Auburn notebook: Defense shines in scrimmage
by Ryan Black
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Aug 08, 2013 | 1478 views |  0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AUBURN — Jermaine Whitehead had no doubt which unit won Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Of course, the junior safety admitted he’s far from an impartial observer. Nonetheless, he said it was a no-contest in favor of the defense.

“Hands-down, we won,” he said. “I don’t care if (the offense) put up a hundred. We won.”

While he was joking a bit, Whitehead walked off the field feeling good about the unit’s performance. However, he reined in his enthusiasm a bit when asked for a letter grade.

“I’d say, B, B-minus” he said. “But I won’t know until I watch the film. I think we made some great plays. I think it was probably way better than a B. But being hard on myself, I always want to get better, so I never give (things) an A.”

Senior linebacker Jake Holland was more restrained in his assessment of the scrimmage.

“I felt like today was a good day,” he said. “There were mistakes made, but there were some good plays, too. ... I thought it was a progressive day. I thought we got better.”

OL coach Grimes absent Wednesday: A key piece of Auburn’s coaching staff was missing from Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Offensive line coach J.B. Grimes was absent after having an undisclosed medical procedure performed earlier in the day. Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn said Grimes won’t be gone for long, though.

“He’ll be back tomorrow,” Malzahn said. “It shouldn’t be a problem.”

To fill the void, Malzahn stepped in to help the offensive line “a little bit more” during the scrimmage. He wasn’t alone, as offensive graduate assistant Johnny Brewer pitched in, too.

“And of course, (offensive coordinator) coach (Rhett) Lashlee was on top of them a little bit more,” Malzahn said. “I think we just all combined. We’ve got good leadership and (junior center) Reese Dismukes. It wasn’t an issue today.”

Indoor scrimmage doesn’t hinder: Jordan-Hare Stadium was originally the intended venue for Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Mother Nature had other ideas.

Rough weather moved into the area before the Tigers stepped on the to field, soaking the playing surface. Though it cleared up, Auburn decided to move the scrimmage back to its indoor practice facility.

It wasn’t ideal, but Malzahn didn’t think his team was negatively affected by holding the scrimmage indoors.

“I was curious to see how our kids would react,” he said. “I know there’s nothing like going into our stadium but I was really impressed with the way our players were excited to scrimmage.”
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Auburn notebook: Defense shines in scrimmage by Ryan Black
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