September 24th, 2012 12:58 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State
Tags: Auburn, Joe Bagwell, Louisiana Monroe, Ted Roof
Fresh off a good defensive showing against LSU — you could argue it was Auburn’s first good defensive showing of the year — at least one Tiger is ready to roar. Safety Demetruce McNeal gave credit to new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder for AU’s surprisingly play on Saturday while simultaneously throwing his ex-coordinator, Ted Roof, under the bus for last year’s defense:
“Last year we weren’t coached very well. We weren’t as smart as players as we are this year with a change on defense. Last year, we put on kind of a clown show, a lot of guys not doing their work and not going their job. This year we just detailed our work.”
McNeal failed to explain why Auburn’s defense tackled like clowns against Clemson, Mississippi State and Louisiana-Monroe earlier this month… with Roof way up north at Penn State for all those games. Perhaps it took three games for VanGorder’s defense to click and the Tigers have now turned a corner of sorts. Or perhaps Auburn simply played with emotion and inspiration due to the death on Saturday of 23-year-old student-assistant Joe Bagwell.
Either way, McNeal’s shots at Roof are about as rough as you’ll hear — on the record — from a player regarding one of his ex-coaches. Of course, McNeal’s comments also reveal that last year’s Tigers were incapable of “doing their work” without someone forcing them to do it. That doesn’t say much for McNeal or his 2011 teammates, either.
UPDATE — Gene Chizik was asked if his team knew of Bagwell’s death before or during Saturday’s contest and he replied: “Not that I’m aware of.”
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