November 6, 2012

NOTEBOOK: Ford keeps eye on personal development

AUBURN -- Dee Ford knows there's no way for Auburn to salvage what has been a disastrous season on the field.

That doesn't mean he'll concede anything.

The junior defensive end said Tuesday that he's still dedicating himself toward honing his own skill set. If everyone follows that same approach, he said, the Tigers have no choice but to make strides.

And that must be considered a success.

"Are you getting better? Or are you kind of skating through? Or are you going backward? I just focus on my development," Ford said. "We're all young, we'll all be back next year. This is all a learning process. This would be a good manifestation of life, too. You never want to quit in hard times. You want to always finish strong. I don't change the way I practice or anything like that. If anything, I practice harder."

Ford said he hasn't noticed a drop-off in effort from his fellow defensive linemen. He's been satisfied with how teammates are performing in practice, which fuels his optimistic attitude about the future.

He believes Auburn has a real change Saturday against Georgia.

Why? Because this team is improving. That includes tackles Gabe Wright and Angelo Blackson, who drew praise from defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder on Tuesday night.

"Are guys getting better? That's the most important thing," Ford said. "Like (VanGorder) just said, it's crazy he just said that, I see guys getting better. I see those two especially. That's why I'm not really having a hard time. I'm enjoying seeing them get better."

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