Palmer Ready for Double Duty If Needed

Palmer Ready for Double Duty If Needed

Senior Jonathan Palmer's versatility could come in handy for the Auburn offensive front.

Auburn, Ala.--Like the offensive line as a whole, senior tackle Jonathan Palmer says he is looking to get the job done every time from the first to the last play as his Tigers prepare for Saturday's SEC West test vs. the Arkansas Razorbacks.

"Right now I am looking at becoming more consistent and making sure I am doing the right thing every play," says Palmer, who is in his first year as a starter at right tackle. "I am still trying to feel my way around to make sure I am always doing the right thing."

Although Palmer has started each of Auburn's five victories this season at tackle, he could see playing time in week six at center, a position he is quite familiar with after starting there in Auburn's 2005 victory over Alabama and finishing up the Georgia game as the center when Joe Cope was injured in Athens.

Palmer worked some at center in spring training this year and in the preseason. His practice time at center will increase this week with Palmer being the second option at center again if something happens to sophomore Jason Bosley, who is the new starter at center with Cope out four to six weeks with a knee injury.

"As of right now I feel more comfortable at tackle, but after a couple of days at center I will feel equally comfortable at either position," Palmer says.

Jonathan Palmer is in his first season as a full-time starter.

Palmer says that Bosley has been improving this season and should be able to handle the center spot, but also notes that he feels bad that his fellow senior, Cope, is out for a while.

"Everybody knows Joe Cope is a tough little guy," Palmer says. "You can look at him and he is always ready to go. It is a tough loss."

Palmer, who has also played guard for the Tigers, is Auburn's most versatile lineman. As is the case with other members of the offensive line, he notes that his coach, Hugh Nall, is not satisfied with how the group is playing.

Although the Tigers scored on four of six possessions in their 24-17 victory at South Carolina, several times in the game they struggled in short yardage situations, including a third and two in the fourth quarter the Tigers didn't convert when Auburn really needed a first down.

"It is real tough, especially with a hostile crowd," Palmer says. "It is more about get-off and pad level. It was to our disadvantage not hearing the snap because the crowd was so loud. In that split second the defense already started getting penetration and it made it hard for us."

The offensive line had its good moments, too, in Columbia like on the first drive when the Tigers opened the game by knocking large holes in the defensive front. "We came out pretty fired up," Palmer says. "After sitting around all day, everybody was ready to play and we came out and put it to them pretty quickly." However, the game was not easy.

Auburn jumped to a quick 7-0 lead, but had to make a defensive stop on the last play to hold on for a 24-17 victory.

This week the Tigers will be looking to improve to 4-0 in the SEC against an Arkansas team that is 2-0 in the SEC and 3-1 overall. Kickoff time is shortly after 11 a.m. from Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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