Looney Excited About The New Offense

Now that he and the rest of his offensive teammates have had the chance to play a couple of preseason scrimmages, Mississippi State center D.J. Looney can't stop smiling due to the potential he's seen in the new MSU spread offense.

"The positive I see with the offense is we are hitting big plays," said Looney. "As a player, you hear that you can score on any play with this offense and we have seen that at times."

And he's not just talking about the 10 and 15 yard TD runs, but something that hasn't been seen often at Mississippi State during the past few years.

"Every play in this offense is set up to score," said Looney, "but that's not realistic. But on a lot of plays, if you execute them perfect they are going to pop out there for 50 to 60 yards."

And it's happened in the scrimmages and practices.

"When you have five guys up front doing the right thing and the running back hitting the hole in the right spot, you'll see a ball come out there for 50 to 60 yards," said Looney. "We have seen that in practice and in the scrimmages. During the (Saturday) scrimmage I think we had two 60 or 70 yard passes. Tyson Lee had an unbelievable day, 20 of 26.

"There are a lot of big-play possibilities in this offense if the plays are executed correctly."

And what makes this offense even more exciting is that it's not a complicated offense. It may seem that way to the casual fan but not to players who have been playing the game of football for years.

"It's not a complicated offense," said Looney. "In my opinion, it's easier than our last offense for all the things that a center has to do. The terms are easier. Communication is better. I really am enjoying this offense."

While he's seen some really good things from this offense during the first few weeks of practice, he knows he and his offensive teammates have only scratched the surface of what this offense can be. There is a lot that needs to be done before the first game of the season against Jackson State on September 4th.

"Of course you can always get better," said Looney. "Things that we need to clean up; everybody needs to know exactly what they are doing which means no missed assignments. Receivers have to catch the ball. We have to protect. The quarterback has to make the right read. And we can't turn the ball over. We still kind of lose the ball too much and you can't turn the ball over at all in this league."

On a personal level, Looney feels comfortable with the offense but believes a year's worth of experience will only make him better.

"I think getting this season under my belt will allow me to develop a better understanding of this offense," said Looney. "I think I have great knowledge right now of everything that is going on, but I have a long way to go and I can get a lot better."

But that's in the future. The present is what is on his mind right now. And he couldn't be more excited about what it holds.

"I think the team energy is great, the team morale is high, everybody is excited," said Looney. "and we can't wait to get in the stadium and play."

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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