Auburn football: Rhett Lashlee 'proud' to see renewed energy, offensive carryover in first two spring practices

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 20, 2014 

Auburn's Rhett Lashlee downplayed that any changes have been made to the team's offensive line rotation on Tuesday.

TODD VAN EMST — Auburn University

AUBURN, Ala. — It doesn’t feel like the 2013 season ended all that long ago to Rhett Lashlee.

As he sees it, that’s just the way it is when a team plays its final game as late as Auburn did last year. After all, the Tigers took part in the final college football game of the 2013-14 campaign, as they faced off against the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles on Jan. 6.

Not that Lashlee was complaining.

Now that spring practice has arrived, he attested it’s “been a good thing” for players and coaches alike.

“Our guys, you could tell they've had a lot of energy. They've been excited to practice,” the offensive coordinator said Thursday following Auburn’s second practice of the spring. “That's what I've been proud of offensively: There has been good energy, good intensity, and obviously there's great carryover, which has been good. It's been refreshing for us as coaches.”

From a coaching standpoint, Lashlee said there hasn’t been nearly as much focus on teaching the scheme itself.

In Year 2 under Gus Malzahn, the Tigers can pare things down to focus on specific aspects of the offense.

“We can coach the finer details and more the execution than teaching the scheme as much, which has been really good,” Lashlee said.

One thing the team hasn’t done yet is put on pads. That will change Saturday, when the Tigers head over to Jordan-Hare Stadium for the first time this spring.

“I think coach is still wanting to have a real tough, physical spring,” Lashlee said. “That's what we've got to do to win. We've got to be very tough. That's not going to change.”

That toughness was forged last spring, when Malzahn emphasized “getting our edge back.” The challenge now is keeping that same mentality.

Lashlee doesn’t foresee that being a problem.

“The good thing is I think our guys know what the expectations are, so hopefully they'll embrace that, kind of like they have the first few days,” he said. “With the tempo and the way we want to practice, I feel like they've flown around pretty good.”

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