On Thursday, the Missouri Tigers continued Spring Football 2014 with two-and-a-half-hour practice on Faurot Field that included the first mini-scrimmage of the spring. Afterwards, Coach Pinkel talked about the scrimmage portion of practice.
"We had a half-scrimmage today," said Coach Pinkel, following his team's final practice before Spring Break. "Our ones and twos got thirty plays, and most of the threes did also, and fours got very close to that. So, it was good. It was good to be able get that done. This is our fifth practice, and it allows us to really get some film and watch it when we get back on Monday following the break week. And we'll learn from it, and apply that, and get better."
Coach Pinkel addressed the status of some of the injuries.
"I think we'll be able to get some of the guys back after the break," explained Coach Pinkel. "I think Payton is going to be back. I think Culkin, he'll be able to practice. He might have a cast on, but I think we'll get him back. Vincent just got dinged. That's how we handle concussions. He'll be back. He'll be a hundred percent. I think for the most part, we'll be in pretty good shape. I think we'll get most of those guys back."
Coach Pinkel said that he's starting to get a sense of the leadership on the team.
"Every year when the seniors change, you know that leadership group, there's always a transition that takes place," explained Coach Pinkel. "I like where we're going. There are certainly things that every team has to mature through, and go through. And, I think we're doing a lot of good things. And, there are a lot of little things that we've got to do to get better."
Coach Pinkel was reluctant to publicly judge his team's performance on the day, but he did say that the first-team offense and first-team defense executed fairly well. For the first time this spring, the offense won the day.
"There's always things that we need to do to get better," said Coach Pinkel. "We've just got to learn from it and apply it. That's the most important thing."
"Our one defense is really doing well," continued Coach Pinkel. "Our one defense is doing pretty good, I think. I see a lot of good things on both sides of the ball. It's the never-ending story of trying to build depth…………………………………………… It's that constant looking at personnel…………………………………………. It's never-ending. It's fun, though. I like doing this. The personnel part of this, I really enjoy doing it."
Coach Pinkel talked about how the scrimmages are weighted in the evaluation process such that moves are made in the Depth Chart based primarily off of the scrimmage grades.
"You always want your one offense and your one defense to execute fairly well," explained Coach Pinkel. "And, for the most part, they did today. Your continuity suffers a little bit in spring football because you're mixing and matching a lot of players. After the one offense and one defense, I'm just looking at players. I mean, what second-team player's got a chance to get a first-team job? What second-team player got a chance, maybe not to win the job, but getting himself in position to play? And what third-team to second team? That's a constant evaluation of that. That's kind of fun to do. That's what you're looking for. You know, we want to go in and say, "This guy's getting close". And, I noticed there's a half-dozen guys out there that are doing things they didn't do last year."