Post-Practice Chat: Injuries, Green, Freshmen, Russell, Etc.

We spoke with Dan Mullen and players this evening, and let’s start with his injury report:

• CB Cedric Jiles doubtful (broken hand)

• DL Devin Jones questionable (sprained shoulder)

• TE Malcolm Johnson questionable (pectoral)

• OL Tobias Smith questionable to probable (knee)

There have been rumors of quarterback Tyler Russell injuring his hand, but Mullen said he’s “fine.”

Let’s hit a few more highlights from tonight’s chat.

• Have you gone away from tight end Marcus Green the last two games? “It’s just how people play us. You look at the last two weeks, we’ve slowed down the passing game. We had people open against Troy, we just didn’t catch it. And it wasn’t like we didn’t have people open last week, we just overthrew them. Or underthrew them, or didn’t get it out there.”

• On this week’s work with no game Saturday: “Today we went a longer practice than we normally do on game week. A lot of that is because we expanded individually, get some more individual work. You use this week, there’s a lot of stuff when you get into game weeks that you don’t get to do in practice, stuff that gets shortened down. We’ve expanded upon those things that get shortened down in game week.”

• On how much work freshmen will get this week (those who have played): “This is a big week for the twos, the guys that are one-and-a-halfs and twos, guys that are rotating 20 reps a game. This is a big week for them. Banks is going to get minimum work when we go 11-on-11. I know what he can do, and he’ll be ready.”

• On what went wrong with some of Russell’s throws last week, when he was 13 of 27: “They gave a couple of different looks we hadn’t seen them give before, and then I think he held onto the ball a couple of times too much of trying to make the perfect throws. When you start trying to make perfect throws, you start aiming the ball. You start aiming it, you start missing.”

• On Russell’s interception: “The pick was a horrendous route. You get in those games (and) Arceto (Clark) ran his route and I don’t think he thought he was getting the ball. If you see him run his route fine but he didn’t shove his guy one way and the ball was actually pretty good. He was just going through the motions down the field and turn around thinking probably that the ball was going somewhere else. That’s something we haven’t done. That’s a lack of focus.”

• On fan reaction to the 4-0 start: “You know what I noticed though? I noticed this more with out fan base now. It’s almost like this was expected. Which is actually good. And I like that.”

I am the online content coordinator for I also co-host The Memo and Prep Rally podcasts and host the Newsbreak program. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04).

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