AUBURN - The 19th-ranked Auburn football team worked out in full pads for the first time on Monday, splitting the practice time between the outdoor practice fields and the new indoor facility.
The Tigers showed enthusiasm on the opening day in full pads as spirited contact drills were the order of the day. Head coach Gene Chizik was pleased with the physical nature of the practice, but noted some areas where he would like to see improvement.
"For the first day in full pads, I thought we did some nice things," Chizik said. "The kids were trying to be physical, trying to come off the football. What I don't think we did, I don't think we focused on the little things that are going to make a difference. Alignments and techniques...I think that got lost in there somewhere when the full pads came on. And that, sometimes, is natural.
"I'm happy with the effort, I'm happy with them trying to be physical, but I'm not happy with the focus on the details of the game."
Chizik said that the first week of practice in full pads is crucial to the development of his young team, especially along the offensive and defensive lines.
"On both sides of the line, offensively and defensively, there's no substitute for just getting in there and doing it," he said. "You can work all the drills and do all that, but from that tackle-to-tackle box, that game is a different game. The only way to do it is get down there and play. It's very physical, guys are learning a lot, there's a lot of moving parts, so this week is invaluable because you have to have a lot of contact just to get used to playing down there. "
The Tigers will have their first "two-a-day" practice on Tuesday, going out at 10 a.m. and then again at 5:40 p.m. The team will then hold their first scrimmage of preseason camp Wednesday morning before a scheduled day off Thursday.
The Tigers will open the 2011 season Sept. 3 vs. Utah State at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2 with kickoff set for 11 a.m. CT.