A Q&A With Dan Mullen

Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen talks to the media after Tuesday's practice.

You talked to your team about the upcoming spring game.
"Yeah, it's an exciting time for everybody. It's the first opportunity for the fans to see this team perform. It's the first time for a lot of guys to perform on a big stage, guys like Dak Prescott, Joe Morrow, Derrick Milton and Josh Robinson and some of the young defensive guys. And as everybody knows the spring game weekend is an exciting time for everybody. It's not just about a football game."

How did having to practice inside affect this week's practice?
"It changed our week around a little bit. We were going to scrimmage a little today, then do situations Thursday. We kind of switched the week around due to being inside today. It was a situational day today. We put guys in a lot of adverse situations that we needed to get done."

Quay Evans and Dewayne Cherrington got a little first-team action today.
"Yeah, guys are working hard. This time of the spring we are going to move it around a little bit. You are going to have a lot of different combinations to see how guys respond playing with the number 1 group. We want to see how guys respond."

What are your thoughts about how Quay did today?
"We'll see when we see him on film. I think he's starting to understand that you have to go hard. I think that is one of the biggest adjustments high school guys have to make when they get to college. Coming here for the spring gives him the time to see that. Training camp goes so fast you don't have time to see it. (In the spring) you can watch the film and study it and realize that he is not running very hard or practicing very hard. When you watch the film you ask them is that as hard as they can go. And they'll tell you it's not. Now they know they have to try a lot harder."

Was it unique to watch the Friday scrimmage after not being at the scrimmage?
"It was a very outsider's look. The first thing I did was read of your reports. Then I watched the reality of it, which was very different. I came in with a bias, then watched it and came away with a different impression. I was very pleased with the second team defense and the first team offense. The first team offense and the second team defense won that scrimmage. That's what I saw when I watched it. We have a lot of good things to teach on. There is a long time before we play a game so we want to have a lot of things to teach, especially with the young players and even the veterans.. The next thing is to make sure we have the players ready to play."

What did you think about Darius Slay's play in the scrimmage?
"He made a couple of plays and made a couple of mistakes. A lucky interception is not a great one. The one he made on the sideline one-handed was a great one. He put himself into position. It was going to be an incomplete pass and he turned it into an interception. The first one he made was just pure luck. We under threw the ball. It should have been a touchdown. Those are things you want to correct."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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