So far, so good after the first scrimmage of the year for Auburn’s highly touted defense.
The Auburn offense was underwhelming, but defensive coordinator Kevin Steele’s unit was quite the opposite. The orange defense forced three turnovers, including a pick six and a fumble recovery, in a dominant performance Thursday and kept the offense from gaining any rhythm all afternoon.
That’s not enough, however, for Derrick Brown.
“It’s so much more that we can do,” Brown said. “We want to be able to stop teams and just be dominant, like I said. That comes from — if you want to be the No. 1 defense, man, you got to do so much to get there. Just like Coach Steele says: We’re putting in the work now; it’s just like putting money in the bank now. You can’t go cash out unless you put the work in and put the money in now.”
The defense, along with forcing three turnovers, held the offense to just one score which came late in the scrimmage. Javaris Davis, who is slotted to start at cornerback, had the pick six and backup safety Smoke Monday had the other interception.
“Man, the boys back there, they want that ball,” Brown said. “They’re going to do everything they can, and then, you know, when we make things bounce to the outside, they’re going to fly down and knock stuff down. So, ain’t no fear back there. That’s Javaris, Jeremiah, Daniel—all them boys out there. They’re ready for it. That’s just what they do. They got the swagger about it. That’s just what they do.”
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, as well as Steele, have instilled the same mentality into their players for years and that is keeping the emphasis on flying around and forcing turnovers. The Tigers forced 22 turnovers last season and hope to build on that momentum this season, in order to make a playoff run.
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“That felt good. I think being able to get turnovers, man, Coach Steele’s been stressing it,” Brown said. “He wants that to be a big emphasis on this year. That’s a thing the guys are going for, and all of us are up there trying to make that happen. Our coaches, I mean, we feel that they put us in the best position and do what we do best. We’re just listening to them and try to, whenever they make something an emphasis, we got to go do it.”
The team will have Fan Day this Saturday at the indoor facility and then will be back at practice Monday, Aug. 12.
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