Henig Continues to Improve

Last season was a learning experience for backup quarterback Mike Henig. Now, with a year under his belt, the redshirt freshman feels much more comfortable with the Mississippi State West Coast offense.

"When you compare last year to this year, I feel I know the offense a lot better," said the 6-1, 180-pounder. "I know my reads and my progressions. Last year, sometimes I would be guessing. Now, I'm pretty confident in myself. I now can look at coverages and know what to do and know the checkoffs."

He's also increased the strength of an already very strong arm.

"Since I've been here, I think my arm has gotten a little stronger," said Henig. And that's saying a lot considering how far he could throw the ball as a high school senior. "The farthest that I have ever thrown the ball was 82 yards, but that was at LSU in an indoor facility with no wind."

Does he feel good about the two drops that are so important to a quarterback when running the West Coast offense, the three and five-step drops?

"I feel good about my three and five-step drops," said Henig. And he understands them well enough to explain each one in detail. "If you have a short route which is a 5 to 6-yard route, you are going to take a three-step drop. You take one big step and you gather with the second two. If you have a deeper route, one that is over 12 yards, then you do a five-step drop."

An already strong arm that is now even stronger. A better understanding of the offense. Both are very important, but is he still lacking anything?

"I still need to work on the concentration aspect of it," said Henig.

While Henig's improved since last season, he's also had the chance to see first-hand the improvement of the Bulldog defense. A defense that MSU head coach Sylvester Croom has been impressed with through most of training camp.

"The defense is the best since I've been here," said the second-year player. "They are even better than they were in the Florida game (an MSU victory). They have gotten a lot faster and they know what they are doing."

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

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