Auburn followed up its 2013 SEC championship with a bit of a down season, hamstrung by collapsing defense. The Tigers attempted to remedy their biggest problem by hiring WIll Muschamp to run the defensive side of the ball, but there were plenty of other issues for the team to address. How did Auburn do in working on its biggest spring priorities?

1. Replace the receivers

Addressed?: Yes

D’haquille Williams surprised many by returning for his final year of eligibility at Auburn, but the Tigers still have to replace upperclassmen Sammie Coates and Quan Bray. Ricardo Louis stepped up as a consistent option this spring, while a junior college transfer has shifted from quarterback to receiver to give the Tigers a dangerous playmaker. Jason Smith has been so good that the coaching staff is working to find as many ways to get him on the field as possible, and that means shifting him to receiver while keeping some quarterback packages for him.

2. Get the linebackers ready to lead

Addressed?: Yes

Auburn returns both Kris Frost and Cassanova McKinzy after both were tempted to jump to the NFL after their junior seasons. New DC Muschamp challenged the two rising seniors in spring ball, pushing them to be more complete players instead of just downhill tacklers. The reviews for both have been positive, and the two defensive leaders are learning each other’s roles as well in order to be “interchangeable” in Muschamp’s defense. If both continue to adapt and rise to Muschamp’s challenges, they’ll be at the heart of a much-improved Auburn defense.

3. Get Carl Lawson up to speed

Addressed?: Yes

Lawson did some extensive film study did while recovering from a torn ACL, and he was putting that to use this spring. Auburn coaches told the media that Lawson came back from his injury hungrier than ever, and he’s set to star in Muschamp’s defense as a “Buck,” the hybrid position that helped turn Florida’s Dante Fowler into a star. Observers and coaches said that Lawson looks explosive, and he should reach the full-fledged stardom he was on the verge of when he suffered his injury last spring.

4. Jovon Robinson or Roc Thomas?

Addressed?: No

Thomas dominated Auburn’s spring game, breaking off a nifty touchdown run and leading all Tigers in rushing yards on the day, but it was Robinson who took the first handoff of the day. That dynamic represents the not-really-a-problem the Tigers will face heading into fall with two of the most talented backs in the SEC. Indications are that it’s Robinson who will be the lead back come fall, but this marks yet another season where Auburn will head into the summer without a defined No. 1 running back.

5. Make sure Jeremy Johnson is ready to roll

Addressed?: Yes

Gus Malzhan ended one of the most transparent “quarterback competitions” in recent memory when he named Johnson his starter on Monday. By all accounts, Johnson did everything asked of him and then some in spring practice, taking control of Malzahn’s offense. The Tigers appear to be in more-than-capable hands heading into the fall with Johnson leading the offense. Malzahn has said the offense won’t change under Johnson, and he’s athletically capable of doing all the things Nick Marshall did last year — Johnson reportedly ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash this spring — but his talent throwing the ball will make Auburn’s offense even more potent.