On Tuesday, Missouri resumed spring practice for their final week of Spring Football leading up to this Saturday's finale, the annual Black & Gold Spring Game. The Tigers practiced indoors in full pads for about two hours. Afterwards, Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel talked about Tuesday's practice.
"Overall, I think we had a good practice," said Coach Pinkel. "We cut back a little bit time-wise, and we took out a couple of different periods. You know, it's about getting everybody to the Spring Game as best we can as far as numbers are concerned. But I thought it was really good, and I thought we made a lot of progress."
Coach Pinkel said that Donavin Newsom had shoulder surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum. He also said that Russell Hansbrough will have the same surgery on his shoulder on Friday. Matt Hoch and Kentrell Brothers are recovering from surgeries, and they will also miss the Spring Game. At this juncture, it appears that everyone else with be able to play this Saturday.
Coach Pinkel looked ahead to Thursday, and preparing his team for the Spring Game.
"Now, Thursday's practice will be pretty much simulating what our normal game day is to remind our players of that," explained Coach Pinkel. "Then, we'll do our summer ball. What we'll do is our position leaders will take the offense and defense and kind of run a practice, as they do in the summer on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That's real important to us, and our kids do a good job of that."
Coach Pinkel talked about one of his senior leaders, three year starting safety Braylon Webb.
"(Braylon Webb) has turned into a really, really good player," said Coach Pinkel. "I think there's a sense of calm when you've got a guy like that back there. He's a leader, and he doesn't make mistakes. He also kind of corrects things, if calls and things get out of line. So, he's a real asset to our football team."
Coach Pinkel also talked about senior defensive end Markus Golden.
"I'm glad he came back," said Coach Pinkel, speaking of Golden. "I think it was really smart for him to come back. And, I think he really wanted to stay here anyway, because I think he knows that he can take his game to a different level……………………………………… Markus is a really good athlete! He's 260 pounds, and he can run!"
Coach Pinkel continued to talk about Golden, and the leadership he provides.
"Since the day he got here from junior college, he's just embraced our program," explained Coach Pinkel. "I mean, it was very easy for him to adjust, because he just wanted to. I mean, I think he just had so much trust in it. He couldn't wait to get here. Obviously last year, playing at a high level, and I think he's got a chance to be just a great player! You know, he's leading more, and he's more vocal. And he's a high-energy guy anyway just because of his personality. But his work ethic is really, really good. He's so very, very positive about who we are, and he believes in who we are, that he obviously just sends that message down to all of the young players. It's just great to see all of that success!"
Coach Pinkel talked about the importance of his team staying healthy.
"What's so important for us is just to stay healthy," explained Coach Pinkel. "If you really want to get better as a team, you've got to stay healthy. I said that last year all year long. It's a perquisite for getting better. You know, we were a lot better football team last year as the season went on because of that. I think that's what's going to be real important for this football team, you know, to do their best to stay healthy, and have a chance to become good."