What we learned from Auburn football's Saturday practice at Jordan-Hare Stadium
With two weeks away from the start of the season, here are several Observations from a practice mostly focused on cleanup and conditioning from Friday's scrimmage.
(Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
With just two weeks left until the start of the season, Auburn football returned to Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday morning for a practice that was focused on cleaning things up from Friday’s second scrimmage.
The Tigers opened the entire practice to members of the media, along with Tigers Unlimited members and first responders from the Auburn, Opelika and Lee County areas. As such, it wasn’t the most action-packed practice you’ll find anywhere, but there were still quite a few takeaways from a depth chart that will most likely be settled early next week.
Here’s what we observed from Saturday’s practice, starting with the all-important quarterback battle.
The pecking order remains steady ahead of a QB1 decision
After what we heard from Eric Kiesau following Friday’s scrimmage, it sure sounds like T.J. Finley is firmly in the driver’s seat for the starting quarterback job.
And anyone watching practice Saturday morning would have seen the exact same thing.
Finley was the first in basically every drill for the quarterbacks, with the exception of the final couple of periods, when the focus went to Robby Ashford, Zach Calzada and Holden Geriner. Ashford got the first-team reps there — it didn’t appear that Calzada got any work with the first-team offense in any drill.
One of the early periods of work for the quarterbacks featured them working through all five progressions of a specific passing play. Finley went 13-15 through the air during the drill, while Calzada went 12-15. Ashford didn’t go through a third round of five reps and finished 8-10.
The pecking order of Finley, Ashford and Calzada continues to hold up. That was also the order Harsin mentioned the three quarterbacks in when he was asked about Friday’s scrimmage.
It seems like a decision on the quarterback battle is imminent, but Harsin said Saturday it was “too early to tell right now.” The serious work in “flipping some depth charts” will come on Sunday and an off day Monday, before the extended game week prep for the opener begins in earnest Tuesday.
“I’ll get with the coaches,” Harsin said. “We’re going to take today, and the coaches are going to handle what they need to and do some of the things personally so they can be ready to go Sunday. Then, what we’ll do after our team activity on Sunday is we’ll sit down as a staff, and we’ll start going through, alright, where are we at?
“Alright, so potentially by Tuesday, we could be there (with a quarterback decision), and I want to see what everybody thinks.”