August 11, 2008

Two-a-Day Insider: Loaded at LB

Auburn linebackers coach James Willis had a simple goal for last Saturday's scrimmage. He wanted to see his players respond to a challenge.

That's exactly what he got. Auburn's defense was challenged in Saturday's 100-play scrimmage, and for the most part, Willis liked what he saw.

"Our guys came out and they competed," he said. "We were looking for … how guys respond under pressure.

"I think our guys came out and did a pretty good job with that. But it's just a starting point. We've got a long way to go."

Sophomore Josh Bynes earned special praise from Willis.

"Josh Bynes has come up and done a tremendous job," Willis said.

Bynes' talent has never been in question. He earned playing time in four games as a true freshman last season, despite sitting out the first half of the season. And he has wowed coaches with his ability in practice, especially during the spring.

But according to Willis, Bynes' talent wasn't always reliable. He'd dominate a practice one day and go unnoticed the next day. So coaches challenged him to become more consistent.

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