COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou practiced in full pads for the first time this fall, Monday morning, and what he saw on the field pleased head coach Gary Pinkel he told the media after the session.
- Injury update: CB Xavier Smith had his right foot in a boot and wore a red jersey Monday. Smith has a bruised foot that Pinkel did not deem too serious. Freshman DT A.J. Logan (Rock Bridge HS) graduated to a red bib and was participating in drills, but was still moving gingerly and even seemed to have his left leg give out on him during one portion of individual drills against a dummy. Logan continued the drill, however, without missing a rep. Pinkel also told the media WR Wesley Leftwich (Hickman HS) strained his hamstring during Monday's practice.
Assistant coaches were the only members of the program made available for comment after Monday's practice, and one of the more intriguing topics of discussion had to do with one of their colleagues: strength and conditioning coach Pat Ivey.
Ivey is a former Mizzou player (defensive end from 1993-95), who graduated in 1995 as one of the strongest players in the history of the program.
Here's what Pinkel and a couple of his fellow assistants had to say about his efforts within the program:
- Gary Pinkel: "When you become a head football coach, that position is so important because he touches every single player, all the time. When I'm talking to parents in the home, I'm telling them the guy that your son is going to be spending the most time with is not your position coach, it's Coach Ivey and his staff."
- Pinkel: "Coach Ivey has had opportunities to go many places, but he's so committed here. Him and his wife and his family."
- Offensive line coach Bruce Walker: "Coach Ivey and his guys do a great job. He's a former player here; he was a successful player here and I think that helps add credibility for the players."
- Walker: "We probably have a seven or eight kids (offensive linemen) who bench press over 400 pounds, which is kind of the benchmark we feel you have to have in order to play at this level in this league."
- Defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Dave Steckel: "Pat does a great job with them in the summer time because he's the only coach that can be a part of that and be with them. He spends a lot of time, not only in the weight room, but in the classroom trying to develop their minds and their bodies."
- Steckel: "The thing that is different about this league (SEC), not only are they bigger and stronger, but they're fast too, so it's the whole ball of wax. Pat's doing a great job of getting kids prepared and ready to go."