A Q&A With DT Charles Burns

A Q&A with Mississippi State senior defensive tackle Charles Burns.

How would you describe practices under Coach Mullen?
Charles Burns - "Intense, but you have to be relentless. You have to go hard."

What has surprised you most about Coach Mullen's practices?
"Just how intense they are. How, as soon as you hit the turf, you don't stop moving. It's like ants, you don't stop moving."

What do you think about that intensity?
"I think it makes you better. It makes you move faster, it makes you adapt faster to situations."

You are now a fulltime defensive tackle. What are your thoughts about moving to defensive tackle?
"It's tough. I have to put more rocks in my pocket because they are going to double team me."

(Laugh) What do you weigh?
"About 270."

How much do you need to get to?
"I have to get up to 280."

The team does one-on-ones at the start of practice. Doesn't that wear you out for the rest of the practice?
"It kind of wears you out, but, at the same time, it gets you ready. It gets your blood flowing - offense versus defense. You see an offensive guy losing to a defensive guy, you feel like the defense is going to have a good day. I think whoever wins the most out of the one-on-ones pretty much sets the tone for the day."

The coaches are also very intense throughout the practice. Does that carryover to the players?
"Yeah, with the coaches being so energetic and interacting with the players I think it's better."

Of the other defensive linemen, who has really impressed you?
"Pernell McPhee."

What do you like about him?
"Oh my God, he's blazing fast and he's got so much energy. So much energy, so much energy. He doesn't get tired. He's just got a motor."

What does a guy like that do for you as a player?
"I've been here for awhile. Sometimes I feel like I'm Brett Favre. So, he's given me a tuneup and an oil change and gotten my energy going."

What do you think about redshirt freshman defensive end Devin Jones?
"Devin Jones is like the 1965 Chevy with a V-8 engine. He just goes. No matter what the coaches want him to do, he will do it. He's balls to the wall."

Who does he compare to?
"He's like Avery Hannibal. He's small but he's strong. He can run, too."

Who has impressed you on the offensive line?
"Tobias Smith."

What do you like about him?
"Oh man, when he gets his hands on you it's pretty much a wrap. You might as well finish the play because he's not going to give you another chance until the next play."

Do you go against him much in practice?
"Yeah, I do. He almost punched a hole in my side the other day."

(Laugh) What did he do?
"He's got good hands, man. He's strong. He's strong. If you make a move with your feet you can kind of beat him sometimes, but when he gets you where he wants you at, you have to play his kind of ball."

I know you don't go against him in practice but what is your opinion of Addison Lawrence?
"He moves his feet and finishes his play, but that has a lot to do with (offensive line) Coach (John) Hevesy. With Hevesy, they have a lot of energy."

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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