Dan Mullen had a short session on today’s SEC coaches teleconference, likely because most of my fellow beat reporters were busy after the 11 a.m. unveiling of MSU’s uniforms for the Texas A&M and Ole Miss games. They look pretty slick.
Anyway, I got a few questions in for Mullen, although the one about the SEC having a standard injury policy was not asked by me. Just for the record. Here are some highlights.
• On the off week: “Our guys are going to have the opportunity to get refreshed this week. We’re getting a lot of older guys a little bit of rest, getting them healthy, getting some younger guys some work to continue to develop them. We have a tough stretch of eight straight games, seven of those being conference games coming up after the bye week.”
• On whether he would support NFL-style injury reports: “Obviously if the SEC had the rule, then I would follow it. We set our injury policy because I think that’s the best way to do things for us. We don’t like to discuss injuries with other people. These aren’t professional athletes, these are young kids, and they should be treated like other students. A lot of students have rights on campus, and there’s a lot of privacy rules for students on campus that we don’t feel that we should discuss their medical concerns with the general public.”
• On junior RB LaDarius Perkins guiding the younger running backs along: “He is a good role model for those young guys to look at and say, hey, my time is going to come, because if I just work the way he works and I continue down the right path of improving myself as a player, I’m going to have the opportunities that Perk is having now.”
• On the play of backup CB Jamerson Love (about whom I’m writing for Thursday’s Journal): “A lot of the contributions and the big plays he makes on special teams is really giving him confidence on the field and the fact he’s sitting there with John Banks and Darius Slay and competing for reps with those guys is really causing him to improve and watch how big-time guys prepare and get ready to play. Hopefully he absorbs all of that in because he has tremendous potential to be another great corner for us as we’ve had in the past.”
Kentucky’s Joker Phillips was also on the teleconference, of course. The No. 21-ranked Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0 SEC) visit the Wildcats (1-3, 0-1) on Oct. 6. UK has to play No. 6 South Carolina first, though, and Phillips is hoping starting quarterback Maxwell Smith will be healthy enough to play after missing the Florida game with a shoulder injury.
“We’re a beat-up, battered young football team that’s hoping to get some guys back,” Phillips said. “… We anticipate Max being able to go, but if not, (freshman) Jalen Whitlow will be our starter for the game.”