"The biggest thing was at the beginning where we lost our composure, particularly at quarterback. We are out there everyday working and taking the proper drops. But, with the little defensive pressure that we got sometimes, they have to take the full drop and step up and stay with the progression and follow their reads. Sometimes, I thought that we pulled up too quick. That hurt us at the beginning, especially in the passing game."
What was your impression of your running backs?
"I thought that Jerious (Norwood), at times, stepped up in there and had a couple of good plays. And Fred (Reid) did a good job sometimes. Carlton Rice stepped up in there and did some good things. He and (Jason) Jude did some good things. And we are definitely going to need those guys help as the season progresses."
You alternated Aries Nelson and Omarr Conner at number one and two this week in practice.
"I wanted to see how each one of them handled the huddle with the first group. During the week in practice, I thought that Aries had done a good job. That was why I started him today. But, I don't think in today's scrimmage he performed the way that I thought he would. That's why we ended up giving Omarr some snaps with the first unit near the end."
Have you ever had a situation where you have had so many fumbled snaps between the quarterback and center?
"(I) sure have. Right now, it is with one particular center that we are having the problems with. We have to get that ironed out because we are expecting him to play some. That is something that we will have to work on, not only during practice but before and after practice. Also, a lot of guys who are used to playing in the shotgun. I've talked to two of the quarterbacks and one of them had never lined up under center since his ninth grade year. We are starting from day one when it comes to that. You can't run this offense when you have been in the shotgun all the time because there is a lot of timing."
It seemed like the offense and the offensive line, in particular, played much better in the second half of the scrimmage.
"We picked up right at the end. Coach Croom and I wanted to see how we could stress them, particularly in the running game to see if we could run the ball. If we are going to have any success this year we have to be able to run the ball. At some point in time, you have to have some consistency in running the football. We also have to get better at play-action passes. If we are sitting there trying to do drop-back all the time that is going to hurt us. Early in the scrimmage when we got behind and ended up having to make up long yardage in third down situations, the defense had the advantage."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.