Aug. 5, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou Tiger football team held its second practice of its 2014 fall camp, taking to the Kadlec Athletic Fields early Tuesday morning for a two-hour workout in shorts and helmets. The practice was the second-straight one held without any pads on, per NCAA rules. The next two days will see shoulder pads added to the mix, with the first fully-padded practice scheduled for Friday (practice #5).
Just a few of the standout performances from today's no-contact scrimmaging included:
- Senior TB Marcus Murphy looked very speedy as he took a pair of passes out of the backfield for long gains. The first came in 7-on-7 work, and the second came later in the day during 11-on-11 situational sets...
- Junior CB David Johnson made a nice read and break on a ball in the flat late in the day and swooped in for a pass break up, nearly securing the interception that he likely would have taken the other way if he could have corralled the ball before it was knocked away by the receiver-turned-defender on the play...
- A couple of snaps later, reserve LB Denzel Martin picked off a deflected ball over the middle for his first takeaway of fall camp...
- With the #1 offense and #1 defense squaring off, senior DE and co-captain Markus Golden got loose in the backfield to notch a touch sack of sophomore QB Maty Mauk...
- A couple of snaps later, Mauk threw a beautifully-timed out pass to senior WR Darius White for a 15-yard gain, with White doing a nice job of going up to secure the ball while getting both feet down before falling out of bounds...
Tuesday marked the first time that new assistant coach A.J. Ricker met with the local media since joining Gary Pinkel's coaching staff in July. The former all-Big 12 center talked about hitting the ground running with his new team.
"It's warp speed right now, I'm still trying to catch up with the terminology," Ricker said. "A lot of the plays are similar, but obviously the terminology is something I have to learn, and I'm getting better every day just like the players," he said.
Ricker talked about the adjustment to his new set of players.
Quote of the Day
"I told them, `the biggest thing is your first impression - these first two days are all I have to go off of right now and learning who you are, and vice versa with me,' so it's been big."
- Coach Rickeron what he told the offensive line group heading into #MIZCamp14
"It takes awhile, they're still learning me just like I'm learning them," he said. "They're understanding what my expectations are, and I'm getting them to understand what our expectations need to be as a whole. It takes awhile, it's not an overnight deal but I'm slowly starting to get these guys to understand. I told them, `the biggest thing is your first impression - these first two days are all I have to go off of right now and learning who you are, and vice versa with me,' so it's been big," he said.
A very interesting behind-the-scenes element of camp this week has involved the sport of hockey, of all things.
The head coach of the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Eakins, has been a guest of Gary Pinkel's staff the past two days. Eakins, who will be in his second year as the Oilers' coach, recently visited the NFL's Dallas Cowboys training camp, and then headed to Columbia, Mo. to observe Mizzou's operations. Eakins isn't looking for secrets of football strategy that he can borrow for the ice.
"I'm here to learn how top-level coaching staffs work together to get the best out of their athletes," said Eakins. "Hockey staffs are really starting to grow exponentially now, it used to be you had a head coach and an assistant or two and we would handle everything, but now, fortunately, we're adding positional coaches, and strength staffs, more trainers, you name it, and my staff is now really big. I want to learn from proven coaches how they manage this size of a staff, and how the head coach delegates authority and how they communicate within the organization what the expectations are and how they work together toward their goals," he said.
Eakins said he was impressed with what he saw at Mizzou.
"Gary provides a great structure, there's a lot here that I feel we can use to benefit our organization and how we do things," Eakins said. "It's been really interesting to learn how a staff of this size can operate so efficiently," he said.
Pinkel said he was honored to have Eakins choose Mizzou as part of his barnstorming tour.
"It's really a neat deal to have someone like Dallas decide he wants to come check out your organization," Pinkel said. "There was a connection he had to someone who knows Carl Edwards (Columbia, Mo. native and one of the top NASCAR drivers in the country), and this person knew that Carl is a big fan of our program, so that's where it got started, and when Dallas reached out to us we were thrilled to invite him to come spend time with us," Pinkel said.
Eakins was part of staff meetings and team meetings the last couple of days, and Pinkel said he tried to show his visitor as much as he wanted to see.
"I've said time after time that this is Don James' system, and I take a lot of pride in keeping his legacy going by running his system," Pinkel said. "I'm honored to have a chance to share certain parts of it, and I hope that there's some useful stuff that Dallas can take with him," he said.
The Tigers will have weight lifting session, followed by lunch, position meetings and some down time before more meetings throughout the afternoon and evening. First-year players have an academic orientation session this afternoon for an hour and-a-half as they continue to work on getting acclimated to the rigors of academics at Mizzou.
All of that leads up to the team's third practice of fall camp, scheduled for Wednesday morning. Stay tuned to www.MUTigers.com for continuing coverage of Mizzou's 2014 Fall Training Camp.
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