Auburn football: Colby Wooden talks difference of Nick Eason as DL coach

Auburn football defensive end Colby Wooden is entering his third year on the Plains, but he’ll have several new voices leading him and his peers into battle in 2021.

Derek Mason is in for Kevin Steele and–as much as we like to rip on Steele after his funny business in the offseason was one of the factors that led to Gus Malzahn losing his job–the former Vanderbilt head coach has a tough task following a successful run for the defense.

2020 was a down year for the Tigers on the point prevention end, but in 2019, Auburn football was a top-8 unit in red-zone and third-down defense. Outbound DL coach Rodney Garner, who coached from 2013-2020 and is now coaching on Rocky Top with Tennessee, was a contributing factor, and during his tenure, seven men became NFL Draft picks under his guidance.

During a fall camp media session, Wooden explained the difference between Garner and new DL coach Nick Eason:

Getting down and dirty with the players has been the M.O. for this current regime. Eason, a former Clemson DL, was a nine-year NFL veteran who clearly is still capable of going toe-to-toe with SEC-level athletes. New head coach Bryan Harsin was praised by players and fans alike for working out with his players as well.

Garner leaving the program was a big loss but replacing him with a former Super Bowl winner that has coached seven years at the professional level and cares enough about his guys that he’ll lead by example in practice is a major win.

Four Saturdays from now, we’ll see how the intensity of these practices translates on the field.