I don't typically make weekend links posts, but with all the practice reports and profiles coming about, I feared that Monday's links post was on pace for about 125 links. So here we go with your special-edition Saturday Mizzou Links post.
The Trib (Dave Matter): Back for more
The receivers did more than block on Friday. By my count, during a 30 or so 11-on-11 snaps, I noticed only one drop by a receiver, tight end or tailback. For the most part, passes have been on the money and few, if any, balls are touching the grass. Granted, it’s early, pads are still in the equipment room and the quarterbacks have rarely stretched the defense vertically, but so far, so good in the pitch and catch department. We’ll know more about the newcomers when they strap on pads and take some contact, but Jimmie Hunt, Marcus Lucas and Bud Sasser appear to have soft hands and catch the ball naturally in traffic or downfield. The quickest path from the bench to the field for true freshmen is to consistently catch the ball. That’s how Jared Perry, Danario Alexander, Chase Coffman and Jerrell Jackson earned playing time as first-year players.The Trib: Practice slide show
The Trib: Behind the Stripes Webcast
PowerMizzou: Right back to work
*Just a few guys I noticed who really appear to be trying to take leadership roles. Derrick Washington, Jerrell Jackson and Andrew Gachkar were all vocal in instructing teammates. Yesterday, Gachkar was helping out one of the freshman linebackers by correcting him. Dave Steckel chimed in and said, "I like you coaching, but don't tell him what NOT to do. Tell him what TO do."PowerMizzou: Practice photos
*Guys I saw working at kickoff return: Jasper Simmons, Jimmie Hunt and De'Vion Moore. I'm sure there will be more throughout camp.
*Just a quick note. No real standout play that brought this up, but one guy that's really caught my eye so far is redshirt freshman receiver Kerwin Stricker. Injuries really hampered Stricker last year, but he's looked good in the first two days.
PowerMizzou: Practice video
MUtigers.com Blog: Mizzou Football Practice Report - Day Two
The defensive and offensive lines battled each other on the east practice field while the skill units continued the drills on the west practice field. Defensive end Aldon Smith shined during the first hour of practice coming from the right end spot during the drill. He continued to use his quickness to sack the blue dummy, which served as the opposing quarterback on Friday. He continued to be a menace to the offensive linemen throughout the drill. But Barnes, just off of his sled drill, also shined in the one-on-one battles as he shut down nearly every opposing lineman, including a long battle with defensive tackle Terrell Resonno that drew plenty of cheers from his linemates.
- KC Star (Campus Corner): MRI Reveals Torn ACL for MU's Donovan Bonner
The Trib: NEWCOMER PROFILE: QB James Franklin
PowerMizzou: 'What James Does'
The Trib: NEWCOMER PROFILE: WR Marcus Lucas
The Trib: Balancing act for Missouri receivers
The Trib: Tigers far from barren inside
With one of the interior jobs open this fall — the Tigers must replace nose tackle Jaron Baston — [Terrell] Resonno has attacked the opportunity with one singular message in mind. It came from the head coach during the offseason. With unproven depth in reserve, Pinkel’s point might have helped shore up the shakiest starting job on MU’s defense.
"Me, personally, I busted my ass off this offseason," said Resonno, a junior from Jefferson City. "It’s my year. I have to perform. Like Coach Pinkel told me, ‘You have to be a playmaker to play on this defense.’ "
That’s because Missouri coaches figure All-Big 12 defensive end Aldon Smith will draw his share of extra blockers. So, too, could [Dominique] Hamilton, whose 46 tackles last season were tied for third among returning defensive tackles in the Big 12, trailing only Nebraska’s Jared Crick (72) and Colorado’s Curtis Cunningham (48).
Kuligowski said Hamilton and Resonno are interchangeable at the interior positions, but Resonno typically aligns as the 3-technique, usually lined up on a guard’s outside shoulder.
"I should get a lot of single blocking," Resonno said. "And if I get singled up, it’s my responsibility to get to the quarterback. If I don’t get to the quarterback, the scheme won’t be effective. I have to be disruptive."
- The Missourian: Missouri faces a redshirt dilemma
- KC Star: Mizzou is going to scramble its pass defense schemes
- PowerMizzou: Freshman Q&A: Anthony Gatti
- PowerMizzou: A full house
- PowerMizzou: Injured trio healed and ready to play
Five thoughts from what I've read so far:
- Losing Donovan Bonner stinks, but as was mentioned in comments last night, if we had to lose somebody, the linebacker corps is a pretty good place for that to happen. We're deep enough to absorb that loss, even though I'm very disappointed I won't get to see Bonner play this season. (The other injury, to Mark Hill, also takes place at a position of depth. No injuries are good, but some are at least less bad than others.)
- The two positions where we've heard the most intriguing things so far are receiver and defensive tackle. Let's face it: if the receivers and tackles end up being a strength this year, then this team's expectations get bumped up a notch or two. If Jerrell Jackson truly becomes a leader, and guys like Kerwin Stricker and Marcus Lucas are able to join Wes Kemp and T.J. Moe as reliable options, then this unit goes 7-deep or so, and in a good way. Throwing to a ton of different receivers isn't always a good thing -- sometimes it's just because you have no idea who might actually be good enough to receive a pass -- but in this case it would be outstanding.
- God, it's impossible not to get excited about the James Franklin Era, even as the Blaine Gabbert Era is only beginning to hit full-speed. I still hope Gabbert returns for 2011, but if he doesn't, it appears we could be just fine.
- I want to hear more about Kony Ealy. The good folks are more excited about Mizzou's DE depth than I am, and there's nothing that would make me more happy than finding out that he was good enough to crack the second string opposite either Brad Madison or Marcus Malbrough (right now, it seems like Madison has the edge).
- Really curious which of the freshman receivers doesn't redshirt. In just two days, Lucas and Sasser have made plays and Hunt has begun working out on special teams. Probably wouldn't be great if all three played (it would seem like redshirting at least one would be a good idea, though hey ... if they're all ready to make a difference ...), but it certainly looks like at least two will see the field.