The Missouri Tigers practiced in full pads this morning for well over two hours, followed by additional conditioning work in the heat and humidity on the Kadlec Fields.
Will Ebner continued to watch from the sidelines in a red jersey. Coach Pinkel indicated that he hoped to get Ebner back soon. Luke Lambert and Jarrell Harrison each suffered knee injuries during this morning's practice. Hopefully, we'll know more about those injuries by this afternoon.
Although the scoring system often favored the offense, my read on this morning's practice was that the defense seemed to be having the better of it.
Coach Pinkel spoke briefly about today's practice.
"You've got to battle through and remain sharply focused through the heat and any type of adversity," began Coach Pinkel. "The only way you do it is to put yourself in the environment and do it, and that's the only way you get through it. Next time, you're a little bit better, and the next time, you're better and better. We're a fairly young team. We've got a lot of young kids on our team."
One of the early segments of practice today involved controlled 11-on-11 action with a tight offensive alignment, two backs in the backfield, and the QB under center. I think this was conducted primarily for the benefit of the defense going against this look.
Marvin Foster continues to stand out in drills, and he and Lucas Vincent each took some reps with the second defensive unit. Look for both of these defensive tackles to be making a move up the depth chart.
Kurtis Gregory was cut from the Panthers on Sunday evening, and was in attendance at practice today.
During 9-on-9 action, De'Vion Moore took an inside hand-off from James Franklin and ran laterally before finding the opening that he was seeking. Then, he cut it up inside his blocking and picked up a first down and more. Franklin faked an inside hand-off and took it around the right side for a nice gain. Franklin is not just a runner, but he definitely brings running ability to the QB position absent since Brad Smith.
De'Vion Moore took an inside hand-off from Jimmy Costello, and cut it up inside where he was met by a host of defenders, including Jimmy Burge and Jeff Gettys, for a short gain. Kendial Lawrence took a hand-off and cut it up inside for about five yards. Costello took one around the left side, but Jarrell Harrison and Andrew Wilson came up to stop him for no gain.
Derrick Washington took an inside hand-off from Blaine Gabbert, and ran around the left side for about five yards. Jasper Simmons laid the wood to Lawrence, knocking him out of bounds, as he was trying to get the corner.
Several players stood out to me during today's practice. Carl Gettis gets my player of the day, and quite possibly, my player of the first week of fall camp award.
I mentioned Marvin Foster. Aldon Smith and Zaviar Gooden are all over the field. So are Jasper Simmons and Jacquies Smith. Andrew Wilson and Daniel Easterly are a couple of other ones who seem to be in on a lot of plays.
On offense, Derrick Washington looks terrific. T.J. Moe, L'Damian Washington, and Jimmie Hunt just continually stand out, and make plays with the football. James Franklin looked really good today. He continually places the football in position for his receiver to do something with it after the catch.
Tyler Gabbert showed quite a bit of indecision today. On successive plays, he tried to pull one back, and the ball squirted out of his hand. Then his next pass attempt hit Coach Steckel, positioned at the line of scrimmage, in the back of the head. However, he bounced back and completed one over the middle to Matt Hoch.
There was a real nice down field throw and catch from Jimmy Costello to Kerwin Stricker. Stricker went up in a crowd to snatch that one out of the air.
The Tigers will be back on the practice field this afternoon. Except for injury-related moves, there hasn't really been any changes in the depth chart, so far. Many players are being looked at in various alignments, with third and fourth-teamers regularly taking snaps with the second and third units, on both sides of the ball. On offense, Moe and L'Damian Washington are getting regular work with the first unit.
During 11-on-11 action this morning, Blaine Gabbert under threw Jerrell Jackson. Kendial Lawrence picked up about three yards on a carry around the left side. Kenji Jackson came up and tackled Derrick Washington behind the line of scrimmage. A stumbling Washington kept his feet and managed to get back to the line of scrimmage. Blaine's pass attempt deep down the seam, intended for Wes Kemp, was broken up by Kevin Rutland. Blaine and Derrick Washington demonstrated real nice timing on a swing pass out along the left side that Washington took right in stride and turned up field for a big gain. Later, Blaine found Rolandis Woodland on a deep post pattern for six. Woodland looked good, splitting the two defenders, Gettis and Simmons. He bobbled, but held onto, the pass. Like all three of the freshmen wide receivers, Woodland has the ability to run through those deep throws, and make adjustments on the ball in the air without slowing down very much.
James Franklin and Derrick Washington hooked up for a nice reception out along the left sideline. Then, Franklin led Michael Egnew away from the defense with a pass that Egnew caught in stride, and turned up field for a big gain.
Andrew Wilson picked off a Jimmy Costello pass over the middle. Later, Moe went up and hauled in a Costello pass down along the sideline.