Coach Croom Talks About Monday's Practice

Mississippi State head football coach Sly Croom discussed Monday's practice.

How was your first day in full pads and also your first practice back after spring break?
"We looked like we did last year and, obviously, that's not good enough.

"Our defense came out today and tried to get better. Our defense is running to the ball. I don't think there was a time today where I saw anyone on defense not running to the ball. We tackled better and are pleased with that. The form tackling that we did in shorts showed. Guys like (Clarence) McDougal, who were poor tacklers last year, looked much better today.

"If we run to the ball and tackle well, then turnovers will come. We don't need a lot of turnovers for our offense to not have any chance of scoring because today we would have had a hard time scoring against air. We got tired and some of them got a little winded and had a little puke running down their jerseys. Then they started feeling sorry for themselves and we didn't get anything done.

"We practiced snaps counts today, but right now, we don't have enough guys who can count past one. So, everytime we went past one on the snap count, we jumped offsides. We are going to change the snap count up this year. And a lot of things our guys couldn't do mentally last year (we will start doing), I don't care if we have to start a bunch of freshmen, we are going to start getting it done.

"We have a lot of work to do to get it done. And there are no shortcuts to where we are trying to go. There is a price to be paid and we still have some that aren't sure if they are willing to pay the price. We are going to put them in situations where they will make a decision before these practices are over."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by email at

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