Mizzou has gotten the fun and games out of the way during its Orlando stay, and it's all (well, mostly) business for the next week.
Here are some recent bowl-related links.
“This redshirt freshman group coming to play next year is going to be very talented,” Sasser said. “It could be up there with us. There are four or five of them that came in and picked the offense up so fast. Not only are they picking up the offenses, but they’re also able to read coverages well. Once they get back into the groove of our playbook and not necessarily being on the scout team right now, it doesn’t take them long.” [...]
It’s like an abbreviated spring session for the Tigers, a time when they can start finding possible solutions to the problem spots that could face the 2015 team.
Like wide receiver, where redshirting freshman Thomas Richard is getting some reps off the scout team, Keyon Dilosa is back practicing for the first time after sitting out the fall with a ruptured Achilles tendon and Nate Brown is working at the slot in Hunt’s absence after spending his true freshman year as an outside receiver.
“We can put a Nate Brown in there to just practice, get after it and have plenty of time to learn the position and the little things with it,” Coach Gary Pinkel said. “He’s doing really, really well.”
He wasn’t flashy. He didn’t ooze charisma. He was 49. Bald. A bit stocky.
“I laughed, because I saw all the negativity in Minnesota,” Moccia said. “‘He’s not a big name. He doesn’t look like a matinee idol.’”
“People get stuck in the, ‘Hey, we need to win the press conference’ (mentality)” Moccia added. “You see that on the AD level, too. ‘If I don’t hire a big-name guy I won’t win the press conference.’ But five minutes after the press conference you’ve got to recruit and coach.”
The Minnesota job was made for Kill and his crew of reclamation specialists. The bulk of his coaching staff has gone untouched for more than a decade.
“I enjoy the process,” Kill said. “It’s a grind. I will tell you that. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of long hours. You’re changing cultures. I enjoy the process and our coaches do, too, to watch things go from a very struggling situation to one that gets better and better.”
Finally, this is one of the more enlightening, enjoyable Pinkel interviews you'll read. Well done to David Morrison on this.
Have you been offering any advice to Dave Steckel as he preps for his first head-coaching job?
First of all, Stec's been with me for 19 years. He's going to use his personality to run his program. He's going to carry a lot of it through. That's why he got a lot of graduate assistants, people that know this program. He's going to be Stec. He certainly doesn't want to be Gary Pinkel, I guarantee you that. He'll do a great job. I do a lot of things, organizationally, that I learned and hopefully have built on in a very positive way from Don James. The detail, attention to detail, everything we do in our football program that, organizationally, allows you to be competitive at any level, with anybody. I have a thing we call a "checklist." It's a yearly checklist. It starts in January, January, February, into spring football, into the summer, then it goes into the fall. It's a detailed checklist of every single thing you do -- players, coaches, recruiting -- every month. I've developed it over the years, just so you don't miss anything on top of that you're evaluating things all the time. I gave him all those checklists. And, again, he'll tweak them and use them. But I think it gives him a guideline and will help him a little bit.
He'll do a great job. He's a great people person. He's a very sincere guy. He gets along with people well. He's tough with the players, but he also wraps his arms around them and loves them. I think all those things work very favorably. The greatest thing about him is he's like a little kid in a candy store. He's getting his opportunity. I think it's long overdue, too. Some guys never get it in our business. I know some guys who never became head football coaches in college and they were very capable of being great. It just never happened for them. He's getting his chance. I'm happy for him. I think our players are, too. They can see it in him, also.