2012 Mizzou Fall Football Practice: Day 12 Links And Analysis

ROCK AND ROLL MAX COPELAND (No. 61 above) will see the field this year, battling for the starting left guard slot with blue-chip freshman Evan Boehm. (Photo via Bill Carter.)

It was both Movie Day for Mizzou Football and Max Copeland Day for Mizzou media. Both are to be celebrated.

Quarterbacks

Andrew Wilson had coverage responsibilities on a wide receiver in a number of plays we saw on Wednesday. Wilson did a good job sticking with Gahn McGaffie on a pattern to the sideline, but James Franklin still threaded the ball in a very small window for the completion. At the risk of raising the expectations of fans which are already high at this time of year, I think Franklin has looked better over the last week than at any other point in his time on campus.

-- PowerMizzou

Both Matter and Gabe wrote a similar "Uh, James Franklin looks really, really good" passage in their practice reports yesterday. Keeping expectations in check has been more difficult than I imagined in this regard.

Running Backs

Apparently Russell Hansbrough had a pretty good day now that he's full-strength, but otherwise that's about all we heard. Kendial Lawrence is the clear No. 1, Marcus Murphy is the clear No. 2, and we're just waiting to find out which freshmen play.

Receiving Corps

Each day, I find myself writing down "15" more and more. Last week, receivers coach Andy Hill told me the biggest thing Dorial Green-Beckham has to learn is to remember to run fast. That might sound strange, but it makes sense in context. "He has to think sometimes about running fast," Hill said. "Sometimes you’re so worried about the route you’re running or the depth you’re supposed to be and the things that go with that, but they forget to run fast." Maybe Green-Beckham’s mind is less cluttered with formations and assignments, but whatever the reason, I’ve noticed a big difference in how he’s getting off the line and into his routes. He’s been faster with the ball, too. He sucked in a Maty Mauk pass during 7-on-7 and burst through the secondary untouched. Later, during live 11-on-11 play, he went airborne for a Mauk fade and somehow came up with the TD catch in traffic. Unless the Tigers have trouble getting in the red zone, my hunch is you’ll see a couple fades each game thrown in his direction. I’m not sure there’s a defender in the SEC that can jump with the 6-6 freshman.

-- The Trib

Moe does concede that it has taken longer than usual for the hamstring to heal. The injury occurred in June, during a workout when Moe insists he was "whooping everybody." He began to fall and tried to catch himself when he felt something in his leg.

This week he continued to avoid any workouts involving contact but said he was able to go full speed in other drills for the first time. He was involved in seven-on-seven drills as of Monday.

Moe said that while he has lost some conditioning, his legs are rested. And he didn't seem worried about the prospect of missing all three scrimmages this month, the last one scheduled for Aug. 23.

"I've been playing football since I was 7. I know what it's like," he said. "I don't need to scrimmage. I'm not worried about taking hits. I'm not worried about giving hits. The only thing I'm trying to do is get myself in shape, and I can do that a lot of other ways."

-- Post-Dispatch

Edwards and senior receiver T.J. Moe agreed that Washington is the fastest player on the team.

"He runs deep and takes everybody with him, and I'm wide open underneath," Moe said. "Sounds pretty good for me." […]

Edwards and Moe say Washington makes practice more fun and lively. Junior running back Henry Josey said he admires Washington for his attitude and work ethic.

"He's a real humble guy," Josey said. "Him and his brothers taking care of each other, that's a big thing to me. I understand him a lot. He won't give up on anything. He doesn't get tired. He just pushes through everything."

-- The Missourian

I trust you, T.J., but I'd feel much better if you started practicing soon.

(Also, the inclusion of L'Damian Washington's troubled family into the tail end of the Missourian article felt really, really forced. We know the story by now; we don't have to rehash it every time Washington is mentioned.)

Offensive Line

Really, you can't miss him.

"Sometimes," fellow lineman Jack Meiners said, "he gets a little bit too rock 'n' roll, as he likes to say."

At yesterday's practice, Copeland pounded his fists against his helmet. His sweaty blond locks stuck to his shoulder pads. He let loose caveman-like howls as he took his place with the first-string offensive line.

Indeed, Copeland doesn't act like a walk-on who hasn't played a meaningful down of college football.

He's been even more noticeable recently, since a rash of offensive line injuries has pushed him into the No. 1 group at guard.

-- The Trib

In the mix of characters on Missouri's line, he seems to possess a quiet determination unusual for his age.

"We all bring our own different energy," Copeland said. "Mine’s a little more apparent. We need a rock and roller to get up and fiery, and I fill that role."

His efforts rarely fail.

"Who’s ready to go, men?" he barks at the linemen behind him, like a drill sergeant addressing his massive troops. Before the next drill begins, he leads a sort of lumbering charge toward the other side of the field, his helmet raised in the air emphatically as he trots.

Copeland’s unit hits the trenches in an inside run drill, where the offensive line repeatedly attempts to blow open holes for the running backs behind them. After every successful run, Copeland explodes in celebration, making guttural war cries as his fists pump in violent, unencumbered joy.

-- The Missourian

Here's Bruce Walker's full quote when asked about the battle between Copeland and Boehm: "In Evan's case, he's really, super talented. He's very athletic. And he's really coachable too. He's really picked up on his fundamentals. He's going to play this year. He's going to have to help us. Max is going to have to help us too. How that unfolds and how much they play, the players will determine that by how they play and perform."

So they'll both play, we asked Walker. "Based on our depth chart now, yeah," he said.

-- The Trib

WHO'S READY TO GO, MEN?

Defensive Line

Defensive tackle Lucas Vincent was wearing a red non-contact jersey after suffering an ankle injury. Team spokesman Chad Moller said it is not believed to be serious.

-- KC Star

Ealy, crouching low in preparation, easily maneuvered past Fisher in their first confrontation, using his hands and leverage to get around the big tackle and mercilessly clothesline the dummy.

Thump.

The two lined up again, with the rivalry producing similar results. Ealy faked to the outside, then spun in — past the off-balance Fisher – and smacked the dummy with his right arm, sending it tilting sideways.

Thump, again.

Ealy jogged back to rejoin his fellow defensive linemen, a sly smile plastered across his face. Fisher was left shaking his head as his teammates offered solemn encouragement.

-- The Missourian

I'm also struggling to keep my expectations in check regarding Kony Ealy, but I will try my best.

Linebacking Corps

When the #3 units came out for action, LB Markus Golden, just a couple days into his Tiger career, continued to show his abilities, as he broke up a pass over the middle.

-- MUtigers.com

I can't imagine Golden will do much beyond special teams duty this year, but it's good to see him making plays.

Secondary

It sounds like Braylon Webb distanced himself a hair in the starting safety competition, and there really was no new news about it yesterday. Really, the competition for No. 4 cornerback seems to be the tightest thing going right now in the secondary.

Miscellany

Eurotiger asks: Is it common for Media represetatives to be allowed to view complete practices to the degree PM has covered camp? The reason I ask is I'd be surprised that all coaches in D1 allow open practices everyday. Frannly if I were the coach I'd be limiting access (few days or times a week) if I wanted to work on "secret formations" I did not want my competitors reading before game day. Sorry to put you guys out of business but... footbal is a big business and everyone wants an edge.

GD: No, it's incredibly uncommon. Pinkel has given the media better access to his program than just about any coach I know if in the country, at least from talking to other media members. A lot of programs get to see 15 minutes a day, while the players stretch. Many get one or two practices. Some get a press conference at the start of camp and then get to come back for media day during game week. We get phenomenal access and everyone that covers this team knows that. As I said above, there's also a responsibility that comes with it. It wouldn't take more than one or two mistakes for us to lose that access.

-- PowerMizzou

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