August 19, 2006

Notebook: Auburn hit hard with injuries

Suspensions and injuries have decimated Auburn's once-vaunted depth at the linebacker position. For Saturday's practice, only a handful of scholarship linebackers were available with the first-team consisting of redshirt freshman Patrick Trahan, sophomore Courtney Harden and true freshman Craig Stevens.

So many new faces in the lineup might frustrate a coach but AU's linebacker coach James Willis sees it as a blessing in disguise.

"We've had a chance to rep some of the younger guys and see what they can do," said Willis. "We're pushing them a little harder early. That's a good thing for the team. Now when we get into the season we may have some injuries or whatever, we won't feel hesitant about putting some of these guys in a game. That's huge for us and them."

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