War Eagle Extra

Will Muschamp brings trademark intensity to Auburn's first spring practice

AUBURN, Ala. — After having to function as a bystander during Auburn's bowl practices, Tuesday was Will Muschamp's day. Finally, the Tigers' new coordinator got to direct his unit during a practice. Known for his fiery personality, things went exactly the way one would think.

"He's intense," rising senior cornerback Jonathan Jones said in a post-practice interview Tuesday evening. "He expects the best from you every day. Just energy. He wants you to bring your best energy, fly around. That's what he expects from us every day."

Jones was quick to note things were far different Tuesday than they had been after Muschamp was hired in December. At that time, he could only look on from the sideline, jotting down things he saw from the players he was about to inherit.

"He was actually in charge today," Jones said. "He was definitely intense and he knows what he's talking about, so he expects high expectations of us, and we've got to meet his high expectations. He's not going to lower them."

For Jones, Muschamp's hire meant he'd have to learn his third different defensive playbook since he signed with Auburn in 2012. But he doesn't mind. Instead, he treats it like another class.

"It's different terminology, but basically the same thing. You learn the different nuances of each defense," he said. "But that's mostly off the field. You've got to get in your playbook outside the field and then come on the field and execute. ... You have to get in the playbook and learn it."

In at least one area, nothing has changed: with Gus Malzahn guiding the offense, the defense just how to work around what they do.

"They do tempo, and that helps us. We've got to learn the defense, but we've also got to learn at a fast pace when the offense is running plays and plays and plays," Jones said. "You've got to think quicker. It really helps us as a defense."