On Monday morning, the Missouri Tigers resumed fall camp 2013 with a two-and-a-half-hour workout in full pads on the Kadlec Athletic Fields. Players were enthusiastic, and appeared to be ready to get back to work. Practice was moved indoors for the final 11-on-11 period, as a lightning-producing thunderstorm approached.
“We had a good practice, I think overall,” said Coach Pinkel, following his team’s first practice after Saturday’s first scrimmage of fall camp. “I think overall we did some good things. It was very competitive……………………………….. It was good work.”
Newly arrived safety Duron Singleton practiced in shorts and shoulder pads. He’s arrived in shape, and he should be in full pads on Tuesday. Among the injured, only Wesley Leftwich remained in a red jersey. John Gibson, Matt White and Jason Reese each wore red pull-overs, and participated in most drills. Coach Ford said that he’s “hopeful” that Gibson will be able to scrimmage on Thursday. Sheldon Gerau did not dress due to an ankle injury, and E.J. Gaines limped off toward the end of practice with what appeared to be a knee injury.
With his outstanding first week of camp, Reese has jumped up the Depth Chart to the third team, behind Sean Culkin and Eric Waters. The only other change I noted on offense was the inter-changing of former third-team right tackle Mike Boddie and former third-team right guard Jordan Williams. Williams is now the third-team right tackle behind Mitch Morse and Taylor Chappell. On Monday, Williams was also taking some second-team reps.
Coach Pinkel said that Reese is “very talented”, and that he has a great work ethic.
There were a few more changes on the defensive side of the football, most notably the promotion of Kentrell Brothers to first-team weak-side LB. Darvin Ruise lined up at WLB with the second unit, but former third-team WLB Donavin Newsom has moved to third-team SLB, behind Donovan Bonner and Clarence Green. Newsom was taking some second-team reps. By my observation, Green and Newsom are currently Missouri's number six and seven LBs, respectively, and this not unexpected move positions Newsom in direct competition for that second-team spot.
Newsom has been having a great camp! He appears to be getting close to being ready to play.
Up front, it appears that Kony Ealy has taken over the status as the number one defensive end, as evidenced by the interchange of Shane Ray and Brayden Burnett. Ray is now lined up behind Michael Sam, and Burnett lined up behind Ealy. On the inside, as expected, Josh Augusta has moved up to the number three defense, behind Matt Hoch and Marvin Foster. That tells me that Augusta is currently Missouri's number five DT, and he is now positioned directly behind the fifth-year senior with whom he is in direct competition for a second-team spot. On Monday, Augusta took some second-team reps, as well.
There were no official changes in the first team secondary. However, the competition is heating up. Singleton is positioned at the back of the line behind Matt White, Ian Simon, Daniel Easterly, and Shawn Rupert. Aarion Penton is lined up behind E.J. Gaines and John Gibson. On Monday, Penton took some second-team reps. Ernest Payton moved up to second-team, right behind Randy Ponder, and ahead of Xavier Smith and David Johnson. On Monday, Payton worked some with the first-team defense. Payton and Penton were the big winners on Saturday in the cornerback derby, and it looks like Ian Simon helped himself the most at the safety position.
“Aarion Penton did some good things (on Saturday),” explained Coach Pinkel stating the obvious. “He’s a real good athlete, quick. He did some good things. We’re going to get him some more opportunities with the twos, to see if he can get in the four-deep, or be the fifth corner, or nickel-dime; we have so many different personnel sets. So, he really did some good things. It’s a really good (freshman) class! I’m just real, real impressed with this (freshmen) class! It’s exciting! And, he’s one of them. The next week, we have to kind of make decisions on who we think is ready and not ready. So, we’ll see what happens.”
Singleton possesses the expected size, and he appeared to move well in the individual drills. He has just two years to play two, so the staff is going to try to get him on the field in some capacity as soon as possible.
Coach Ford talked about the rise of Ernest Payton.
“(Payton’s) had a really good camp,” explained Coach Ford. “He’s made great progress! The only thing is we want to see consistency. We’re seeing it, but we want to see it day in and day out. Day in and day out.”
Coach Grinch said that Brayon Webb graded out at 91% in Saturday’s scrimmage, and that he really just had the one mistake that cost his team 7 points. He called that one mistake "unacceptable". But Coach Ford said that Clark’s touchdown was on David Johnson, so both position group coaches were holding their guy accountable for that score.
Coach Grinch talked about how Ian Simon is doing.
“I’m excited about Ian (Simon),” said Coach Grinch. “I thought Ian put together a good scrimmage. Obviously, Matt White was out with a groin, and he’s going to start working his way back in. But I think Ian is progressing himself as a guy that can be a starter in our program, as I envision. He’s got to put himself in position to be one of the top eleven guys for us. And, in my opinion, I don’t think he’s far off.”
Josh Augusta appears to be in better shape already. During drills, he demonstrated remarkable mobility for such a large man. He moves more like one of the quicker defensive ends, or a middle linebacker. And, he's just extremely physical.
Eddie Printz parlayed his impressive 15-of-16 passing performance on Saturday into increased work with the number three offense. And, he’s attracted the attention of the head coach.
“We’re going to move (Printz), and get him some opportunities with the threes, now,” explained Coach Pinkel. “But, he’s got a real good arm. Everybody can see that. He’s got a compact release, a real quick release. He’s just slowly doing a lot of good things. So, we’ll kind of see where that goes, but it’s real encouraging.”
Coach Pinkel lamented the fact that his team doesn’t do a good enough job of “playing catch”. But, he said that the Tigers have the talent to be very good in the passing game, and that the QBs and receivers each just have to do a better job of executing.