On Tuesday, after a four-day lay-off, the Missouri Tigers resumed Spring Football 2014 with a two-and-a-half-hour practice on Faurot Field. It was a balmy day, and several former Missouri players were in attendance, as they ready themselves for Missouri's Pro Day on Thursday. Those in attendance at practice included Henry Josey, L'Damian Washington, Michael Sam, and Kony Ealy. Ealy even got involved with lending a little coaching to some of the Missouri defensive linemen.
After practice, ShowMeMizzou.com spoke with three of Missouri's assistant coaches and they each sounded eerily similar with respect to Tuesday's practice.
"We're not good enough," replied Coach Steckel, responding bluntly to a question about how the defense is doing. "We've got a long way to go."
But Stec did agree that Director of Athletic Performance Dr. Pat Ivey has done a great job of getting the players physically ready.
When I asked Stec about how the linebackers are doing, he replied, "We've got a long way to go. But we're going in the right direction. And, they're coachable."
Coach Kuligowski provided a similar response to the same question about Tuesday's practice regarding the defensive line.
"(Practice) wasn't good enough," said Coach Kool. "We can get better. We need to get better."
Coach Kool was asked to specify what he thinks the Tigers need to do to improve?
"Consistency, tempo, hustle," replied Coach Kool. "Those are three areas I think, right now, that in today's practice, we need to get better in those areas on the defensive line……………………………………. Focus, effort, determination, get a little tired, you know, we had a couple of days off, things like that."
On the other side of the football, the Offensive Coordinator sounded similar.
"(Practice was) not very good (today)," said Coach Henson. "We're just not executing real well right now. You know, I mean I know it's Day 4, but you know, there's just some base things, you know. It just kind of seems like we're hurting ourselves right now a little bit too. You know, we get the route run right, and maybe we drop one or two. You know, then we got a guy open, and maybe we throw the ball a little bit errant. Then, you know, then we got a guy open, and we miss a block up front. So it just seems right now, just from an overall standpoint, we just need to execute more consistently."
By the tone of the assistant coaches' comments, it would be safe to say that the staff is not very pleased with their players. Yet, each assistant coach had plenty of positive things to say about individual players. With Thursday's half-scrimmage and Spring Break looming, maybe they're trying to communicate a sense of urgency, and a need for a more mature approach.
Coach Henson did suggest that following Thursday's half-scrimmage, the staff will take a look at the Depth Chart, and possibly make changes at multiple positions.