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Takeaways from Tiger Talk: Week 5

Eliah Drinkwitz, D.J. Smith and Kris Abrams-Draine joined the legendary Mike Kelly to recap the events of Saturday and look ahead to Memphis.

Eliah Drinkwitz, Co-Defensive Coordinator DJ Smith and cornerback Kris Abrams-Draine joined famed Missouri radio announcer Mike Kelly on Tuesday at Bud’s Classic BBQ for some Tiger Talk.

Eliah Drinkwitz | Head Coach | 4th Season

  • Drinkwitz is slamming a plate of nachos. He’s using a fork; a well-mannered gentleman!
  • Per Mike Kelly, Bud’s will open at 8 AM next Saturday for the LSU game, which is kicking off at 11 AM.
  • Drink: “I’m surprised there’s not more students getting free beer on a Tuesday.” (editor’s note: why do I keep skipping these things? Dammit)
  • Drink was proud of the Mizzou fans in St. Louis for showing up.
  • Praised the offense for starting fast, finding a rhythm, overcoming adversity and sealing the game at the end.
  • Commended the depth that had to step up in wake of injuries. Mentioned how JC Carlies played corner even though he hadn’t practiced at corner all week. Also shouted out Kris Abrams-Draine for playing 74 snaps (which is a lot).
  • Complimented Brady Cook’s toughness. Said Cook could barely breathe at halftime against Memphis and, earlier in the week, mentioned how Cook could barely walk and couldn’t go to team dinner on Sunday night because he didn’t want his teammates to see him on crutches.
  • On the turf at The Dome: “I don’t know how you play on that stuff.”
  • Praised Kirby Moore for constantly moving Luther Burden around the formation and messing up opposing coverages.
  • Said Marquis Johnson had been playing well throughout all of fall camp. Said he simply needs to get more in-game reps.
  • “At any point, somebody needs to be able to contribute.”
  • Says team has bought into embracing their respective roles.
  • Diagnosing third down struggles: The blitz is one second away from getting home, but a DB’s eyes are in the wrong place, and the QB is able to find an open receiver for a first down.
  • Sees Darius Robinson’s injury as an opportunity for others to step up. Mentioned Nyles Gaddy and Joe Moore III as two edge defenders who’ve stepped up so far.
  • “Everybody has a role.”
  • Marcellus Johnson was a full participant at practice today.
  • On Jordon Harris’s breakout performance: When Mizzou runs outside zone, blocking TE’s need to make a handful of proper reads, and Harris did just that.
  • On Vanderbilt: AJ Swann is an excellent QB. WR’s are really good. Their defense is very multiple.

D.J. Smith I Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers coach/Recruiting coordinator I 4th season

  • Drink established a positive culture at Appalachian State (Smith coached at his alma mater, App State, from 2016-19). He brought in the right guys and taught them to play football the right way
  • The defense has bought in and they fully trust each other.
  • On missed tackles: guys are pressing too much.
  • On third down struggles: Like Drink said, eyes are in the wrong spot, which causes breakdowns in coverage.
  • Started playing football when he was four. Dad was a big inspiration.
  • On getting drafted (Smith was drafted in the sixth round by the Green Bay Packers in 2011): “It was surreal.”
  • On playing in the NFL (played two seasons with the Packers, one with the Houston Texans and another with the Carolina Panthers): He’s been through it all. He started, he was cut, and he played for a handful of seasons. Having all of those experiences has helped him as a coach because he understands a variety of situations.
  • On effect of STL game on recruiting: KC’s got the Chiefs, STL’s got the Tigers. It’s awesome to see people getting so excited. Big crowds are a huge selling point.
  • On Ty’Ron Hopper: “He’s a dawg. His football IQ is legendary.” Loves watching tape and loves being coached.
  • On being a part of this defensive staff: “I wish you were a fly on the wall,” Smith said to Kelly. There’s lots of camaraderie. Lots of ideas fly around in meetings, which is a good thing.

Kris Abrams-Draine I Cornerback I 4th season

  • Received a loud applause when introduced by Kelly.
  • On playing in STL: “Great atmosphere.”
  • Credited closing out the Memphis game to practicing the right way. Said it helps Mizzou finish games a lot easier.
  • On how he's able to come up with interceptions are than the average college cornerback: “I’m trying to catch the ball more than the receiver.”
  • Shouted out Carlies for filling in at cornerback despite having little experience playing the position. “He went from strong safety to cornerback and didn’t miss a beat.”
  • Said Mizzou has helped him grow a lot as both a player and a person.
  • Perhaps the most earth-shaking news of the night: KAD is a Dallas Cowboys fan.