Q. Obviously Maty had a lot of experience or some experience last year. As you start this season with new players around him, is there kind of a feeling-out process the first few weeks to see what he does well with the guys he has?
COACH PINKEL: First of all, the good news/bad news about last year is the bad news is we lost our starting quarterback for four games in the fourth quarter against Georgia. The good news is we had a redshirt freshman that came in and played at a high level. That experience obviously I think helped him tremendously. I think certainly our players have a lot of confidence in him.
I think you're always kind of feeling yourself out in terms of what personnel you're going to use and how that's going to work out.
We lost quite a few receivers, good ones. We got Darius White coming back, and Bud Sasser, coming back, Jimmie Hunt, three guys that caught a lot of footballs. So we're very fortunate to have some guys back.
In our offense, we can use runningbacks as receivers. We can use tightends more. There's a lot of things we can do.
Our challenge I think is going to be into August, which personnel sets are we going to settle on going in. They worked very hard all summer long. Maty, with his leadership, has done a great job. Also the seniors.
That's really the process we're going to take offensively, at least going into the first week.
Q. You lost two pretty accomplished defensive ends last year in Sam and Ealy. Two guys that are coming back. Doesn't seem that position is taking much of a step back if at all. How would you explain the depth you have at that position?
COACH PINKEL:Shane Ray, Markus Golden both played at a high level a year ago, and alternating with Michael Sam and Kony Ealy. I think you're always trying to build depth. I wish I had that depth at every position.
We've been fortunate on the defensive line for the past eight years, first-round, second-round draft picks, and we've produced at a high level. Craig Kuligowski is our defensive line coach.
We have Marcus Loud and Charles Harris, two redshirt freshmen, and they're both 6'5", 6'6", 250 guys that can potentially be great players.
We like to play more than two players. The depth of those young players, certainly we need them to produce. We have some other guys competing also.
Q. Without exploring the off-the-field impact, talk about not having Dorial Green-Beckham? How is that going to impact you offensively?
COACH PINKEL:We lost a really great player. I wish Dorial the best.
The most important thing, you make mistakes, you have a chance to learn lessons, and I think he will. The good news is he can do a lot of great things for himself as a person.
I think you can lose a player in the middle of August that you thought was going to be your best player. For us, we knew going into spring football our challenges there.
I mentioned we have three guys that played an awful lot last year, one or two started a few of those games, too. The multiple use of personnel really. We have three high-level runningbacks in our program right now. Guys that I think are high-level SEC runningbacks. They also catch the ball well. Good young tightends.
We don't have to replace a receiver to a receiver necessarily. There are other ways we can go. That's our challenge getting into August, how we're going to handle that.
Junior C Evan Boehm
On moving to the Center position:
"Talking to Coach Pinkel about the move, he was all for it and that was really cool. Just being able to have the trust of Coach Pinkel putting me into the center position even though I've never played that position before, even in high school, you could see the trust factor was there. Last year, I was earning that new position, so I was a little unconfident, a little unsure about some things. Going in this year you just have to go out there with confidence and work and be more physical than I was last year."
On the lack of experience on the offensive line:
"You've got Mitch Morse, Connor McGovern, who started last year, and me that are really going to anchor down the offensive line this year. You have Anthony Gatti who is a redshirt senior that's been around the program for a while. You have Mitch Hall who is a transfer from Ole Miss that sat out a year, but has had a couple years to learn the program, step in at the two-guard spots. They've done a great job this offseason and the spring of learning the offense, everything to do and how we do it on the offensive line."
On the date he's most ready for:
"August 3 when we report for camp, that's the first day I'm looking forward to. You really can't circle, in the SEC, you found this out in the first two years that we've been here. You can't circle that one game, it's going to be every single game that you have to circle and be ready for because we're in the best conference. You have to get ready for each and every game when we're out there and that's what we're doing. We're buying into a program that Coach Pinkel has and the coaching staff has. We're going out there and we're going to play Missouri Tiger football."
Senior DE Markus Golden
On which matchup he’s looking forward to the most
"For me, I’m so competitive that I just want to play; I don’t care who it’s against. However, I especially love playing all of the other SEC teams, so I look forward to playing against those schools."
On Michael Sam
"I’m very proud of Michael. In my three years at Mizzou I’ve always believed him to be a hard worker, and you always want to see guys like that be successful in the NFL. I’m happy for him and I hope things continue to get better for him."
On what made the second year in the SEC so successful for Mizzou
"I think it’s a mix of confidence, getting comfortable, and just believing in yourself. In the first year we had a bunch of injuries but last year we were healthy, so it’s about being healthy and competing. At Mizzou, we believe we can compete against anybody, and last year that’s what we were able to do. We’re going to try and do the same thing this year."
Sophomore QB Maty Mauk
On his passing game becoming a main strength this season:
"It's definitely one of my main strengths. I went down there (Manning camp) feeling good, but when I came back I really felt a difference. I gained not just quarterback skills, but everything from huddle-breaking skills and leadership skills. This camp took me to the next level. I have already been working with some of the guys with some changes that I want to make this season. We even went over things last night and we looked great."
On his first start of the season last year versus Florida:
"Going into that week I had the opportunity to talk to the other players, like the wide receivers, and I told them to go out there and pretend like nothing ever happen and to believe in me. I also told them to give me a chance, and they did believe in me. We went out there and the first play we went deep and following that play we ran a corner route and scored. We scored in forty-two seconds and after that drive I just felt my confidence level go up."
On beards and mullets:
"It's just something that we do every year. Last year Evan Boehm and I had beards and this year everyone wanted to do something different, so this year everyone is coming together and forming the beards and mullets."
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