Tune in and listen to Bird talk about Remington award winner Reese Dismukes being tough to replace. He was a four year starter and a leader who was not only tough, but durable. His workmanlike approach, EVERY DAY, will be sorely missed.
Auburn will also be replacing Nick Marshall with Jeremy Johnson. He is a guy with "Cam-like" size and will be a more complete QB than Marshall. He is a gifted passer and can run between the tackles.
There will also be some new faces at running back. Roc Thomas was named Mr. Football in the state of Alabama in 2013 and is considered to be the total package. He has "it". Has been called a Cadillac Williams type talent with even more speed. If not the every down back he should be able to handle the speed or jet sweeps. He must show he wants it.
And just in case you hadn't already heard, there are new editions to the coaching staff. Will "Boom" Muschamp 'will' have the defense playing at a higher level and with more intensity. He brought Travaris Robinson, a former Auburn great, with him from Florida. Robinson was named #1 recruiter in the country by ESPN. Lance Thompson left Alabama and came tho Auburn to coach linebackers. This is big as he has also been named top recruiter by ESPN.
And what about Missouri? Seth says that the Tigers will have some new faces of their own. After leading one of the nations best defenses, defensive coordinator Dave Steckel moved on to be Head Coach at Missouri State. Former Tiger linebacker and Memphis Defensive Coordinator Barry Odom will be replacing Coach Steckel. Odom will have plenty to work with and will have the added benefit of working with defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski. Coach Kul was tempted by Illinois, but decided to continue meeting at the quarterback in Columbia.
Two positions that will have relatively new players are wide receiver and safety. The wide receiver position was not an area of strength last year partially due to the younger guys not stepping up. Well 2015 has to be their year. At safety, Braylon Webb has graduated and Tavon Ross should be expected to make a splash.
As for returning players who need to make strides, look no further than tight ends Sean Culkin and Jason Reese. Each player had opportunities last year, but they now must be counted on to make plays in both the short to intermediate passing game and as blockers in what should be a powerful run game.