Missouri Spring Practice Report 4-9-13

On Tuesday, the Missouri Tigers practiced indoors in full pads for more than two hours during a very competitive day of practicing following Saturday's first major scrimmage.

On Tuesday, the Missouri Tigers practiced indoors in full pads for more than two hours.

“I thought overall, it was a very competitive day,” said Coach Pinkel following Tuesday’s practice. “The offense and defense were tied at the end of our 11-on-11 periods. The tie-breaker was a (43-yard) kick by Andrew Baggett. Once again, he puts it through…………………………………….. That puts a lot of pressure on your kicker, but that’s really good. So, it was very, very competitive. And, I think we’re improving as a football team.”

There was one new injury to report. RSF TE Sean Culkin watched from the sidelines while wearing a red jersey, with what was reported to be a “hip pointer”. Kyle Peasel remains sidelined, as well. Eric Waters practiced in a red pull-over, as did Randy Ponder, and Torey Boozer.

Kony Ealy was absent from practice due to a “family illness”. In his absence, Shane Ray moved up to work with the first-team defense.

The only other change I saw on the first-team defense was that Darvin Ruise was back working with the first team, backed up by Kentrell Brothers and Donavin Newsom.

At the level of the second-team defense, Markus Golden moved up in Ealy's absence.

On offense, I didn't see any changes in the first team. Maty Mauk has moved ahead of Corbin Berkstresser, and he was lining up with the second team. I didn't see any other changes with the first or second-team offense.

Over the past week or so, Mauk has made a partial, but significant, improvement in his passing accuracy. He's a little more accurate than he was before the break on most of his throws.

Coach Pinkel refused to discuss the specifics of the QB competition. But, he did talk about the QB competition in general.

“We’ve got to keep getting better,” said Coach Pinkel. “All three of them are doing a lot of good things. It’s very competitive, and that’s very positive……………………………………… I don’t know where it’s going to end up. And, that’s okay. We’ve got three talented guys who are competing. I’m in no rush to make a decision. Generally, it takes care of itself. So, we’ll see where it goes.”

Afterward, Coach Pinkel talked about a few other players, and how they are performing.

“The QB-center exchange was pretty good,” said Coach Pinkel, referring to the improvement that Evan Boehm has made with his snapping. “I thought Evan Boehm did a really good job………………………………………….. Justin Britt is still rusty. Connor McGovern is really doing well on the inside at offensive guard as a young player. Taylor Chappell is also back, but he’s still rusty. But, they’re getting work. They’re not going to be one-hundred percent. Not yet. But, they’re getting work.”

When practice got underway, Coach Steckel put his entire defense through some drills designed to improve their pursuit to the football. He really got after them, and pushed them hard throughout the drill, often resetting to make particular position groups repeat the drill.

“What we’re looking at right now is that our (defensive ) pursuit wasn’t as good as we need it to be,” explained Coach Pinkel. “Coach Stec had them out there at the beginning of practice, and he got after them pretty good.”

Coach Pinkel said that they’ve got a lot of young players who are stepping up, and are on the cusp of being ready to play.

“It’s nice to see that we’ve got a lot of guys who fall into that category,” said Coach Pinkel, referring to young players who are close to being ready to play.

There are young players at nearly every position who fit that description.

“We probably have close to ten or eleven guys right now who are putting themselves in a position to help us compete for a championship,” explained Coach Pinkel.

Clayton Echard has moved from defensive end to tight end.

James Franklin continues to be the most accurate passer among the Missouri QBs. Franklin hit Dorial Green-Beckham right in stride and right in the hands on a deep out, down along the left sideline. Nice throw and catch!

Mauk made a number of quality throws, but he also had some throws that were not very accurate. Mauk fired one down the right sideline to Darius White on a go route. That was a nice throw and catch!

Many of Berkstresser's throws continued to be off target. Berkstresser tried to get the ball to Dorial Green-Beckham out along the sideline, but his throw was low and behind him.

Trent Hosick made a number of quality throws. He threw a beautiful deep ball down the right sideline that hit Darius White right in stride and right in the hands. Hosick hit Jake Brents right in the hands out along the left sideline.

The usually very accurate Eddie Printz was a little off on some of his throws on Tuesday.

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