The Missouri Tigers held the second workout of spring practice on Thursday afternoon. Weather again kept the Tigers inside. The pads will pop on Saturday, but on Thursday, Mizzou was once again in helmets and shorts. Here are our observations from the day:
*I was watching special teams early on. Here are the players I noticed working at different specialties:
*During passing drills, there were a number of drops. That's really not unexpected considering the Tigers are young at receiver and both veterans--Jared Perry and Danario Alexander--are out with injuries.
*Speaking of Alexander, I asked about his injury. He told me they are basically making completely sure that his knee is healthy and that he doesn't come back too quickly. I asked if it was actually sort of a blessing in disguise that all the young receivers are being pressed into action.
"It is. They get as much work as they can," he said. "They can take my reps, mine and JP's."
*Brian Coulter is still banged up, wearing a red pullover. He told me he'll be in full pads on Saturday, but he is not sure if he'll be ready for full contact. He had his labrum repaired in the off-season and said it was a pretty severe surgery. I'll have more on the defensive ends before the next practice on Saturday. I really think this could be the strongest position on the team.
*Only one new injury. Gilbert Moye pulled up on a run down the sideline and was clutching his left hamstring. Moye was helped off the field by a couple of trainers. At this point, there has been no confirmation as far as the severity of the injury, but we'll be checking on Saturday. If Moye is out, DeVion Moore is the only scholarship tailback who is practicing. A little bit before Moye went down, I was talking with another reporter about how Moye had impressed me with his hands catching the ball out of the backfield.
*During line drills, Jacquies Smith just kept standing out. Dan Hoch had a hard time staying in front of the sophomore-to-be on the first three matchups. Hoch did get revenge on the fourth try. Both Smith and Aldon Smith told me they gained quite a bit of weight in the offseason—Aldon said he put on 25 pounds. None of it was fat, I can tell you that.
*[db]Tim Barnes[/db] looked good in line drills, taking Dominique Hamilton to the ground while I was watching. Terrell Resonno also got past Kurtis Gregory a couple of times. I talked to Terrell after practice and he's really taking his job seriously. He knows the hole left by Ziggy Hood is huge.
*Austin Wuebbels was another standout in line drills. I really don't think you'll see a dropoff at all with Wuebbels replacing Ryan Madison.
*Speaking of the linemen, I talked to Josh Henson about his role and making the adjustment to Mizzou. That interview will be on the site tomorrow morning.
*A couple of notes from 7-on-7:
The defense has the edge right now. Sean Weatherspoon picked off Blaine Gabbert. [db]Marlon Galbreath[/db] victimized freshman Ashton Glaser. Blaine Dalton escaped the INTs in 7-on-7, but never really looked downfield very much.
*The team went 11-on-11 toward the end of the workout. Luke Lambert made a nice play disrupting a middle screen. He was on a blitz and recognized the play, stood up and got a hand on the pass.
*Chris Earnhardt made his presence felt, breaking through the line for an easy sack on Dalton. It will be kind of tough to evaluate the freshman quarterbacks from my viewpoint as long as they're playing with No. 3 receivers and behind the No. 3 offensive line.
*It looks for now as if Wes Kemp, Brandon Gerau, Andrew Jones and Jerrell Jackson would be running first-string at receiver.
*Kevin Rutland should have had a defensive touchdown. He perfectly read an out from Gabbert and jumped the route. He had both hands on the ball, but couldn't hang on for the pick.
The Tigers return to the practice field at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and PowerMizzou.com will be back on the scene to bring you the full report.
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