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What Hugh Freeze said as Auburn football returns to practice after spring break

Justin Hokansonby:Justin Hokanson03/13/23


AUBURN — Auburn practiced three times to start spring camp, then took spring break. On Monday, the team returned to practice to kick things into high gear all leading into A-Day on April 8 at 1 p.m. CT inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Here are the high points from Freeze’s meeting with the media on Monday:

— “There were some good things and some not so good things,” Freeze says of the QBs through three practices. He’s reluctant to say too much with such little time to evaluate, but likes their overall approach.

— Friday’s scrimmage will be situational, not “all out.” He adds, “we’re not ready yet to all out scrimmage. We’ll certainly not ready to tackle our tailbacks, yet.”

— “Alignment, assignment and effort” are Freeze’s main focus points this week.

— On the offensive line: “I was pleased with the O-Line during the first few practices. … I think we improved ourself for sure. They are a group you can depend on each week to bring it at practice.” Freeze mentioned Izavion Miller, Gunner Britton, Avery Jones, Tate Johnson by name, saying Johnson has been an incredible leader. “There’s an expectation that we’re tryin to set and he’s trying to drive that train. Wearing Auburn on his chest means something.”


— “Loved our attitude and approach” during the first week of practice, Freeze said. He wants better execution of the installs, “we have a long way to go.”

— Freeze doesn’t plan on adding anything new on Monday, looking for retention after a week off.

— “The return meeting on Sunday night” was as good as I’ve seen in terms of players not being late after a week off.

— “I let the entire staff off for spring break. A normal year, you would hope the dead period in February would give you a breather.” Freeze talked about the schedules being wild and crazy since they arrived, so he made sure the staff had time off this week and didn’t stick around. “I think everybody needed a break.”

— Freeze said his favorite vacation would be put some time in at the office, play some golf and sleep in his bed. “I’m not a big travel person.” Freeze did go to Florida to play in a golf tournament with Gus Malzahn.

— Freeze on the proposed new NCAA rules around clock stoppages, etc: “I really don’t know. Our game is, I think, as exciting as any sport that’s out there. I hate to see us tinker with too many rules. I’m being told that’s going to eliminate 6-8 plays per game possibly. It shouldn’t effect it terribly. I’ve always been the one saying we should try and protect in length of games is the people in the stadium. … I don’t have an opinion yet, I will after the season.”

— On SEC realignment: “I’m of the makeup that if I can’t control it, it’s probably not me worrying about. I have zero control. I trust John Cohen and Dr. Roberts. They are sitting in those meetings and they’ll do what’s best for Auburn University.” He says everyone knows they’ll have a tough schedule, so “complaining” about it isn’t going to help him prepare for it.

— “Every year it’s different. I’d assume, whatever format they give us, we’ll have a couple of tough draws. It is what it is.

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