Henry Sweat can really make an impact. Of his 14 tackles this season, three were for loss, including a sack. That kind of production has earned him significant playing time at several positions.
After contributing as a reserve middle linebacker the past two seasons, Sweat was shifted to the strong side after sophomore David Richard was suspended Monday. Coach Gary Pinkel credited Sweat's intelligence and athleticism for his ability to play all three linebacker positions; Missouri fans will get a close look at that this weekend.
InsideMizzou spoke with Sweat on Monday afternoon…
On the development of the defense this season: "I think we're progressing. We have a lot of young guys going through the learning progress, but I think that's the way it's going to be with anybody learning the position. I think we're definitely getting better."
On his comfort level at the different linebacker positions: "I've been getting reps all over the field in practice, so I feel pretty comfortable."
On if he has a preferred position: "I don't know. I'll play anywhere they want me to play, really."
On if he had hoped to be a starter in the new 4-3 defensive scheme: "I just go out there and play. Those kinds of decisions are made by the coaches, so I just do what they tell me to do, pretty much. I definitely wouldn't mind…"
On Colorado and its tailback, Bobby Purify: "Purify, he's a good back. They have a good team. They're definitely out to prove something. They're a physical team that likes to run the ball. They'll come back and play some bump-and-run so we'll have to be on our toes."
On Missouri's seniors not having beaten Colorado: "I've been here going on five years and haven't beaten them. This is definitely a big game for us...(but) it's a big game, period. It's starting off Big 12 Conference play, so we'd like to get off on the right foot. But, hey…"
On the importance of the conference opener, with Texas looming: "We're not looking ahead, just taking it one day at a time. Like I said, it's a Big 12 Conference game, so it's gonna be huge. I mean, this is one of our goals, so we've got to get out there and get it done."