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April 20, 2013

HD: Malzahn recaps A-Day

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Head Coach Gus Malzahn
Opening statement...
"First of all, I just wanted to say I really appreciate the fans. It was kind of overwhelming, 83,000 plus for A-Day. Hats off to our fans. I know that meant unbelievable amounts to our players and coaches, and that's really what stood out to me. We had 111 plays. We wanted to use this thing as still an evaluation. It wasn't just trying to window dress it as far as making it nice for a spring game so we had, I think, 80 plays in the first half. We tried to go fast and use our pace. We slowed down the second half on purpose. We had already kind of seen what we wanted. I was glad the way our guys responded. There was some good and there was some bad, but I'm real proud of our guys. The way they are responding, hustling on and off the field, dealing with adversity, dealing with some success, and really that's what I was looking for. Overall, I'm pretty well pleased. A lot of things that we did make mistakes I believe are critical."

On scrimmages...
"Every scrimmage I feel like we've improved in all areas--defensively and offensively. It was good to be in front of a crowd because certain players, especially young guys, you are curious to see how they're going to respond to being in front of the crowd. Of course, this was a great atmosphere, and it gave us a lot of good information from a coach's standpoint."

On Cameron Artis-Payne...
"I tell you what, he made some really good runs. He's a big downhill back. He's gotten better. You know, he's a junior college guy coming in. I believe the first few practice his head was spinning. He slowed down and really made some good runs in our lineup and did a solid job."

On Tre Mason...
"Tre, that's really the first work he's done in live work since he got injured so he wasn't 100 percent. He got in there and he played hard and did some good things."

On Corey Grant...
"He had a pretty good fever the last few days. He's been extremely sick. You know, if this had been a game situation he probably would've played, but he wasn't feeling good. I will say this. He's had an outstanding spring, and he's done a very good job."

On the quarterbacks...
"There was a couple of good things they did, there was a couple of things that are standing behind them, you know, kind of whispering to them a little bit. There's some good things. It was great for us to evaluate the guys. I wish we could be live, but we only have two guys, scholarship guys, going through spring to evaluate them a little bit better, but it gave us some good information today, especially with them."

On a quarterback separating himself...
"I'm big picturing it right now. I'm standing behind, but it'll be good for us to watch it on film and see who executed the best."

On the starting quarterback coming from current players...
"All of the positions we are going to play the best people. Whether that's quarterback or kicker or center. We've really--until you get about three weeks in to fall camp--won't have any positions just completely solidified. The verdict is still out."

On the size of the crowd...
"It says a lot. I think it says a whole lot to college football and Auburn fans. We had a tough year last year, but for them to come out and support our team, it's overwhelming from a coach's standpoint. I know our players, they had big eyes, and they really appreciate it. It'll go a long way for the future, especially as far as our players, our coaches and recruiting."

On the offensive line...
"I thought they did a solid job at times. I'll tell you what, our defensive line did a good job, too. There were a lot of times when they were playing in the backfield, and that's what coach (Rodney) Garner and coach (Ellis) Johnson have been stressing, and there was some good on both sides."

On Justin Garrett's first score...
"I'll tell you what, he has had an outstanding spring. Coach (Ellis) Johnson, I believe, has him in the right position, letting him play, and that was a great play he made--scoop and score. That was a big defensive play."

On ball security...
"Yes, that is definitely a concern. I think the first time was actually the crowd noise that got the snap. He thought he said go and the ball went flying over, but ball security really for the most part this spring the running backs have done a good job with ball security. It's just been other areas but really for the most in the spring our running backs have done a good job with the ball security, it's just been other areas but yeah that's definitely a concern. Any time you're playing a whole lot of people that's definitely a concern."

On two deep...
"We are getting close, there's no doubt. We got a lot of information as coaches. We have two more practices which will be another good one that will help us evaluate. But, every time you go and we have gone live quite a bit and anytime you go through scrimmages, that's when you really find out a lot."

On Cameron Artis- Payne...
"He's had a good spring . He's a big, strong guy, he's a hard worker, he wants to be good, and there's great competition in the backfield and that's a good thing going into next year."

On hit regarding Dimitri Reese...
"Well, first of all I have to say a 15-yard penalties are unacceptable. We have asked our guys to play hard, we're trying to get them to play hard but I promise you that will be corrected. That was not good, no doubt. Our guys are trying to play hard, and get big hits but definitely that will be corrected."

On things other than ball security you didn't like...
"There were some mistakes. When you're standing behind and you are trying to play everybody there's going to be some mistakes. There was also some good things, and I'll say this again: the number one thing I was looking for was our attitude, our physical hard edge as far as running off the field, dealing with adversity, dealing with success, playing together and for the most part I saw that today."

On recievers communication...
"Well there's a lot of communication that goes in, not only from the sideline, but with each other and throughout the spring we've improved."

On Demetruce McNeal...
"He's dealing with some things off the field, and it's day to day and that's really all we know at this time."

On practices after A-Day...
"I think it's really important, especially for us to grade the scrimmage, to come back and try to get corrections the last two practices we'll have a good foundation like we talked about the first spring going into summer."

On Toomer's celebration...
"I've very excited about the Toomer's celebration. I'm looking forward to it and I guarantee our crowd is too.



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