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August 16, 2007

Practice report: First of two for Thursday

This is just a sample of the type of coverage you will get every day throughout camp. Click here to start your free PowerMizzou.com trial



Fall camp rolls on and PowerMizzou.com is there to cover it all for you. The Tigers worked out on the Kadlec Athletic Fields for about two hours on Thursday morning. Here is our comprehensive report:

*Tommy Saunders missed the workout with what Gary Pinkel termed a health concern. Pinkel said he hopes to have Saunders for today's afternoon workout.

*Some highlights from receiver-defensive back drills:

Derrick Washington made a nice catch down the sideline over Mack Breed. I still just don't know what to think on Washington. It is my hunch the coaches are getting him ready to play, but barring an injury, won't play him. I'm not sure that D. Wash is Missouri's second-best healthy tailback…but I'm also not sure he isn't.

Jason Ray fell down on a route over the middle and Justin Garrett took advantage with an easy interception.

Greg Bracey made a nice adjustment while a long pass was in the air, turned to his other shoulder and made a tough catch.

Shawn Scott caught a pass and made a nice stop and start move while Donte Neal flew by. Scott strikes me kind of like Tommy Saunders did as a walk-on. He just keeps making plays. I think he will have a legitimate shot to get in the rotation at tailback next season.

Jimmy Jackson made a short catch over the middle and then put a pretty spin move on Kevin Duncan to pick up a nice chunk of yardage.

The offense at one point was leading this drill 30-3. The defense had had the upper hand the last few days, but not this time.

*Van Alexander was in and out of the red jersey all day. He participated all out in a few drills, but didn't quite look 100% to me. You don't want to push it too fast and make it a long-term injury. This is definitely something to keep an eye on.

*With Saunders gone and Marcus Woods hurt, Jeremy Maclin, Carl Gettis and Jared Perry were working as the primary punt returners.

*During the Tiger drill, Danario Alexander flat out hurdled Breed. Just went right over the top of him.

*Del Howard was once again getting some reps with the first-team as the nickel back. Looks like he will play quite a bit this year and it's good to see he has made the adjustment from safety.

*Gilbert Moye put a big hit on one of the running backs on a short pass route, knocking him down. However, we've all noticed Moye's tendency to lead with his shoulder instead of wrapping up. It works sometimes, but it burns you just as often on this level. It is something I've seen Matt Eberflus point out to Moye during practice.

*The highlight, or lowlight depending on your point of view, of 11-on-11 drills was a Brock Christopher interception of Chase Daniel. Not sure if it was miscommunication or just a bad throw, but Daniel hit Christopher right in the chest.

*Play of the Day: I hate to keep singling out Danario Alexander, but he is having the best camp of any Tiger and I really don't think it is close. During 7-on-7, Alexander ran a post route right down the middle of the field. Chase Patton lofted a perfect pass about 50 yards downfield. When the ball was in the air, Alexander was dead even with a trio of defenders: Duncan, Howard and Tremane Vaughns. But Alexander turned on the jets and by the time the ball hit him in stride had about a four-yard lead on the defenders. I compared Alexander to Paul Pierce when he was at Kansas. I think Danario is good enough to lead the Big 12 in receiving, but I'm not sure he can do that in this offense.

*Quote of the Day: "They say about quarterbacks, they're like teabags. You don't know what you've got until you put them in hot water. Probably kickers and punters are a little bit the same way. You really don't know. You liked that didn't you? I've got a bunch of them." --Gary Pinkel when asked how difficult it is to evaluate kickers in practice.

Missouri will practice again at 3:45 Thursday afternoon.

This is just a sample of the type of coverage you will get every day throughout camp. Click here to start your free PowerMizzou.com trial



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