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August 4, 2010

Zo Knows: 2010 Camp Preview



Each week throughout the season, PowerMizzou.com gives Tiger fans a look at the team from a former player's perspective. In Zo Knows, former all-Big XII defensive tackle Lorenzo Williams lends his expertise on pressing issues for the Tigers. Get Zo's take headed into camp in this special free edition.

PowerMizzou.com: Fall camp opens up this week. Tell me overall what camp is like for a player. Also, what did you know about camp by the time you were a senior that you wish you'd known coming in as a freshman?

Lorenzo Williams: First of all, I want to say hi Gabe, and welcome back to the greatest blog on the net... ZO KNOWS! Just kidding but seriously good to be back man. Camp is like a month of hell, bottom line. There is a ton of excitement leading up to it and then about a week in, the reality hits you in the face.... goes something like this... Oh God, We Haven't Even Hit 2-a-Days Yet... Lord... If Ya Listenin... Heeeeeellllllppppppppp!!!!! Things I wish I knew... No matter how much and how hard you think you worked out in the summer you are never ready for camp. That's as real as it gets.

PM: A lot of the talk about the Tigers is about Blaine Gabbert. What did you see out of Blaine as a sophomore? As a guy that played with Chase in his sophomore and junior seasons and saw his improvement, what does Gabbert have to do to make that kind of progression?

LW: Well, I saw a kid and it's that simple for as good as he was at times there was still a little immaturity... I think the re-birth process starts after the rough times... and for him that started in November when he fought through the injuries and won 3 in a row including a big won against Kan-sassy... I definitely liked what I saw out him in the spring game and I'm looking forward to seeing his progression and if he can take it to the next level.

PM: The biggest question mark on this team might be your old position. Tell me what you know about Missouri's defensive tackles. Also, what are the keys to playing that position and how do you think the young guys look?

LW: I thought a lot of the guys that I saw out there. They all have experience and they, like Blaine, need to step their game up and be more comfortable with their bodies and their moves which is the biggest key to the position. Once you have the confidence to take those moves off the practice field and apply them in a game it makes you a different player. They were good last year but they need to be great this year and I think they can do it. Back ups are always a concern but if they take camp seriously and use the opportunity to get better they will be fine.

PM: Everybody has an opinion on the program and where it stands right now. With what coach Pinkel has done the last few years, where is this program as far as a progression toward where he wants it? What makes this a successful season for Missouri record-wise?

LW: Right now, I think the program is as strong as ever. They kind of remind me of our Sun Bowl season... Like a ticking-time bomb ready to explode... I can't wait personally. I think they are going to open some peoples' eyes this year. At this point like any other year, it's time for a leader or 4 to step up and take control of the team. That's how Coach Pinkel's teams win. Leadership is the key. And that will determine the wins and losses.

PM: Give me your predictions on the schedule. What do you see the record being and what are the biggest games that could trip the Tigers up?

LW: I think they start off 6-0 before they hit the murders row of the schedule... Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas Tech... If they can win 2 of 3 we could be going to the Big 12 Championship again... But I'm really psyched for the kU game I want to see what they are going to do under their new coach. See you next week Gabe.

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