Earlier today, Drink sat down with the media to address the continuation of fall camp, and a few of his players spoke as well.
Coach opened the press conference by reiterating that the focus of the beginning of this year’s fall camp is building a foundation for this team, and then he opened the floor up for questions.
On the heels of the release of a daunting schedule, Drink was asked about prepping for Bama week one and when it will start. His response echoed much of what he has reiterated over and over these last two days about building that foundation. The Tigers will not prep for the Crimson Tide until game week in order to “focus on Mizzou.”
To follow that up, he added that there are 3 goals for the Tigers when Camp is all said and done:
- Challenge the Players
- Lay the Foundation (Get used to hearing it)
- Becoming “US”
The big topic today, however, was the ongoing quarterback battle.
Drink first addressed the issue when a question was posed about the possibility of the competition extending into the regular season due to the abbreviated nature of it. Drink was quick to answer with a whole lot of unknowns. He explained that there is no timeline for the QB battle and whoever sets themselves apart will win in due time whether it’s “tomorrow or 6 weeks from now.”
He added to this and said he’d save all of us some time. Drink will not be naming a starting quarterback until the Tigers take the field Week 1. Drink outlined that he is very experienced in quarterback battles from previous situations as OC at Boise State and Arkansas State, but has never used this method before. In no attempt to conceal his motives, Drink said “I’m trying to create a workload for our competition... They don’t know if they should scout App State games, Arkansas State, Washington, or TCU.”
To top it all off, Drink concluded his portion of the call by stating, “I’m sorry to disappoint you guys by not naming a quarterback,” as he put his sunglasses on and a smirk came over his face. I mean, how can you not love this guy.
Following Drink’s cinematic exit, Kobie Whiteside took to the podium. Kobie, like many of the players, spoke of his disappointment but understanding towards the capacity of Faurot Field being limited to 25% in the upcoming season. However, his biggest statement was made when asked about the schedule release. I think as fans we have all been a little apprehensive about the degree of difficulty our Tigers will be subjected to, but not Kobie. Whiteside talked about about playing Alabama and LSU in the first three weeks and went on the record saying, “I’m pretty psyched... to show what I can do... this is perfect for me.” Maybe we all need to look at it a little more like Kobie. Why not us?
My final takeaway from today’s zoom was that Ennis Rakestraw is getting a lot of hype. We all saw the video of Drink going bananas in the spring when Rake picked the Tigers over the likes of Alabama and Texas, and maybe now we know why. Yesterday, Daniel Parker shouted out Rakestraw’s ability to cover any type of receiver, even the tight ends. Then today, Rake’s defensive backfield teammate Josh Bledsoe also gave him a shout-out. If you’re getting praise from your peers and the people you’re competing against, I think that validates what they are saying. Let’s hope it’s true, and Ennis Rakestraw can be a force in our secondary for years to come.