Let's take a look at the primary story lines from Day 2 of Mizzou spring practice.
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): MU Thursday Practice Injury Updates
DT AJ Logan has an arch strain in his foot. WR Nate Brown has an MCL strain in his knee. TE Sean Culkin has an AC joint separation.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) March 12, 2015
Logan is day to day, Brown could be back after spring break and Culkin could be back next week.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) March 12, 2015
Brown and Culkin's injuries are Grade 1, or the least severe on the scale.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) March 12, 2015
Sophomore wideout Nate Brown suffered an MCL strain in his left knee and was in a brace. He could be back after the Tigers return from spring break on March 31. Brown is the starter in the slot to start the spring after working there during bowl practice.
Junior tight end Sean Culkin has an AC joint separation in his right shoulder. He could be back next week. Culkin and Brown both have Grade-1 injuries, which are the least severe on the scale. Brown and Culkin's injuries leave the Tigers with five healthy scholarship wideouts and two healthy scholarship tight ends.
Losing Culkin for a bit doesn't bother me at all -- while he has plenty of improving to do, I'm much more curious about seeing what Jason Reese and Kendall Blanton can do this spring. Brown, however, needs as much time as possible in his new role as The Man. Losing him for any amount of time stinks.
That said, that does open the door for others to get some reps with Maty Mauk, who evidently spoke with reporters after practice.
J'Mon Moore: "I definitely believe we can do better than last year's receiving corps."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) March 12, 2015
Maty Mauk says Missouri's young group of WRs/TEs might be team's deepest in a long time.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) March 12, 2015
Maty Mauk said Moore and DeSean Blair can be speed threats. Said walk-on Eric Laurent is working with the 1s and reminds him of T.J. Moe.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) March 12, 2015
With Nate Brown out Maty Mauk says walk-on Eric Laurent is working with 1st team and could be a factor this year— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) March 12, 2015
Mauk says Laurent reminds him some of former Missouri receiver TJ Moe— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) March 12, 2015
Mauk: "The athletic ability these young guys have is something Mizzou might not have ever had before."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) March 12, 2015
Pat Washington: "Sometimes in recruiting, kids begin to recruit you. Now here's an opportunity to so those great things. It's wide open."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) March 12, 2015
Mauk said he's a lot better health-wise than he was at the end of last year. Throwing shoulder's fine, body fat down to 11% from 20.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) March 12, 2015
#Mizzou QB coach Andy Hill, on Maty Mauk: "Our focus right now is leadership and completion percentage."— Pete Scantlebury (@PeteScantlebury) March 13, 2015
Hill said they want Mauk to improve from 53% to 63% completions. Said decisions weren't issue, but footwork, ball placement need to improve.— Pete Scantlebury (@PeteScantlebury) March 13, 2015
J'Mon Moore has never lacked for confidence, that's for sure ... and it sounds like Eric Laurent is a real Wes Welker type out there...
Hello, Ryan Walters
Mizzou's new safeties coach is getting his feet underneath him in Columbia.
PowerMizzou (PMTV): Meet Ryan Walters
PowerMizzou: Spring Notebook: 10/12
The last few weeks have gone by quickly for Walters, who said he is just now closing on a house for his wife and son. So it may take some time for him to get his feet completely under him, but Walters is already impressed with the safeties he'll coach.
"Coach Grinch did a great job just instilling fundamentals and practice habits with them," Walters said. "I got a good mix of young guys and veterans. Obviously Ian Simon played a lot of ball last year. We're doing a couple different things, but not really. It's the same style defense and I'm just trying to continue the improvement process with those guys and instill sort of my personality in my role."
Looks like speedy Anthony Sherrils will be Walters' first lump of clay to mold. Can't wait to see how that progresses.
An Odom defense
PowerMizzou: Coming into focus
"All these guys that come in, if they come in and they don't really have a background around us, it just takes them a while because we do everything a certain way," Pinkel said. "A lot of places, you coach how you want to coach, bottom line, just get your guys playing well.
"Well, we coach certain ways, we teach certain ways. We handle players certain ways, and I think that's the biggest adjustment, whether it was Pat Washington a few years ago or AJ Ricker, he played for us so I think he understood that a little bit. But anyone else that comes in, it takes a little bit of an adjustment, but we all work together to do it the Mizzou way."
With the players, Odom is already pretty well known. One of his starting linebackers, Kentrell Brothers, arrived at Missouri in 2011 when Odom was still on the staff.
Now, Odom is Brothers' position coach.
Who is the new leader on Missouri's defensive line? No hesitation from DL coach Craig Kuligowski: Harold Brantley— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) March 12, 2015
Kulikowski says this is his first time in 15 years at Mizzou that he doesn't have a senior defensive lineman— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) March 12, 2015
The Missourian: Craig Kuligowski, Barry Odom reunite on Missouri defense
Odom bounced between three other positions in the athletics department before landing the job as Missouri's safeties coach in 2009. During their three seasons under defensive coordinator Dave Steckel, Missouri won 26 games and produced all-conference standouts like Aldon Smith, Kenji Jackson, Jarrell Harrison and Jasper Simmons.
When Odom left to be Memphis's defensive coordinator in 2011, their relationship didn't end. The two talked throughout Odom's tenure at Memphis and while Odom was being interviewed for the vacant defensive coordinator position.
When Odom was hired in December 2014, he and Kuligowski had a short conversation.
"I said, 'Welcome. Glad to have you,'" Kuligowski said.
Harold Brantley's going to be a monster this year, isn't he...