August 6, 2012

Coach using AU's past to improve present

AUBURN -- Every assistant coach knows his group must improve dramatically before the season-opening game against Clemson, but none of them has a more ambitious agenda than Tommy Thigpen.

The linebackers coach is hoping to change the position's culture.

The former North Carolina defensive standout stopped well short of criticizing any player directly, but said over the weekend that Auburn's linebackers much be more willing to embrace a "blue-collar" mentality.

"Auburn's been known for defense for a long time," Thigpen said. "You take guys like Takeo Spikes. When Auburn was really good, that was the culture. You had the Tracy Rockers on defense. They had that swagger -- and that's what we have to have. Change the culture means when you walk on the football field you're taking control of it."

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