Tuesday Bulldog Football Briefing

Mississippi State returned to the practice fields Tuesday after their two-day break, and while this is the fourth week of their preseason session Coach Dan Mullen still regards this as essentially training camp. Thus, when asked what the Bulldogs worked on this afternoon… "Just everything. Offense, defense, special teams!" Mullen said, smiling.

Which the head coach said will also be the theme in the next few practice dates. Never mind that game week is coming up fast, and the season-opener with Jackson State is only eleven days away. Or for that matter that most of the true installation has been done. Dan Mullen is not quite ready to make the transition to a game-week regimen. Hence the walk-through meeting the Bulldogs had Tuesday morning prior to classes; and the actual afternoon practice in full gear. Everything needs to be in place before the coach lets Mississippi State seriously think of September 5 and Jackson State.

"We've still got a long way to go. A long way to go. So we've got to get a lot better, clean up a lot in all the phases the next couple of days so we're ready and everything starts looking cleaner next week for game week."

The good news came in Mullen's brief briefing about how Tuesday progressed. The Bulldogs had had Sunday and Monday to recover from their final full scrimmage session of preseason, and the rest appeared to be beneficial to everyone involved. While the players recovered from a very tough week the coaching staff ran through video from four contact days—including the scrimmage—and another partial-pads practice.

Though Mullen talked with media right after the Saturday scrimmage, this was the first day he was available to offer a review of the, well, of their review. Though with his mind at the time on what he'd seen in Tuesday's workout the comments were quick.

"There were some good things and bad things that went on. Some guys made a couple of plays; (TE) Marcus Green made a couple of plays and (QB) Tyson Lee had a pretty good day leading the offense. But offensively we had a couple of turnovers, defensively we gave up a couple of big plays. Those are things that can't happen and we've got to clean up."

There did not appear to be much in the way of casualties from the scrimmage and the only acknowledged injuries were existing issues. WR Chad Bumphis is still somewhat limited; he reported for practice in full gear but jogged while everyone else worked. WR O'Neal Wilder is getting over having wisdom teeth removed. Also, OG Tobias Smith has had the cast from his early-August procedure on an ankle ligament removed, and is now in the rehab process with the goal of activation early in September.

Having Bumphis and Wilder sidelined cut into the receiver rotations, but Mullen says there is adequate depth for practicing. "Depth ready to play?" Mullen said, indicating that's another matter at this point. "We've got to get (receivers) ready to play."

Quarterback depth increased this week as walk-on and former minor league baseball player Daniel Stegall made his practice debut. Obviously it is very late in the day to work a new triggerman into any system, but at least the 21-year-old freshman was introduced to the team. "He got a rep, one play maybe today," Mullen said. "He did some things in individual, he's still learning what's going on."

Mississippi State will have another morning walk-through and afternoon practice Wednesday, then switch to evening workouts Thursday and Friday. With the weekend comes Fan Day, as the Bulldog players and staff will meet the faithful at Palmeiro Center at noon.

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