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The Missouri Tigers are holding their final scrimmage of the 2010 football preseason on Thursday.
Wednesday's practice was a little lighter than usual with players coming out in shoulder pads and shorts with a scaled-back practice. The idea, according to coach Gary Pinkel, was to keep them fresh for the scrimmage coming on Thursday.
"We might play them (starters) six or eight plays, maybe 10 or 15 plays," he said. "What the format is, pretty much we'll have one full quarter like a normal game, then we'll make sure we get enough reps from each group and then we'll add plays at the end if we need to. We're going to cover a lot of our kicking game too," he said.
"We might play them (starters) six or eight plays, maybe 10 or 15 plays," he said.
"What the format is, pretty much we'll have one full quarter like a normal game, then we'll make sure we get enough reps from each group and then we'll add plays at the end if we need to. We're going to cover a lot of our kicking game too," he said.
There are still some positions being looked at, so this is the biggest piece of the evaluation pie at this point.
This will be Mizzou's final scrimmage in preparation for the Sept. 4 opener against Illinois which means college football is getting closer.
Nearly two weeks ago Mizzou learned it would be losing WR Jerrell Jackson to a broken wrist.
The early word was that he wouldn't be ready for week one against Illinois and he'd be questionable for week two against McNeese State.
On Tuesday Gary Pinkel suggested Jackson could conceivably be back for week one saying some athletes can respond quicker, per Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune.
Could Jackson be back in time for the Illinois game? Pinkel didn’t rule out that scenario. “It’s certainly a question mark now,” he said. “This was news to us yesterday. It’s a possibility.”
Interesting. We've been operating under the impression that he would be unlikely against Illinois. We'll see if this could happen. From the time he was injured to the season opener, it'd be a little less than a month of recovery time.
He'd he have to be healthy enough to help the team. Playing injured doesn't do any good unless you're productive.
Check out Rock M Nation for more Mizzou football.
The 2010 Mizzou football team does not have a quarterback problem. Blaine Gabbert enters the season on the radar of many and will likely be a first round pick next April.
Even their fourth quarterback is impressive.
Throughout preseason, Glaser, who currently is the No. 4 quarterback, has been steady. In the first scrimmage, he went 17-for-21 for 168 yards, though he did throw one interception. He stood out even more at the second scrimmage, where he went 9-for-9 for 98 yards. He threw one touchdown pass and rushed for a second touchdown.
It's good to know Mizzou has more coming through the pipeline.
It's gotta be frustrating to be that defense going against that offense.
The good thing about Mizzou's offense is that they score a lot of points. The bad thing is that it there's a lot of running so you need lots of skill position players.
A lot of things go into someone seeing playing time as a true freshman, and some of those are working in favor of Lucas and Sasser as well as another true freshman receiver, Jimmie Hunt from Cahokia, who has been out recently with an ankle injury but could return to practice today. Not only to do they have talent — and size — they have good timing. Mizzou doesn't return a lot of experience at its three receiver positions, and with its spread offense, Mizzou needs a lot of receivers.
Mizzou has five receivers back from last year and it's not like in years past where several spots are taken up for future NFLers.
"Is there an opportunity to play or are you stacked behind (Jeremy) Maclin or (Danario) Alexander and those guys?" said receivers coach Andy Hill. "Or do you have guys that have minimal experience? This year, we have minimal experience coming back with a few players, so the opportunity is there too."
Check out the full story at the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
On Monday, the Kansas City Chiefs came out dressed and ready for their morning practice.
Head coach Todd Haley surprised them and told them to get back into street clothes because they were going to a movie. He called it a "team-building exercise."
Apparently Mizzou took notice, according to Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune.
Mizzou calls off today's PM practice, will head to the movies. Choice of The Other Guys or The Expendables
So, no afternoon practice.
For the record, none of the Chiefs copped to choosing "Eat, Pray, Love". I wonder if anyone from Mizzou will.
For all things Mizzou Tigers, check out SB Nation's Rock M Nation.
Believe it or not, Blaine Gabbert wasn't healthy in 2009. You wouldn't know it looking at his numbers with 3,593 passing yards and 24 touchdowns.
He suffered a high ankle sprain in the Nebraska game last year and didn't miss a game so it never completely healed, he says.
Now, Gabbert is 100 percent and has resumed normal workouts. His body fat is down from 16 percent to 12 percent, and he has maintained 240 pounds on his 6-foot-5 frame.
“It felt good to be healthy in the spring,'' he said. “I regained my confidence. I could do things that I couldn't do in the last half of last season.''
So...if Gabbert wasn't healthy when he put up those numbers, what can he do in 2010?
Last week the story of Mizzou football during camp was the mounting number of injuries.
Things are starting to slow down there were no new injuries.
Outside of the two serious injuries -- WR Jerrell Jackson and S Jarrell Harrison -- the other injuries are all minor that will keep players out for a few days at most.
The next scrimmage comes Thursday morning and then again a week later so you can probably expect some guys to be banged up after that.
Check out Rock M Nation for more on Mizzou football camp.
Derrick Washington didn't end his 2009 season on a positive note. After a solid 2008 campaign, he limped away from 2009 with a knee injury and a not-very-impressive stat-line.
He's "quicker, faster and better than ever," writes the Columbia Missourian.
Last season, Washington played with a knee injury that hindered his ability to quickly manufacture speed from the backfield, as the Missouri offense requires. Now fully healthy and in the best shape of his football-playing career, Washington is running past the big linemen easily and getting into the open field, allowing him to go one-on-one against the smaller defensive backs. And Washington has a great winning percentage in his matchups against defensive backs.
That was evident on a 42-yard run and a 47-yard reception, both of which went for touchdowns in Mizzou's scrimmage last weekend.
By many accounts, he seems to be having one of the best camps of his career. Then again, there's a difference between starring in camp and starring in a game.
The Columbia Missourian has a nice story on Mizzou trying to create more fumbles this season.
Last year Mizzou ranked 9th in the Big 12 in takeaways. That's a number that can and needs to be improved.
With Mizzou's offense, we know they can score points. Creating takeaways on a consistent basis can make them near unbeatable.
“There’s a form to doing it,” DE Aldon Smith said. “You’ve got to have your one arm around them and the other is violently ripping for that ball, but you’ve got to make sure you’ve secured the tackle before you do it.”
Think back to the 2003 Chiefs. They were unstoppable on offense but they were also near the top of the league in turnover differential. That helped them win 13 games that year. It's a similar idea with this Mizzou team.
Head coach Gary Pinkel, though, recognized that in an intra-squad scrimmage, creating fumbles isn't necessarily a good thing.
That's because it comes against his offense.
Mizzou got back to practice on Monday morning with a few players missing.
Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune reports that two players have left the team.
First off, some roster updates: Redshirt freshman tight end Alex Sanders has left the team for undisclosed reasons, as has walk-on redshirt freshman tailback Nikko Sansone, who had a rushing touchdown in Saturday’s scrimmage.
Another player was not participating because of some sort of violation of team rules.
Backup sophomore offensive tackle Taylor Davis did not practice Monday and is not listed on the latest depth chart but is dealing with an undisclosed violation of team rules.
Here's a quick rundown on some of the major players in Mizzou's first scrimmage over the weekend.
Quarterbacks are efficient
The quarterbacks completed 73% of their passes, which is a very good numbers...or is it?
It's never smart to make rash judgments from scrimmages, but I typically like to see the #1 QB doing great things, the #2 doing well, and the #3, 4, etc., getting lit up like a Christmas tree. This is because I like to see the first-string offenses and defenses dominating against the lesser strings.
Gabbert was 18/23 for 162 yards and one touchdown.
Derrick Washington looks solid
MU's official site has good things to say about RB Derrick Washington.
The Raymore, Mo., native made it known right away that he was ready for a big day, as he shot off-tackle on the first play of the scrimmage for a 73-yard run. Washington also had a 42-yard run later in the day.
"He's good, he's been around," said Head Coach Gary Pinkel. "That's what you have to do, when you have starters returning, they have to play better than they did the year before, or your team's not going to get better.
As Rock M Nation says, it's like he's rediscovering whatever it is he lost late in 2008.
Unexpected star of the day
Redshirt freshman DE Michael Sam, who missed practice this past Monday to be at the funeral of former Tiger teammate Daniel Schatz, had a massive day, as he recorded 5 quarterback sacks, and added another tackle for loss. On one of the sacks, he jarred the ball loose from QB James Franklin, picked it up near midfield, and raced the other way nearly 50 yards before Franklin pulled him down just shy of the goalline and the score.
Five sacks, scrimmage or not, is outstanding.
On Thursday, Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune reported that Mizzou DE Aldon Smith was "out indefinitely" with a hip pointer.
Coach Gary Pinkel indicated that it could be a couple of days.
And then there's this from Matter this morning:
Good news for #Mizzou this AM, no red pullover for DE Aldon Smith, who's been fighting a hip pointer
It's about time Mizzou had some injury news go their way.
Smith is one of the most valuable pieces on the Tigers defense so his health is critical. If you ask head coach Gary Pinkel, it doesn't matter who's hurt.
"I don’t care who gets hurt," he said. "There are no excuses for anything. We don’t care. Bottom line, people move up, and whoever’s playing game day against Illinois plays. We don’t ever talk about, ‘Woe is me. This is awful this happened to us.’ We don’t do that around here. … If a guy gets hurt, coaches have to coach better and we’ve got to have people step up and play at a better level. That’s what we’re going to do."
When we passed along word that Mizzou had lost WR Jerrell Jackson to a broken wrist, the early reports indicated that he would definitely be missing the season opener against Illinois.
But what about the home opener the following week against McNeese State?
Jackson said a return to that game might be "pushing it", according to Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune.
“But when they told me” it was broken, “I couldn’t be sad. … I can’t sit back and pout about my wrist being broke. I’m going to coach these guys, and hopefully by the time we play Illinois, our receivers are ready to catch every football.”
So the broken wrist may cause him to miss two games.
WR T.J. Moe, one of the guys expected to replace him, has the support of QB Blaine Gabbert, who said he's not worried about Moe.
Here's a quick update on the injuries floating around Mizzou football camp right now:
MLB Will Ebner: Missed third consecutive practice Wednesday with strained hamstring
MLB Luke Lambert: Some participation on Wednesday after straining his knee
SS Jerrell Harrison: Surgery on Friday to fix torn meniscus in knee
RB DeVion Moore: Missed second practice because of a concussion
DT Terrell Resonno: Missed part of Wednesday's practice with some sort of right arm injury
And then there's WR Jerrell Jackson, who will miss a month with a broken wrist.
This isn't good news. The Missouri Tigers top wide receiver Jerrell Jackson broke his wrist on Wednesday afternoon, Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune reports.
Bad, bad news for the Missouri offense: The team's leading returning pass-catcher, slot receiver Jerrell Jackson, has a broken scaphoid bone in his left wrist and will miss approximately four weeks of action, team spokesman Chad Moller confirmed. Jackson's wrist will be put in a cast and not require surgery. He suffered the injury at the end of a 30-yard catch-and-run during Wednesday's 11-on-11 drills, after which he grabbed the wrist in pain and was seen by team trainers.
It's a similar injury to the one that Danario Alexander suffered in week one against Illinoins in 2007. He missed three weeks there.
It looks like Jackson will definitely miss the Sept. 4 opener against Illinoins but could conceivably be back for Sept. 11 against McNeese State.
So who takes his spot?
His backup is T.J. Moe and he's had a solid camp with Matter saying he's "arguably been MU's most consistent and productive receiver through the first week of camp."
I didn't realize Tony Dungy was such an influence on the Missouri Tigers defensive attack. Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune has a very interesting article on Mizzou's defense and the influence of Dungy.
Here are a few samplings from Matter's story.
Defensive coordinator Dave Steckel:
Dungy used to always say, ‘We’re going to do what we do, but we’re going to do it better. That’s what we have to do.”
Cornerbacks coach Cornell Ford:
“Tony Dungy used to say, ‘Sometimes your players don’t get it the first year, but the second and third year, man, they should be rolling pretty quick with it."
Mizzou safety Jarrell Harrison was injured in Tuesday morning's practice and later missed the afternoon practice.
Mizzou spokesman Chad Moller confirmed the injury news.
An MRI exam was done this afternoon and the test revealed torn meniscus, which will require surgery. Team Trainer Rex Sharp indicated that the surgery could be performed by Team Physician Pat Smith as early as this Friday, and that if all goes well, Harrison could be back in time for the Sept. 4 season opener against Illinois.
So it looks the battle at safety won't be much of a battle over the next three weeks. Junior Kenji Jackson more than likely enters the season as the starter.
Mizzou has a few injury updates from Tuesday's two-a-day.
Other than that, all guys are healthy after the first day in full pads.
As the Atlanta Falcons prepare to face the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason opener on Friday night, it's a good time to bring up the Falcons first round draft pick Sean Weatherspoon.
The former Missouri Tigers linebacker will be missed in Columbia, that's for sure. His former teammates talked about him and how he'll be replaced.
OLB Andrew Gachkar
“He probably doesn’t know it, but I looked up to him more than anyone here,” Gachkar said. “I learned everything I did from him, and I just admire him the most out of anybody… Spoon would teach you to just take a chance and believe in your skills as a player, and obviously no one believed in their skills better than he did.”
MLB Luke Lambert
“He watched a lot of film and looked at the things other teams were doing,” Lambert said. He looked at the guard and tackle, pre-snap, what they were doing. What they do on a snap affects us.”
OLB Zavier Gooden
“Spoon was real vocal, you know, the loudest guy on the team,” strongside linebacker Zaviar Gooden said. “Made me real vocal. You know, we’ve all got to be leaders now… we’re all trying to step up and be leaders for the defense.”
In one corner, senior Jarrell Harrison and in the other corner junior Kenji Jackson.
The battle....for the starting safety job!
OK that was my Michael Buffer impersonation (you know, the ring announcer?) but the battle for Mizzou's starting safety position is getting interesting.
Harrison and Jackson split time last year and the way things are going now it appears they'll do the same in 2010. Head coach Gary Pinkel said the two could split time during the season or, if one outplays the other particularly well, could win the job outright.
But right now things seem fairly even.
“Someone’s got to be a one and someone’s got to be a two, and we just kind of evaluate them after every practice,” safeties coach Barry Odom said.
Last year, there was a one and a two and they split those roles. Harrison started eight games and Jackson started five games.
Pinkel says the key to winning the job is consistency, which both players acknowledge. For now, the competition will make each of them better as they battle to win the starting job.
Mizzou's offense -- and their entire success basically -- is based off of the passing game and how well the receivers can catch the ball and run routes in their system.
That's why it's promising to hear such positives about the freshman receiver class.
Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune says the play of the freshman receivers -- Jimmie Hunt, Marcus Lucas and Bud Sasser -- has been the talk of camp through the first week.
Hunt made a dazzling one-handed catch on Friday, using advice, he said, from his older teammates.
“You’ve got to swing your hips, get your head around and get ready to catch the ball,” he said. “And you’ve got to do it with speed. That’s what Mizzou is about: speed, power and efficiency. And that’s how I want to do and prove to everyone I can do it as a freshman.”
Just don't ask Danario Alexander or Will Franklin about translating that to the NFL.
With the heat index passing 100, I imagine it was a hot, frustrating experience for many of them.
"I know the first-year players are glad that's over with," coach Gary Pinkel said. "If you remember back, as I do, to the first padded day in college, which was the first practice, there's a little anxiety."
This is usually when you see more fights in practice While it may sound brutal, the guys have helmets and pads on so there's not much that can get hurt in a fight.
"You see the more physical side of it," Pinkel said. "There's no question about it, you've got to be physical and you've got to hit in this game if you want to be good."
LB Will Ebner sat out of that practice because of a hamstring injury.
Check out Rock M Nation for more on Mizzou football camp.
Five simple words from Mizzou sophomore LB Donovan Bonner on Friday night:
Torn ACL........No big deal
It's good to know that he's keeping a healthy attitude about it but it is a big deal.
A big enough deal that it will cost him his 2010 season.
The reserve sophomore linebacker will require surgery, a Mizzou spokesman confirmed to Mike DeArmond of the Kansas City Star.
Bonner played some as a freshman last year so he has an available redshirt.
Check out Rock M Nation for more Mizzou football news.
It's official. There is football in pads in Columbia, MO.
The 2010 Missouri Tigers kicked off camp a month before their first official game.
Here's what they're saying about Mizzou's first practice. Your home for all Mizzou football talk this season is Rock M Nation.
The Tigers are in shorts and helmets for the first couple days, per NCAA guidelines, and won’t hold their first two-a-day session until next Tuesday. Thursday’s practice lasted just over two hours on the Kadlec Athletic Fields, ending with some 11-on-11 drills pitting the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense.
Gabbert has a new batch of wide receivers, Lucas among them. Gabbert called the group "awesome," and that the depth at the position was an asset to the team. Gabbert is also in the process of finding a new go-to guy for the 2010 season. In seven-on-seven drills, Jerrell Jackson auditioned well for the role. Gabbert found Jackson several times with low passes through traffic — passes that Jackson slid and caught below the hands of the coverage.
On Wednesday, Pinkel addressed all the freshmen, assuring every player that if he was ready to compete at the top level then he could count on playing. Don’t get discouraged by starting out at the bottom of the list.
"The Maclins, the Coffmans," Lucas said, "everybody starts at the bottom. You have to earn your spot. It’s not going to be given."
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