Coach Pinkel addressed the media on Monday afternoon, and updated us on injuries, re-instatements, and the depth chart. He also talked a little bit about his team and their win over McNeese State.
"Jasper Simmons is still out," said Coach Pinkel. "He had meniscus surgery last week. He's doing well. Hopefully, we'll get him back the week after this, most likely. We'll see what happens. Luke Lambert has a hamstring. You know, he's a possibility this week. We'll err on the safe side. I'm hesitant on playing him. Obviously, the medical staff will make that decision. Other than that, I think we're in pretty good shape."
Munir Prince is scheduled to undergo an MRI this week. Coach Pinkel will meet with Prince and his family, and the medical staff, to discuss Prince's future. Coach Pinkel said that Munir "is doing really good".
Kirk Lakebrink has moved back ahead of Anthony Gatti at left tackle, behind Elvis Fisher. That's not really very significant, since Lakebrink played instead of Gatti anyway. Brinkley and Ebner are listed as the starters at long-snapper and MLB, respectively. Brad Madison and Michael Sam are listed as the second-team DEs. Josh Tatum is back at the number two WLB, behind Zaviar Gooden, and Andrew Wilson is back at the number two SLB, behind Andrew Gachkar. E.J. Gaines has moved ahead of Robert Steeples at CB, and is listed second, behind Kevin Rutland. In reality, Gaines is currently the Tigers' number four corner.
Coach Pinkel talked about the criteria they utilize to determine which first-year players play. He talked about it being "a process" beginning "on day one" of fall camp.
"I still think that freshmen have to have a contribution," said Coach Pinkel. "We have to see a contribution that they're going to make throughout the season to help us win. I think that's the number one, most important thing.................. It's a process that we do everyday, during two-a-days, starting with practice one. We keep talking about all of the players. Can they make a contribution this year, and help us? The depth issues are certainly a factor. That's probably the number one factor. Obviously, with high-level ability, and maturity. Those two things have to be in place."
"If a guy's mature enough, and the position presents itself depth-wise, that it's good," continued Coach Pinkel. "And, he's physically, and mentally, and he's emotionally in line, and mature enough to do it, then we try to get him involved. And, I think it's done well for us the last few years."
Coach Pinkel said that there's still a couple of more first-year players who may play this year, saying it is presently "up in the air on a couple of kids". He concluded by saying that the more time that goes by, the less likely it becomes that they will play.
Coach Pinkel talked about the Tigers' DEs.
"Our defensive end depth overall, is as good as it's ever been," said Coach Pinkel. "We have a couple of young players, defensive linemen that are red-shirting too, that are pretty high-level guys. So, we're excited about that. It's nice to be able to play a lot of players............ It's allowed us to do a few things."
"We came out and we executed," said Coach Pinkel, reflecting on his team's win over McNeese State. "We focused on ourselves, and not on our opponent, which I think you want to do every week. I think we accomplished that goal................. I think we became a better football team..................... If we want to accomplish our goals, we have to get better every week. We have to improve."