Auburn Football: Ellis Johnson is Making Changes


Oct 12, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Western Carolina Catamounts running back Shaun Warren (1) is taken down by Auburn Tigers defensive back Brandon King (29) at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson has made some alterations to the Auburn defense to prepare for the remaining schedule. The Tigers face South Carolina this week and travel to Oxford Mississippi next week to face the Ole Miss Rebels.

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The Auburn football team has their work cut out for them and some changes have been made to tighten up the defensive scheme and allow for a better pass rush. Jermaine Whitehead has been reinstated to the team and will undoubtedly bring some depth to the defensive back position, but that is not the only change in the Auburn defense.

Senior linebacker/safety hybrid Brandon King has been moved to defensive line for situational play this week in preparation for South Carolina.

King has been receiving reps at many different positions since his transfer from Highlands Community College in Kansas. King started his football career at Class 7A Thompson High School in Alabaster, Alabama and was a versatile tool playing all over the field. He was a former teammate of mine and it comes as no surprise that he is continuing to contribute to the Tigers in the same ways.

King has been involved in the Tigers defense starting at special teams and playing in situational defensive back positions. This move to defensive end is to bring some speed and attack to the pass rush.

Auburn looked weak in this position against Mississippi State and needs this speed to get some pressure on the quarterback. Making the quarterback uncomfortable will be the key to the rest of the schedule. Big plays from the defensive line will allow for the defensive backs to make big plays and take advantage of the pressured quarterback.

The more chances the Tigers have to score, the better. Moving King and the reinstatement of Whitehead are amongst some of the bigger changes to the Tiger defense this week. Ellis Johnson continues to move players around and is trying new ideas throughout the season.

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  • Whitehead’s presence will hopefully add more experience to the secondary. His replacement, Joshua Holsey, has been exceptional and his growth can only add to the depth to the position.

    Consistency has been the biggest problem with the Tiger defense; changes have the opportunity to kill any momentum that a unit can pick up. This improved unit will have an opportunity to execute in every position on the field. There is enough time and spirit on the field to make something special and take it to the post season.

    Auburn is in the perfect position to make the College Football Playoff and has a tough road to get there. If the defense can pick up momentum as well as the infamous Malzahn HUNH (Hurry Up No Huddle) offense, than this team will be able to accomplish incredible things.

    Make sure to pay attention this week to the changes that were made on defense and see how they compare to previous games this season. These changes could be just what Auburn needs.

    If not, we will find out quickly.

    Next: Auburn vs South Carolina Q&A With Garnet & Cocky

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