"From an offensive standpoint, we wanted to work on team chemistry. That was our main goal. We also wanted to work on the little things. We have great athletes out here. But everybody doing their job at the same time is what makes an offense go."
Do you think the offense accomplished those things during the spring?
"I think we did a good job, especially toward the middle and late part of spring. We started looking a lot more like a team and got all eleven guys going in the right direction."
One of the things different about this past spring compared to other springs was the fact that you went into the spring as the starter. Did that make the spring different for you personally?
"Definitely. You have a different approach. Coming in as a backup, you want to keep pushing. You are trying to fight for a job. Now, you are trying to keep your job. To tell you the truth, it is harder to keep a job than it is to fight for a job."
There has been a lot of talk about your off-season surgery. How are you doing?
"I had surgery in December. It feels great. I have been throwing this summer and it feels great."
Are you still having to rehab?
"No. I do stretch more often than I used to. I think that has helped. Used to, when I was younger, I would go out and not stretch much and I didn't ice. Now, I try to take care of my arm better."
Are you as strong as you were before?
"I believe so."
Talk a little about your summer. What are you trying to get done during the summer?
"The first part of the summer, I tried to work on the mental aspect of the game. You can never know too much about the game. I just wanted to get with my coaches and players and know the plays like I know the back of my hand. I want it to be natural out there.
"Coming into the second part of the summer, I'm running and getting ready for two-a-days."
Team-wise, what are you hopes for this team this coming season?
"Team-wise, that is what it all boils down to. It doesn't matter what your stats are. It comes down to winning. I want to win every game. If I come out here and play golf or play around in the yard, I want to win. I do know this, if we do get beat, I want the team to know we have been there. I want us to get back to the way we were in the past where we fought and scratched and did whatever it took to win."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.