This Bud's for you, St. Louis!
"We are really excited to have him on board," coach Jeff Fisher said. "He's going to be working in alumni relations and youth football and it's just a great opportunity for him. He's an outstanding young man who obviously had something that was clearly out of his control and I think he realizes that this is the best thing for him from a future standpoint."
Today in Mizzou Alternate History
So in the middle of yesterday's practice report, Dave Matter provided us with an interesting tidbit.
New CBS analyst Rick Neuheisel was on campus Tuesday and visited with the team and attended practice. ... Coincidentally, after the 1998 season, Gary Pinkel was thought to be one of two finalists for the Washington head-coaching job, along with another former UW assistant, Idaho coach Chris Tormey. Hall of Fame UW coach Don James, whom both candidates worked under in Seattle, favored Pinkel for the job. Both candidates interviewed. Both were turned away. Instead, Washington went with a surprise candidate: Neuheisel.
If Pinkel is hired by Washington in 1999, he clearly doesn't take the Missouri job two years later. So who does? Well ... around the time Mike Alden was interviewing Pinkel, he was talking to Kevin Cosgrove (then Wisconsin's defensive coordinator) and Gary Darnell (then WMU's head coach). Dennis Franchione was frequently tied to the job because of his friendship with Alden. Then Purdue assistant Jim Chaney (who would later interview to become Pinkel's offensive coordinator) and Oregon assistant Jeff Tedford (who would go on to become Cal's head coach) were also mentioned at one point. And we've long heard about guys like Mark Richt and Brent Venables (then OU's defensive co-coordinator) being considered.
Richt was going to Georgia no matter what, and Franchione ended up withdrawing his name from consideration, so ... Cosgrove then? Darnell (who was a hot name, then quickly fizzled)? Tedford would have been the best of that bunch, but he wasn't far enough up the totem pole at that point.
Yeah, I'll just go ahead and thank Washington for picking Neuheisel. Kudos, Huskies.
(So why didn't James' hand-picked successor, Pinkel, get the job? I assume it was a combination of three things. First, Neuheisel was still a pretty sexy name, having led CU to two 10-win seasons despite winning only 13 in 1997-98. Second, James' first hand-picked successor, former DC Jim Lambright, had only done an okay job at UW, not spectacular. Finally, while Pinkel had gone 11-0-1 at Toledo in 1995, he'd only gone 7-5 in 1998, so his stock wasn't as high as it had been or as high as it would be following his 10-1 2000 campaign.)
Practice resumed on Tuesday
Kicker Andrew Baggett (back) and receivers J'Mon Moore (shoulder) and Wesley Leftwich (knee) began practice on Tuesday without red jerseys. Baggett remained red-free for the entire open portion of practice, and was not wearing a red jersey afterward.
Moore changed into a red pullover after stretching, signaling a return to all drills except ones with contact.
Leftwich, however, changed back into a full red jersey by the end of the open period.
Hooray, guys are getting healthy!
Missouri TE Jason Reese is day to day with a sprained right knee.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) August 25, 2015
[Cornell] Ford said the lack of turnovers has been an issue in all the practices we don't get to see (i.e. the vast majority of them) as well: "That's been an ongoing battle. It's something that I've said from Day 1 is a major focus of ours, and I don't think we have enough guys that are making a conscious effort to try and get it out. We can work a lot harder there, on those skills. Trust me, it's been brought to their attention. It was brought to their attention today. You've just got to preach it, talk it and rep the hell out of it. And we do. We're constantly talking about going after the football. But it's one thing to talk about it. You've got to go out on the field and execute it. That's what we've got to get done. As coaches, we've got to continue to push, fight and beat them over the head that takeaways win football games."
* WR Emanuel Hall made two nice catches during the 11-on-11 period. His first reception went for 25 yards with 15 yards after the catch while his second covered 20 yards across the middle of the field.
* RB Russell Hansbrough rushed for a 35-yard TD in the live team session, finding a running lane in the middle of the defense and angling to score at the front pylon of the end zone.
- Second team: QB Maty Mauk, LB Kentrell Brothers
- Third team: C Evan Boehm, RB Russell Hansbrough
Most underrated team: Missouri.
The Tigers are replacing their entire starting defensive line after Harold Brantley's unfortunate car crash, and the wide receiver corps is essentially starting over as well. But coach Gary Pinkel had to deal with inexperience in those areas last season, and it didn't bother him much. Missouri won't win the East again, but don't be surprised if it -- and not Tennessee -- is your runner-up.
6. Gary Pinkel, Missouri:
Pinkel is a really good coach, but he still can't crack the top five, even if I wanted to put him there. This is a man that's been around at Missouri seemingly forever (or since 2001) after spending a decade at Toledo. He's one of those coaches that isn't looking to leave, and considering the results he's gotten on the field, his bosses are always happy to have him around. After a rough introduction to SEC life in 2012, Pinkel's Tigers adjusted and went 23-5 (14-2 in conference) the last two seasons and won consecutive SEC East titles. Odds are if he wants to get higher on this list, he's going to have to get over the conference title hump (between the Big 12 and SEC, Pinkel's teams have won five division championships, but no conference championships), and I'm not going to put it past him to do so.
Hey there, Chase Patton!
Now almost 10 years later, Patton, 29, works shoulder-to-shoulder with Willet as an associate dentist in the office. Patton, who attended dental school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, returned to Columbia in June 2013 to accept the position. Eventually, the goal is for Patton to buy the practice when Willett is ready to retire.