After a blowout home loss over the weekend against Tennessee and the firing of Defensive Line Coach Jethro Franklin, Missouri Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz addressed the media for the first time on Tuesday.
Even with the Tigers coming off a terrible loss and approaching a must-win scenario, the change in staff was still the main story today.
“Jethro is a good coach, he’s a man of character, but for whatever reason, he didn’t fit,” the Missouri Head Coach said. “There was a disconnect between what we thought we should be doing, and what we were doing.”
As far as who will replace Franklin, that will be Defensive Analyst Al Davis, and Drinkwitz is excited to see how the change will affect a Tigers run defense that has struggled all year, “Al is a strong, charismatic leader. He has a great work ethic with instant credibility from his time playing in the SEC. He’s coached at a high level, and I think he’ll do well.”
Previously, Franklin played at Arkansas and was the Defensive Line Coach for Illinois in 2020.
While Davis will be stepping into a new role for the Tigers, the team is currently preparing to welcome North Texas for Homecoming, and Drinkwitz believes it won’t be an easy task. “Offensively, they run a similar style to Tennessee— not as much tempo, but after last week, I wouldn’t be surprised if they picked it up.”
That aforementioned tempo gave the Tigers so many problems last week that Drinkwitz has decided the best way he can prepare his team for the Mean Green is to start from scratch.
“There’s no depth chart, there’s Tuesday and Wednesday practice,” he said. “There are no starters right now.” He continued this idea of a fresh start even more just moments later, adding, “It’s not business as usual, it’s kind of like fall camp today.”
As for his message to his team as they try to refresh their season, Drinkwitz kept it simple. “Tennessee doesn’t have to define us or this season, but if you let it, it will.”