J.P. Rock

Head coach Gary Pinkel talks about his team heading into Georgia game week

Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel addressed the media during his regularly scheduled Monday presser

Opening Statement

Good afternoon everybody.  Let’s make sure we keep or priorities right today - let’s find out what’s happening with the Royals here.  Update injury wise: Sean Culkin is going to get some work tomorrow.  We’ll find out, it’ll be a day-by-day.  He is doing a little bit better than we thought he’d be doing at this time, so that’s good.  Other than that, I think we’re in pretty good shape.  I think Russell Hansbrough got a little tired in the second half and again, Brian Jones is really working on nursing that a little bit but he’s getting better each and every week.  Is he 100 percent?  I’m not sure, I think we’re very close.  At times when you saw him run out there, it looked like Russell.  We’ll just have to wait and see when that point is where he can play an entire game and rep a little bit more than what we’ve been repping him.  Other than that, we’re obviously playing Georgia, a very good football team.  They had a tough loss last week and we’re both fighting to get back in the win column, so that’s what we’re working to do.  The players are going to work hard, the coaches are going to work hard, and go down there and give it our best shot to play our best.


On Florida quarterback Will Grier’s suspension for a positive PED test

First of all, I really feel bad for him.  For him, that’s an honest mistake.  What you’re supposed to do, we tell that any supplements our players take they have to run it by our medical staff.  Apparently, from what I know, and maybe you know more than I, it was a mistake.  So certainly I feel bad for him.  In our game, they scored 14 points in the first quarter and they didn’t score again, so he played really well, but that’s the way it is.  Certainly we had our opportunities and we didn’t win the football game.


If there is a recourse for Grier’s suspension following Mizzou’s loss to Florida…

No, no, no.  Shoot, we had our shot.  We lost it.  We’re thinking about Georgia.


On if Georgia running back Nick Chubb’s injury reminded him of Henry Josey’s injury in 2011

Yeah, that’s what I thought.  I have to see it, I don’t watch much college football on Saturday.  I watch a little bit here and there.  I’ll bounce around a little bit if we have a night game.  That’s exactly what I thought.  I really felt bad for him.  Really, really bad.  Hopefully they’ll get him, they’ll have somebody really well, you know, surgical application on him and he’ll be okay.  Now you move it, the next step for them is plug in.  They’ve got some other good running backs.  They’ve recruited well there.


On if he’s surprised on how well the Mizzou defense has played

I think we’re playing really well, there isn’t any question about that.  I thought we could be really good.  This summer I was really concerned we lost Harold [Brantley] because we’re going to have to line up a lot of young players.  We just hit on a bunch of young players up front.  I thought, as I mentioned at the beginning of the season, I said the linebacking core, the safeties, and corners are probably most athletic of a group that we’ve ever had.  So now, can you supplement it after losing all of those defensive lineman the last couple of years?  So I feel very fortunate that we have some young players that have really helped us.  Charles Harris is playing at a high level.  Nate Howard, Josh Augusta, they’re really playing at a high level.  So it’s a combination of all the freshmen you throw in there.  It gave us an opportunity to be really good.  I think Barry [Odom]’s done a really good job, obviously.  As he would say, the one area that we probably need the most help is we’re not getting very many turnovers, especially with an offense that’s struggling. That could really help, because there’s always things you can do to get better.  That’s what Barry focuses on.  So we did a lot of good things in last week’s game.  A lot of good things.  Even after that interception for a touchdown, it went to an 18 point game, it was really great to see how hard our defense played.  They just went out and continued to play at a very high level.


On Rickey Hatley being listed as a starter for Saturday’s game against Georgia

Yeah that’s probably going to change a little bet.  Everybody’s playing good in there, if somebody’s playing a little bit better then we’re going to slide them around.  That’s really what it’s all about. Sometimes coach Kuligowski likes to keep some of the younger guys in the same spots, right and left, so that’s why we’re bunching them around, but it’s no more different than just keeping them, the younger guys, in the same spots if we can.


On how Drew Lock handled pressure playing Florida

It’s probably as good a defensive team as we’ll see all year, and I said that prior to.  Personnel-wise and scheme-wise, they run a very, very good scheme.  A lot of complex stuff out there for a guy that was playing high school football last year.  I thought he did a lot of good things, no question about it. He’s had some growing pains, that’s part of it.  He missed one throw that was intercepted.  He missed the throw in terms of where he placed the ball, and then the other one, coverage-wise, they jumped outside on him.  It’s something that happens and you’re going to see it.  Otherwise did a lot of good things.  Certainly, we’ve got to protect for him a little bit better. His movement and his depth, just the little things about your depth on your drops and how that helps the offensive line play better too.  So working together on those things.  He also, this is the first time he ever got hit like he got hit.  He got hit a few times, I mean he got whacked pretty good, so welcome to SEC football, the highest level.  With that being said, great learning experience for him, a young player with great potential.  He’ll grow from it and learn, and he’ll play better this week.


On Drew Lock’s demeanor against Florida

I thought he was fine.  He was fine, he was great.  It’s mental toughness, physical toughness, that you have to have, but there’s only one way you experience that.  We don’t do that in practice.  We don’t sit there and blow you up, get you back up and call the play.  Those experiences are tough and difficult, but that’s also how you grow.  Everything that happens to him is a new experience because he’s not played much.


On if Drew Lock will learn more from a difficult game than an easier one

You always learn more from adversity, but I’d rather win all of my games.  But there’s no question, there’s no question.  That’s how you grow the most.  Hopefully you make lessons and you learn, and you don’t make the same mistakes.  So that’s what we really want for him.


On what Drew Lock can work on

He just needs work on everything.  I mean, he’s a young player.  He has to work on everything.  Reading defenses, I can go on and on.  Quarterback, the discipline of your drops, the depth of your drops, there’s just constant, a lot of little things for a young guy.  Generally, again, this is first freshmen I’ve ever played, generally you’re preparing this, your redshirting the guy and he’s playing.  We knew we’re going to do this, we’d play him a little bit, but we didn’t intend that he’d be starting.  We didn’t think that would happen.  Then there’s just the- you have your part, but you can improve and you go.  This is just to throw you in and here you go.  If we play better around him it’s going to help too.  If we run the ball better it’s going to help.  All the little things we can do around him can help us too.  We’ve got to game plan good.  We’ve got to call plays good.  We have to execute better, so we al have our responsibilities.  We have to persevere.  Persevere means when things get tough out there and you want a quick answer for it and it doesn’t go great, right now let’s fix this and get the next thing.  Sometimes it doesn’t happen like that, especially when you’ve got a lot of youth.  What you do is you just keep grinding, keep positive, and you keep working hard.  Eventually we’ll come out of it.


On miscommunication between Drew Lock and his receivers…

Let’s put it together and have some fun.  That’s just the way it is, that’s the way it goes.  But there’s no excuses.  We don’t mark an asterisk on things and say “Well we’re a really young offensive football team, especially on the full perimeter.”  We’re not doing that.  We’ve got to play well, we’ve got to win this game.  We’ve got to play our best this week.  Those are some things you go through.  Hopefully that’s why you practice more and more.  That’s what we’ve got to continue to coach, and take responsibility of these coaches to turn it around also.


On Andy Bauer dressing this season

He’s having some problems with his hip, he had hip surgery.  He had one in high school, one right out of high school, and he also had one right now.  He’s still not 100 percent, so we’re going through our MRI’s and things, also the doctor that did the surgery in St. Louis who is an expert at that.  That’s what we’re doing right now.  We intend to get him back, but obviously he’s been struggling through that.  Hopefully in time he’ll heal and come back and he’ll play with us and practice all of the time and all of that.


On if he thinks Andy Bauer will be able to play this season

I think so, but I can’t… I don’t know.  I’d think he will be, no one said that he couldn’t but it’s just taken a long time. Hips are kind of, we’ve hardly had any hips ever.  We’ve had a couple.  We’ll see.


On lessons learned following Todd Gurley’s injury for Georgia last season

Well you’ve seen the other guys play, you’ve seen them play in the previous games. They’re all talented, they’re all good.  They can run, they’re quick.  They recruited well there.  They play several guys, they play with other people in.  We do the same thing when our depth is good.  I’m not going to say, they’re not going to miss a beat, they’ve lost a great player, but they’ve got good people in there.


On improving production on the kick and punt return teams

First of all, punt return, often you have no control over it.  The hang time is the hang time.  You can sit there and say “I want to return it” all you want.  We had very few opportunities to return it, and I thought Cam [Hilton] did a good job.  Kickoff returns are a little bit different because it’s blocking.  They had some real good kicks against our kickoff return team.  We’ve been in between the numbers on the sideline, placing it in the corner there.  It’s very difficult to get out of there, so we’ve been doing better ourselves with that.  Cory [Faotny] has been doing a pretty good job of placing the kicks.  We’re working hard.  The kickoff return’s, trying to block better and everything else so we can spring one.  We’re still kind of working through not having [Marcus Murphy] a little bit.  I said that the first game this year.  That’s something we have to work through.  But punt returns you don’t really have a lot of control over if they have a really good punter and he hangs it up with really great hang time.  You’ve just got to live with it.


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