October 7, 2008

Big change of pace for offense

Tony Franklin has taken the brunt of criticism for Auburn's offensive struggles this season. Tuesday, Franklin tried a different approach.

It started with a pre-practice meeting.

"He told us the old guy's back," wide receiver Rod Smith told a large group of media following Tuesday's workout. "Whoever he was at Troy, he said he's back.

"Just the intensity he had today in practice, he was just crazy."

Franklin normally spends practice with the quarterbacks and then watches team drills from the sidelines or behind the offense. Tuesday, he was right in the middle of the action.

"If he didn't run a route, he was right there in your face telling you how to run the route," Smith said. "He ran the route for us. It was just a different guy I saw out there today.

"The intensity from all the coaches was just on another level today. You can tell the coaches are out there to make us do better and they're demanding a lot more."

There was also more attention to detail.

"He stopped the whole play and came out and showed us how to run the route correctly. If we messed the play up, we'd run the same play three times in a row. We definitely had to be perfect," Smith said.

Defensive tackle Tez Doolittle said he could hear the change from the other side of the practice fields.

"Everybody turned around looking, 'What's going on?' I see everybody getting down and running plays real quick and fast. Everybody getting to the endzone," Doolittle said. "Just a lot of noise out there today."

Smith said the change in tempo and the aggressiveness of the coaches was just what the offense needed after scoring five offensive touchdowns in four SEC games.

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