War Eagle Extra

Auburn Spring Practice Cheat Sheet: Week 1

The first week of practice is in the books for the Auburn football team. Coach Gus Malzahn’s program got the jump on most SEC schools by starting spring practice more than a week earlier than he has in past seasons.

Auburn will be on the practice field two more times before taking a week off for spring break.

Here’s a recap of the week…

Roster shuffle

Malzahn announced a list of roster updates on Tuesday starting with ruling running back Kerryon Johnson (shoulder), safety Tray Matthews (shoulder) and Jeremiah Dinson (various) out for spring practice.

Auburn’s coach also confirmed tight end Chris Laye and linebacker Javiere Mitchell are no longer with the program for the 2016 season. Mitchell’s surprise departure hurts the Tigers’ depth at a position that’s already thin on experience.

New voices

Auburn detailed its full coaching staff for 2016 before the first spring practice. Malzahn announced four new graduate assistants including former Central quarterback Jonathan Wallace and six analysts.

Core principles

New Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele is building his defense on the foundation of his predecessor Will Muschamp’s scheme. Steele is hoping the continuity will help players adjust to yet another new defensive coaching staff.

Position by position

Bits and pieces

Rudy Ford sat out Auburn’s first week of practice due to illness…Paul James III missed the first week dealing with a “medical issue” according to Kevin Steele…fullback Kamryn Pettway is getting carries at traditional tailback spot …quarterback Tyler Queen is on a pitch count this spring of 50 throws a practice as he recovers from shoulder surgery…Auburn’s new theme for this spring is “earn it”