On Tuesday, the Missouri Tigers practiced indoors in full pads for over two hours. Afterwards, Coach Pinkel talked about how his team had practiced.
"I think it was a really good practice today," said Coach Pinkel. "I thought we got in a lot of good work. We had to cut the running game back a little because of our running back situation. We're down to three guys. We moved some guys from other positions over to help a little bit. By the end of the day, I think we got a lot of good work done. I was pleased with the effort. Now, it's just about improving each and every day that we're out here. But, you know, I think we did a lot of good things today." There was good news to report on the injury front. While Matt Hoch is out for the remainder of the spring with a now-surgically repaired ankle fracture, Coach Pinkel indicated that Marcus Murphy (sprained ankle), Russell Hansbrough (sprained shoulder), Braylon Webb (concussion), and Donavin Newsom (sprained shoulder) are all day-to-day, and are expected to scrimmage this Saturday.
Coach Pinkel talked about the opportunity that is afforded a number of players when the guys in front of them miss time due to injury. He praised Morgan Steward as a player who made the most of an opportunity.
"That's what you do any time you lose somebody," said Coach Pinkel. "In the spring, you can survive. You can get guys healthy in time for the season. And the good news is, everybody's going to be healthy. But it does provide underclassmen and guys with less experience opportunities to show themselves. And I think for the most part, there's a lot of good things happening out there. And, I think we learned a couple of years ago, with the most injuries we've ever had since I've been coaching, is that the bottom line is you've got to get young guys ready to play……………………………………………….. Certainly the positive side of (the injuries) is that the young guys can get a lot of work."
"I think Morgan Steward took advantage of his opportunities," explained Coach Pinkel, using the sophomore TB as an example of the positives that can come for injuries.
Coach Pinkel said that with just 15 practices in the spring, each practice is critically important to the development of each players.
"The message to our players is that you can't just come out and say, "Well I'm going to work hard and do pretty good today,"" explained Coach Pinkel. "The message is, we've got to be 100% focused on what we're doing, and understand that each and every rep that you take out there, and that you try to consciously do your very, very best, you practice better. And when you practice better, you become a better player. And you become a better football team."
Coach Steckel continues to shuffle the deck at linebacker, so much so that it's difficult to tell who's playing where. One guy who seems to be moving into position to play is Michael Scherer. He's repping with the ones at MLB, and also in the nickel. Coach Pinkel talked about Scherer and some of the other LBs.
"Michael's really doing well," said Coach Pinkel talking about Scherer. "He's a very, very good athlete. You know, I think we have some real athletic players in there (at LB). You know, Donavin Newsom is the same way. He's an exceptional athlete. Kentrell Brothers is also. So, that might be as athletic of a three as we've had. And, we have some other guys that are doing well. But, Michael is really stepping it up! He's a lot different player now than he was last year."
The early returns on Anthony Sherrils' move to safety are positive.
Coach Pinkel said that Harold Brantley had lost weight down to 260 pound when he was sick, but that he's back up to 274 pounds today. He said that Brantley will get back up to 285-290 pounds, and that he can play inside or outside.
Coach Pinkel also mentioned Levi Copelin as a young player who is moving up.
"He's really having a good spring," said Coach Pinkel, speaking of Copelin.
Coach Pinkel said that he has charged his coaching staff with getting young players ready to play.
"The challenge we all have all of the time, and I remind the coaches all the time, is we've got to get guys in position to help us," explained Coach Pinkel. "We've got to get guys ready to compete at this level. And I put pressure on myself and my staff to get it done. It's not just something that we talk about."