Kony Ealy overtaking Brad Madison for a first-string spot hints that this guy, Michael Sam, is your top defensive end. (Photo via Bill Carter.)
On the first practice post-scrimmage, Mizzou's beat writers focused quite a bit on the stretching lines, i.e. the makeshift depth chart. Sounds like Kony Ealy was rewarded for his fantastic scrimmage, but in all not a lot changed.
- MUtigers.com: Weather Breaks as Tigers Return to Practice Field
- The Trib (Dave Matter): Monday Camp Report: Tigers back in action
- The Missourian: Missouri resumes training camp after day off
PowerMizzou: Monday Practice Report
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Michael Sam
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Maty Mauk
PowerMizzou: PHOTOS: Defensive Backs
KC Star: Pinkel sees improvement in Green-Beckham
KC Star: MU morning report: Leftwich makes the catch of the day
KC Star: MU afternoon report: Waters sheds red jerseys
- Post-Dispatch: MU's Lucas is ready for next step
- Fox Sports MW: Mizzou's Moe ready for leadership role
We Are Mizzou: Morgan Steward
We Are Mizzou: Battle for the Black Jerseys #6
We Are Mizzou: Levi Copelin Mic'd Up
Sounds like Corbin Berkstresser had a little bit better day on Monday than he had on Saturday, but in all, there was very little to report here.
Brad Madison, Lucas Vincent and Russell Hansbrough were full speed on Monday morning. For Hansbrough it was just his second full-speed practice, having been hampered with a sprained ankle much of camp. He and fellow freshman Morgan Steward could be in a playoff to avoid a redshirt over the next two weeks.
"The running backs have kind of all got their roles, which is good," Gary Pinkel said. "But we're kind of looking at both those freshmen to see if those guys can compete out there. You have to have that Henry Josey, Marcus Murphy, Kendial Lawrence speed and acceleration for a good portion of our offense. We have some other running backs, Jared McGriff-Culver and Greg White, will have their role and really help us, but we've got to just see if one of those young guys got a chance to get in and compete and earn some reps."
We were really curious about what Russell Hansbrough would do in fall camp, and honestly I was almost assuming he would see the field in 2012. But after losing most of two weeks with a tweaked ankle, he will probably have to wow Pinkel and company in the next couple of weeks.
During his daily session with reporters, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel verified something that I've been thinking for about the last week or so: after a slow start (more or less), star recruit Dorial Green-Beckham -- who got some work with the second-teamers and lined up at both inside and outside receiver today -- is starting to get the hang of things, a development Pinkel attributed to the 6-foot-6 receiver's growing knowledge of the playbook.
"He’s playing better," Pinkel said. "A lot of those guys, when you’re thinking out there, you’re not running as fast as you would normally be. You’ve got to be able to just go and fly...we know he can do that. And today, after his first scrimmage, I thought he really upped it a bit."
-- KC Star
Asked recently about Lucas' potential, Pinkel made a dangerous allusion to former Mizzou tight end Michael Egnew as a player who exploded onto the scene as a junior after two decent seasons. He insisted he wasn't trying to draw a parallel, but the seed was planted.
"He's maturing," Pinkel said. "I use the term maturity because to be truly mature and play focused at a high level, very few can do it at the level you need."
Lucas made a mark at Mizzou in multiple roles last year. He averaged 18 yards per catch, reflecting his ability to stretch the field, and caught five touchdown passes.
He also was an academic All-Big 12 selection, marking another influence from his mother.
Freshmen receivers Dorial Green-Beckham and Levi Copelin got a little bit of work with the first team this afternoon.
-- KC Star
S Matt White next broke up a Berkstresser pass in the endzone intended for WR Dorial Green-Beckham, but Berkstresser scored for the offense on the next snap when he hit WR Wesley Leftwich in the endzone on a nice timing route for a 6-yard touchdown, despite tight coverage from CB Xavier Smith. Leftwich made a nice play on the ball and got his feet down in the back corner to secure the score.
He was a showstopper at the Wynfrey Hotel during the conference’s media days in July. He filled recorders with lines such as, "Things are just different here. I wouldn’t be surprised if everybody here is strapped with a gun," and he referenced Missouri as the league’s redheaded stepchild until it proved it belonged.
Sure, the quips are a product of Moe’s ocean-deep wit. ("Sometimes, he says too many funny things," Pinkel said recently.) But they also reveal a confidence that will benefit the Tigers as they begin a season of unknowns. With Georgia and Alabama rolling into Memorial Stadium this fall, and with trips scheduled against Florida and Tennessee, Missouri will certainly need a leader who doesn’t blink through adversity.
-- Fox Sports MW
By the way, your "That's racist!" story of the day: at Saturday's scrimmage we learned that the three primary white receivers not named T.J. Moe -- Levi Copelin, Wes Leftwich and Sheldon Gerau (Brandon's brother) wear No. 16, No. 18 and No. 17, respectively. And damned if I couldn't tell them apart. I had to look up which one was making plays when I got home (it was Copelin). On Monday, it sounds like it was No. 18 making plays (while No. 16 got playing time with the No. 1's).
There was very little said about the offensive line yesterday, and after the previous couple of weeks, I'm totally okay with that.
Missouri got a little good news on the medical front today, as Hansbrough and defensive tackle Lucas Vincent each shed their red non-contact jerseys and participated in practice. Vincent got some work with the No. 2 defense.
-- KC Star
Alright, now it's time for the Vincent-vs-Hoch battle we've been anticipating ... if Matt Hoch hasn't already won the battle, anyway.
A few more depth chart notes: Junior college transfer Markus Golden lined up at strongside linebacker, fourth behind the three listed above. … Brandon Durant, a redshirt freshman linebacker, has left the program for personal reasons and leaves on good terms, per a team spokesman. Durant, from Copperas Cove, Texas, suffered a season-ending knee injury last August, and was working mostly with the third unit.
-- The Trib
The linebacker depth chart is such that I had to figure Mizzou would lose at least one third- or fourth-stringer before camp was out. Looks like it was Durant.
Later, Franklin threw a fade pass to Lucas in the right corner of the end zone, but the 6-foot-5 wide receiver could not come down with the ball because of the tight coverage from the 5-foot-10 Gaines. Coach Gary Pinkel spoke highly of the physical cornerback.
"He always practices well," Pinkel said. "I don't ever remember (cornerbacks) coach (Cornell) Ford ever saying, 'He just didn't play very well.' It never comes up. He always plays well."
-- The Missourian
Love that kid.