Mississippi State got the 2013 campaign underway Thursday afternoon on the practice fields.
The Bulldogs practiced for over two hours in front of several fans and media members.
The media caught up with several Bulldogs after practice to get their thoughts on how it went. We were joined by head coach Dan Mullen, senior running back LaDarius Perkins, sophomore linebacker Benardrick McKinney, redshirt freshman linebacker Richie Brown and redshirt freshman wide receiver Brandon Holloway.
The Bulldogs will be back out there tomorrow twice, with split-squads going. The first group will go at 7:30 a.m. and the other group will get their chance at 6 p.m. Both practices will be open to the public.
Here are a few excerpts from Mullen’s chat with the media:
“It seems like a long time since we have been able to do it, so it was great to be back out here. (It was) a fun day, a lot of effort (and) a lot of excitement by the guys on the team. It was a good practice (Thursday).”
So excitement is what you wanted to see?
“We don’t have pads on. A lot of new stuff and teaching. So it’s kind of the old guys waking up and being fresh, young guys figuring out what to do. I want to see that energy and that juice. We’ve got a young team, not a lot of seniors on the team, so I want to see guys who are excited to be out here and having fun while they’re playing.”
Good to have both of your top quarterbacks out there?
“It’s much better than in spring. When the twos step in there, you have a guy with a little more experience. It’s good. When you get this time of the year, when you get freshman in, we’ve got some guys healthy that weren’t all healthy even throughout spring, so you get out there, the execution’s cleaner further down the depth chart than it is during spring.”
Younger guys not as confused?
“No, they’re all still pretty confused. They’re young guys. Maybe they’re just get lucky. You look at certain positions, like young receivers, they have a fifth year senior quarterback. He knows they might have to play, so he’s been trying to kind of get them ready all summer.”
Raise the level of getting ready, what does that translate to practice?
“There’s guys that have never had to get ready. They’re getting ready this year is going to be totally different than it’s been in the past. They have to raise the level of themselves.”
Talk about Tyler having to step up more this year:
“He takes a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. He wants that responsibility, not just in making all the plays, but in the leadership of the offense, getting us in the right situations, checking plays even more than we did in the past and putting more responsibility on him to get the right plays run. You throw that leadership at the young guys of the receiver position that he has to take care of out there, makes it even more so for him. I know he’s ready.”