Coach Odom Discusses Tiger Safety Situation

Missouri Tiger assistant coach Barry Odom talks with about the issues and injury surrounding the safety position for the Tigers as they head into their game against Texas.

Among other duties, Missouri Assistant Coach Barry Odom is primarily responsible for coaching the Missouri safeties.  RSF Braylon Webb had been doing a good job since being moved into the starting line-up at the free safety position a couple of weeks ago.  He was injured during the second half of the Baylor game, and will miss a couple of weeks, according to Coach Pinkel.   Coach Odom denied a direct correlation with Webb's exit, but Baylor was able to score 29 second-half points.

Heading into this week's game against Texas, junior Kenronte Walker has been moved over from the free safety position, where he's been backing up Kenji Jackson, to the starting strong safety position.  He'll be backed up by sophomore Matt White, who began the season as the starter at that spot, and who played extensively during the second half of the Baylor game.  RSF Daniel Easterly has moved into the back-up spot behind Jackson.

Coach Odom took time earlier this week to speak with about Missouri's safeties.  He described the responsibilities of the position.

"Play the run.  Play the pass,"  explained Coach Odom.  "That's what the safety's job is.  We've got to do it all."

I asked Coach Odom about the decision to insert Walker into the starting line-up?

"He's played some for us, and has gotten better the last couple of weeks,"  said Coach Odom, in reply to my question about what went into the decision to move Walker into the starting line-up.  "He's doing a good job."

I asked Coach Odom to evaluate the performance of the Missouri safeties.

"We've got improvements every week that we've got to make,"  said Coach Odom, in response to my question about how well the safeties have performed this year.  "I don't look at it on how we've performed.  We do that at the end-of-the-year evaluations.  We just try to get better each week."

I asked Coach Odom what are some of the specific things that they are working on to improve?

"It's just fundamentals,"  replied Coach Odom.  "It's just based on the fundamentals of football.  You know, running, tackling, coverage, our zone drops, our man drops, our tackling.   We work on those things every day of the week."

I asked Coach Odom what has to occur for his safeties to play better on game day?

"I have to coach them better,"  said Coach Odom.  "That's my job…………………………….. I love having the chance to coach all of my guys, and I have to get all my guys playing better…………………………… We've all got to improve on our fundamentals.  And, I've got to do a better job of coaching.  Those guys are learning every week."

In response to my question, Coach Odom said that there had been no discussion about moving Trey Hobson or Robert Steeples to the safety position.

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