COLUMBIA, Mo. - Rain forced Gary Pinkel and the Missouri Tiger football team indoors for the first time this fall camp, Tuesday morning.
Once again, Mizzou was in full pads, and to kick off the practice, Pinkel called linebacker Darvin Ruise into the middle of a team huddle before stretching to tell a joke about practicing in pads frequently.
- Injury update: CB Xavier Smith was out of the walking boot and red. His foot bruise was apparently just a one day injury. Fellow cornerback John Gibson, however, was wearing a walking boot and red jersey Tuesday. Gibson, a redshirt freshman, is competing for a starting spot opposite E.J. Gaines, or as the nickel back.
According to the Mizzou athletics website, the offense gained a measure of redemption during today's team portion by beating the defense one day after losing to close out the squad's first full pad practice.
After Tuesday's effort, the topic of conversation revolved around Mizzou's group of wide receivers.
Football is a game of mismatches, and this group should have no problem exploiting its height and length against just about any defender in any secondary in the nation.
Mizzou (technically) has five starting receiver positions on the depth chart, counting tight end which was just "officially" added this year. Of those five starting spots: TE, X, Y, Z and H, not one of the starters is shorter than 6-foot-3:
|TE Sean Culkin||6'6" 245 lbs|
|X-WR Dorial Green-Beckham||6'5" 225 lbs|
|Y-WR Marcus Lucas||6'5" 220 lbs|
|Z-WR L'Damian Washington||6'4" 205 lbs|
|H-WR Bud Sasser||6'3" 210 lbs|
*The official Mizzou depth chart lists Sasser at 6-foot-2, but speaking with his teammates and coaches Tuesday, they assured he is, in fact, an inch taller than that.
The Missouri offense should be able to exploit one-on-one matches near the sideline in virtually every game they play. There are not many cornerbacks in the nation that stand taller than 6-foot-2.
If James Franklin is given ample time, he should be able to find someone on his team who has a 3-to-4 inch height advantage on his defender, at the very least.
When asked if he's ever had a group of receivers he's worked with like this in his career, new Mizzou wide receivers coach Pat Washington recalled a group he worked with in Tennessee that caught passes from Peyton Manning in the mid-1990's.
That group included NFL wide receivers Joey Kent, Marcus Nash, Peerless Price and Andy McCullogh. All but Price in that group stood 6-foot-2 or taller. But Nash, at 6-foot-4, was the tallest.
Mizzou has three wideouts at least that tall and a tight end.