Post-practice Q&A With Dan Mullen

Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen talks about Thursday's practice.

How was the practice today?
"It was great today. Seeing all the support we had from the high school coaches in the state (from the MSU coaching clinic). I think we had over 250 high school coaches out at practice today from the clinic watching things. That was pretty good. Despite the attention, and having the distraction of starting outside and having to go inside we still stayed focused and did a decent job." (The team had to go into the Palmeiro Center due to bad weather.-Gene)

Will there be a scrimmage Saturday?
"Yes, we will have a big scrimmage on Saturday on the (outside) practice fields."

How is junior college transfer wide receiver Leon Berry doing?
"He's doing a good job. We've had to move him around a few positions due to all the injuries that we have had. That's frustrating. But Leon is working hard and trying to do things the right way."

Defensive end Devin Jones was on the first unit defensive line today. What are your impressions of him so far?
"He's a great effort guy. And so much of our program is going to be based on effort. If you come out and give great effort every single day, you are going to find yourself moving up the depth chart very quickly."

With Anthony Johnson no longer a part of the team, what were the factors that went into that decision?
"A bunch, just different opportunities. He's still here in school right now, working and trying to earn his way back. He's still on the team. When I started he was suspended. I then gave him a couple of opportunities. We'll have to see if he can follow through with them in the end."

Is it not a done deal?
"We'll decide at the end of the semester where he is."

Any change with Arceto Clark and Maurice Langston?
"No, they are in the same position that they've been in. When the investigation is done we'll then make a decision"

Talk about developing a quarterback.
"To be a great quarterback you really have to develop yourself. It can't be done in 15 spring practices and it can't be done in (the NCAA mandated) 20 hours a week (that coaches are allowed with football players). It can only be done if you want to make a commitment and want to put in a lot of extra work and a lot of extra time. The offseason will be a good learning lesson; how much they need to throw in the summer on their own - because we can't work with them - to be prepared for next season."

How are the kids adjusting to the defense that you are going to run under defensive coordinator Carl Torbush?
"Pretty good. He's throwing a bunch of stuff at them, they are bringing a lot of different pressures. And we mix that in with a lot of different formations. It's a great experience for them having to learn all the blitz adjustments to the different formations that we run."


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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