By Paul Jones/Special to the Journal
STARKVILLE – After a couple of practices this year, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen admitted he was “disappointed.” But after Monday morning’s session of training camp, Mullen appeared more than just disappointed, especially with the Bulldogs’ offense
“I was not real happy coming off the field today,” said Mullen. “That was probably as bad of an offensive practice we’ve had since my first year here. Just laziness, no crispness at all and a lack of mental focus.
“It’s my job as the head coach and assistant coaches’ job this afternoon to make sure it doesn’t look that way and that we come out and are crisp on offense and not see what we saw this morning.”
Monday marked the team’s final day of two-a-days and school begins on Wednesday. Concerning Monday’s poor showing, Mullen said it wasn’t about the defense playing great either.
“Everything,” he said. “Just sloppy, lazy play. We can’t have that, and it encompasses everything we’ve seen on offense. There is one thing to be sloppy and physical. But the whole deal was just not good, offensively, at all. I would have felt good if the defense had played great today but they didn’t do anything special.”
In 2010 the Bulldogs finished 9-4 in Mullen’s second season and had a dominating showing in the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Day. But now expectations have been raised to another level, said Mullen, regardless of a player’s experience.
“I have high expectations for everyone whether they’ve been through it or not,” Mullen said. “The one expectation that will never change with me is to settle on is effort. If we’re not walking off the field completely exhausted, something is wrong. I don’t know what there is to hold back for, and all we ask is to give everything you got at practice every day.”
Maye: ‘Long way to go’
Also after practice, Mullen was asked about the recent progress of senior linebacker Brandon Maye, a former Clemson transfer. He noted Maye and others now have little time to prove their worth on the two-deep roster.
“He’s got a long way to go to get a spot and to get playing time,” Mullen said. “There is fierce competition out there on the field, and this is really it this week. By Friday, we will have a big scrimmage, grade that and we’re giving the guys off this weekend.
“We come back Monday, school is back in session and you’re kinda getting into more of an in-season schedule with some scout teams stuff. Brandon has a lot of work to do in order to get on the field.”
Paul Jones writes for mississippistate .247sports.com