Auburn football quick hit: Tigers starting to pick up the pace (w/video)

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comApril 2, 2014 

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said his coaching staff has been able to install things quicker now that players have had a year to learn the offensive and defensive systems.

LAUREN BARNARD — Auburn University

AUBURN, Ala. — Seven was a popular number for Auburn on Tuesday.

It marked the Tigers' seventh practice of the spring, with coach Gus Malzahn noting his team did a lot of 7-on-7 drills. In addition, there was a heavy focus on the red zone.

But there was other business the Tigers had to tend to as well.

"It was also a clean-up from the scrimmage, after the coaches got a chance to grade everything — corrections," Malzahn said. "Just making sure before we move forward, we've got everything corrected."

Perhaps most importantly, Malzahn believed the team "finished with energy." He wasn't the only one to feel that way, either.

"Our coordinators were pleased with the end result at the end of practice," Malzahn said.

Nearly halfway through his second spring as Auburn's coach, Malzahn said the biggest difference from last year, not surprisingly, is how much faster the team has been able to operate in practice. A year ago, the Tigers were in full installation mode of Malzahn's hurry-up, no-huddle offense and defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson's 4-2-5 scheme.

He pointed to the gains made by the offensive line under coach J.B. Grimes as an illustration of the team's progress as a whole.

"Coach Grimes, instead of coaching the first and second step, he's really focusing harder on the third and fourth steps," Malzahn said. "That's probably the best examples I can give you for all positions."

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