Here at Rock M Nation, we’re careening full-force into preseason football coverage, and covering two position groups a week. How bout them apples? Earlier in the week, we (not me, per see, but the site’s football minds who you actually want to hear from) kicked off coverage with running backs.
On Monday, Josh asked the group if Mizzou’s RB room, which remains largely unchanged from 2022, is good enough to compete in the SEC this season. Survey says.... murky. Neither Peat nor Schrader have fully-formed games and Tavorus Jones and Jamal Roberts, while talented, have little to no experience. Parker’s take:
If you’re ranking this unit against the other RB rooms of the conference, it’s certainly in the double-digits. Still, Drinkwitz knows that, if he continues to recruit the position well, then he’ll find a diamond in the rough just based on odds and the nature of the spot. For now, the running backs just have to hold serve, balancing the offense behind a shaky offensive line. A tall order for a group that could use some push up front to get them going.
On Tuesday, Nate and BK previewed the group and its stale running game and said that a revamped offensive line should help the position group be able to make some progress and show off their potential. From BK:
First of all, Missouri’s offensive line should be vastly improved. We’ll dive deeper into the line at a later date, but it’s impossible to talk about the running game without mentioning the big guys up front opening up holes. That’s great news for Schrader, in particular. Schrader is a classic ‘pick up as many yards as are blocked’ type of runner. That’s no shade at him, I promise. It’s just the truth. If three yards are available, he’s going to pick up every yard. If the line opens up a big hole, he’s going to hit it and that’s where the explosives come from. He doesn’t cost his team yards by trying to make something out of nothing, but he’s also not the type of back that adds a whole lot of extra yardage, either.
Meanwhile, Josh asked the group if Kirby Moore should lean more into a RB committee approach or one-man band, of which Parker concluded:
Injuries are obviously a major concern in such a physical conference, but having running backs that complement each other can go a long way in keeping opposing defenses off-balance.
On Thursday, we moved on to quarterbacks where Nate and BK examined Mizzou’s QB room. In BK’s analysis, he identified the returning starter Brady Cook as an average-level QB who was placed in a cookie-cutter offense and had two horrific games as a first-year starter. He was fine, but what about the other options? Will anyone unseat him?
Meanwhile, Josh asked the guys, “Are Mizzou fans being unfair to Brady Cook?” I’m not paid to offer my football opinion but yes, especially given the injury-to-be-announced-later, people were a bit too hard on him. Fans gonna fan. From Quentin:
We’ve seen how high his ceiling as a rusher, a ceiling that seems to be the highest out of him, Jake Garcia and Sam Horn. I’m also optimistic in regards to how new OC Kirby Moore can better utilize Cook’s legs. With a much improved support system, I believe Brady can cook in 2023 *shoots finger guns victoriously*.
Since we’re on the topic, quarterbacks were also the big topic of conversation in Dave Matter’s chat at STL Today. Here are some QB-specific highlights:
On how the QB room looks: “We’ve yet to see any drills where the QB is in the same drill with a defensive player, so I know better than to read anything into what we see from the QBs. That’s not a complaint about the media access. We’ve gotten to watch about 30-45 minutes every day... But anything we’ve seen from the QBs is just throwing against air - no pass rush, no defenders in coverage. Cook looks smooth throwing the ball (against air). Horn still has a big strong arm. Garcia puts some zip on the ball. But none of that means a whole lot.”
On the QB competition: “If Cook is the starter it’s because he earned it. The only thing that matters is they get it right no matter who wins the competition. Jobs are on the line with this decision - and I’m not just talking about the quarterbacks.”
On Brady Cook’s mobility: “Let’s not write off Brady Cook’s rushing ability. He ran for more yards last year than any Mizzou QB since James Franklin in 2011 - back in the Big 12 days.”
A reminder: We’ll be wrapping up QB coverage today at the site, with a piece on Brady Cook by the very entertaining Quentin Corpuel — he’s really talented, you guys — and you’ll see what the staff has to say about another QB-related question posted by Josh.
On to the Links!
Yesterday at Rock M
- Dan’s countdown continues— 2023 40 Most Important Tigers: 25 to 21
- Josh asks— Are Mizzou fans being unfair to Brady Cook? Parker, Quentin, Jaden, Josh and Nate answer
- Nate & BK continue— Let’s Preview: Mizzou Football Quarterbacks in 2023
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: New coordinator Kirby Moore takes reins of Mizzou offense with personal touch (Eli Hoff) | How Mizzou football’s Nathaniel Peat moved past his Auburn fumble toward a brighter 2023 (Dave Matter) | Read Matter’s (subscriber) chat
- Columbia Tribune: Luther Burden wants to win the Heisman at Mizzou. Here’s how he can do it (Chris Kwiecinski) | 5 Mizzou wideouts - aside from Luther Burden - who could make an impact in 2023 (Calum McAndrew)
- PowerMizzou/Rivals: Midwest Spotlight: Predictions for top uncommitted recruits (Clint Cosgrove) | Four Down Territory (Jarod Hamilton) | Listen to Ep. 1 of the State of the Tigers
- Another day, another watch list. Realus George was named to the Wuerffel Trophy watchlist, which is presented to the FBS player who best combines exemplary community service with leadership achievement on and off the field.
- We’re on Commitment Watch over here. Come on home, Williams!
BREAKING: Five-Star Plus+ DL Williams Nwaneri tells me he will announce his Commitment on August 14th!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) August 3, 2023
The No. 1 Player in the ‘24 Class will choose between Oklahoma, Missouri, Oregon, Georgia, & Tennessee
Where Should He Go? https://t.co/7z7KTHMEgh pic.twitter.com/WV3Nyv3lHj
- PowerMizzou: Checking in on 2024 center Trent Burns (King)
- First I’m hearing of this news— saw it in Matter’s chat on Thursday. Best of luck to Brad, who’s been SUCH a fantastic rep of the University.
Per @Dave_Matter Best of luck to @BradLoos_MIZ whose 9 yr stay @Mizzou ended recently when he took new role outside of Mizzou. Loos served on Kim Anderson's staff then worked as a fundraiser in the athletics dept last 6 years. One of the best people you'll ever meet. #Truth— Todd Whitaker (@ToddWhitaker) July 28, 2023
Other Mizzou Sports
- It was truly a season of great accomplishments for the Mizzou T&F jumpers (courtesy of Mizzou coach Iliyan Chamov):
- Way to go, Jack!
- Soccer has really been ratcheting up the social media content recently. We love to see it.
- If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now!
- If you’re looking to sign up for a new streaming service, you can try FuboTV: click HERE for FuboTV access — FuboTV now has ESPN, CBS, FS1 and more sports channels.
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