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Auburn’s defense enjoying lack of screaming, fussing from coaches

Auburn defensive lineman Carl Lawson runs drills at spring practice on Tuesday, March 8, 2016.
Auburn defensive lineman Carl Lawson runs drills at spring practice on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn defensive lineman Carl Lawson took some not so subtle digs at former defensive coordinator Will Muschamp Thursday night.

Lawson opened up about the cracked hip he suffered during the season opener against Louisville, the overall depth of the team’s defensive line and Auburn’s energy level this spring in a wide-ranging interview with reporters.

Without referring to former defensive coordinator Will Muschamp by name, Lawson attributed the defense’s enthusiasm through Auburn’s first five practices to the different coaching method employed by their new leader Kevin Steele.

“I like Coach Steele’s coaching style,” Lawson said. “He’s making us put in effort without having to do all the screaming and stuff. When we got that, I honestly feel it makes us want to compete.”

Lawson isn’t the first player to point out Steele’s less than fiery demeanor. Fellow defensive lineman Devaroe Lawrence said Steele reserves his intensity for when he needs it.

“He’s more calm (than Muschamp), but at the same thing you have to realize he’s still going to bite too,” Lawrence said. He’s got an edge to him. You can’t get it twisted.”

Muschamp’s temper memorably cost the Tigers in the fourth quarter of the Iron Bowl against rival Alabama. After the defense was flagged for a late hit on quarterback Jake Coker, Muschamp was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for yelling at the officials.

When Muschamp was introduced as South Carolina’s coach, he admitted to having a discussion about the sideline antics with his new athletic director Ray Tanner.

The picture Lawson painted of Steele’s sideline demeanor isn’t one of a coach that’s going to go ballistic over a questionable call by the officials or a mistake by one of his players.

“I wouldn’t say he’s a players’ coach, but he gets the point across without fussing at you, and then everybody responds well to it,” Lawson said. “The way he’s been coaching, people have responded well to it, and I have too.”