injuries."
Receiver Sammie Coates has been dealing with an undisclosed injury for weeks.
"I think he's getting healthier each week, and we're trying to be smart with him and his progress, bringing him along in practice."
• Wednesday was a "solid day of practice. Like all Wednesdays, we stressed third down as a point of emphasis on both sides. I thought our guys flew around with a lot of energy, and I think we got better."

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



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