War Eagle Extra

Auburn's defense briefly takes out quarterbacks Caudle, Trotter

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn’s quarterbacks were live for at least a portion of Thursday’s half-scrimmage, and the defense put big hits on Neil Caudle and Barrett Trotter that forced them out of action briefly.

“They were scrambling with the ball and somebody got two nice little ones on them,” defensive tackle Mike Blanc said. “They’re OK, though. That’s what our defense has to do. We have attack and swarm.”

There was no word on how serious either of the injuries were or if Caudle or Trotter could miss A-Day.

Kodi Burns and redshirt freshman walk-on Brent Poole are the other two available quarterbacks on the roster.

Injuries mounting

Safety Mike Slade was the latest member of the secondary to head to the trainer’s room with an undisclosed injury Thursday. Coaches would not say whether he would play Saturday.

If he can’t go, he would join safeties Mike McNeil (broken leg) and Zac Etheridge (shoulder) and cornerback Aairon Savage (knee) in being held out of action on A-Day.

That would leave the Tigers with two scholarship safeties — Drew Cole and Christian Thompson — for the scrimmage, with walk-ons Matthew Sample and Brandon Evans also getting some action.

“We’re getting thin,” Thompson said. “We need some help, man.”

Safeties coach Tommy Thigpen was relieved to hear that McNeil, who was injured last Saturday, is only going to be out about two months.

“At that time, you hope that it wasn’t a knee,” he said. “A knee injury, a lot of times takes a little bit longer. With the bone, it grows back and most of the time it grows back stronger. I’ve never been so happy about a broken leg.”

Other coaches weren’t as forthcoming about which players would be held out of action Saturday. Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor said the trainers would have to clear Tommy Trott (knee) and Philip Pierre-Louis (knee) for them to play.

Running back Eric Smith (leg) will not participate.

Down but not out

Lineman Darrell Roseman couldn’t have had a much tougher 2008, having steel rods inserted in his shins to correct a chronic problem before requiring surgery on his shoulder briefly after moving from defense to offense during two-a-days. But throughout it all, he didn’t give up.

“It’s been very frustrating, but I’m still here,” he said. “I’m still fighting trying to get on that field.”

The 6-foot-4, 294-pound junior has worked as a backup at left guard this spring, moving closer toward getting on the field after redshirting in 2006, not playing in 2007 and being injured all of last season. He’s 30 pounds heavier than he was a year ago and finally getting acclimated to his new position.

Full disclosure

While head coach Gene Chizik has been secretive throughout spring practice, closing it to the media and public, he doesn’t plan to hold too much back from the public Saturday.

“We’ve got to get something out of the practice,” he said. “It will be base defense and base offense and we’ll run some and throw it some and we won’t do a lot of blitzing and things of that nature.”

The A-Day game begins at 2 p.m.

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