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A Zoom Chat with Eli

Coach Drinkwitz had 30 minutes to chat with reporters on Wednesday. Here’s what was discussed.

Not a whole lot to report on this one, but man, Drink was slinging some zingers on Wednesday. Here are the highlights:

WEAR A MASK

As you can see in the article image, Coach Drinkwitz started the meeting wearing his mask. His opening statement was a simple request for everyone to seriously consider wearing a mask whenever they are in public. He said he chooses to do so because it’s in the best interest of what we, as a country, are trying to accomplish from a public health standpoint. He acknowledged that the cause has become politicized and that he didn’t understand why and didn’t care to figure out either side since he believes that, instead of fighting each other, we should be united as a country to defeat COVID-19. He was disappointed to see that cases in Boone County were rising and wanted to use his platform to set an example for others to follow.

On empty stadiums...

When asked if he thought that playing in sparsely populated stadiums would affect his ability to coach a team, Drink let out the first gem of the day: “Brother, I coached in the Sun Belt, I’m familiar with sparse stadiums.” He said he wouldn’t mention specifics but there were a few games last year where he could count the total number of people in the stands. So, no, it doesn’t sound like Drink needs a full capacity crowd to be effective.

On conference-only schedules...

I was able to ask Coach Drinkwitz if he was already starting to scout other SEC West teams besides Mississippi State and Arkansas since there is a solid chance the SEC moves to conference-only schedules. Enter Zinger #2: “If we play Alabama do you think I’ll be coaching against Lou Saban or Nick Saban?” This, of course, referencing President Trump’s remarks about Tommy Tubberville’s senate campaign where he mistakenly said that Lou Saban was the coach of Alabama. But, to the question, Drinkwitz said that he doesn’t mess with hypotheticals and will start scouting teams when they come up on the schedule and not worry about reacting to rumors or Twitter theories.

On the 2020 team...

Coach Drink admitted that he still doesn’t have a very good grasp on what this team is right now since there have only been a few days of mandatory workouts. However, he told us that he has never been more excited to coach a football team, citing the team’s resiliency going through a coaching change, COVID, and still working hard to get better every day. He said he was very excited to see grad transfer receiver Damon Hazelton and Keke Chism take the field— the latter in particular. He said Chism was an absolute steal for the staff to get and will be a stud for the Tiger receivers, believing he has the tools necessary to succeed in the NFL. I, for one, certainly can’t wait to see Mr. Chism prove it on the field!