The team has also started to participate in other activities that involve more team building and unity between the players and coaches, Coleman said.
“You can see a difference because the team is coming together as one instead of offense versus defense,” said Antoine Carter, a junior defensive end. “There’s no more ‘I’, we are all one.”
While the team is becoming more united, the new coaching staff is also making a lot of progress on the field and a lot of the players regard them with high praise.
Auburn has acquired new coaches such as Tracy Rocker, a former Auburn All-American and the new defensive line coach who is putting the Tiger’s defense to work. “I love the new coaching staff,” Coleman added. “We’re doing a lot of things we’ve never done before.”
Not only just connecting with their coaches, the defensive line has been put through rigorous workouts this summer in preparing for the fall football season as well. They have been lifting weights and trying to get their overall numbers up in the offseason, junior Zach Clayton said. Getting in shape to perform at the team’s best is the most important right now.
“We have a real good shot at being a strong team,” Clayton said. Carter said that the defensive line has a lot of depth, but they will need a couple of the younger players to step up if they want this season to be successful.
Last season Auburn finished with a 5-7 record and is predicted to lose the majority of its games in the fall, but Coleman is optimistic. “We’re the underdogs,” Coleman said. “But sometimes it’s great to be the underdog, I think we are going to have a great season next year.”
Auburn’s defensive line hopes to reach some of its own personal goals as well this season. “I just want to do what I can to help my team make it to the SEC and national championships,” Carter said. “I’m ready for the season to get started.”
Coleman said that becoming more of a reader on the field and trying to help the team get back where they need to be are just a few of his goals for next season.
While new coaches, players, and workouts may shake up the Tigers’ defensive line, the players retain the same goals.
“I look forward to all the games and I give it my all every day,” Carter said. “I work every day toward the Alabama game.”
Underdog or not, the defensive line’s preparation has them feeling like they will be successful.