Today was Mississippi State's annual preseason media day, and us media types cleaned up pretty nicely. Including head coach Dan Mullen, I spoke with 14 players and coaches this afternoon, so I'll have plenty of material in the coming days.
I do want to offer a sampling of today's interviews, which includes this video excerpt of cornerback Corey Broomfield. Dude is gold every time we talk.
Let's hit some Mullen highlights first.
• On today's practice, MSU's first in full pads: "We didn’t do a whole lot of live-tackling. Just a real quick period here and there where we went live to tackle, so it wasn’t a whole lot different than yesterday. When you get out there and you go full pads, the demeanor of the team has to change, and I thought it did. I thought or guys were adjusting to what’s going on the field."
• On who's the No. 2 quarterback, Tyler Russell or Dylan Favre: "If we're going to play with two quarterbacks, Chris (Relf) and Russell are going to play. If that's our depth chart at 1 and 2, Tyler has some experience. I don't have to force him onto the field."
• On the return game: "Guys that were our returners last year are coming back, and I don't know if they'll keep that job with some young talent really pushing them to get the ball in their hands to make plays."
• On whether he receives more information from other coaches than he gives: "I'm an information gatherer more than a releaser. So I probably have gathered more than I've given up. I'm a taker."
Let's hear a little from some other guys.
• Center Quentin Saulsberry, on the overall depth developed under Mullen: "I tell all the guys, if you're a two, you're one play from going in. So it's always good to, even if you're not practicing, always taking mental reps. Whether you're a two or a three, you never know when your number might be called."
• Left tackle James Carmon, on what he's been working on this summer: "Footwork, handwork, calls, picking up blitzes, protections – I just did everything I had to do this summer. I'm getting to it where I'm putting it all on the field and I'm putting it all together, so by the time (Sept. 1) comes, I'll going to be rolling."
• Offensive line coach John Hevesy, on left tackle Blaine Clausell, who's battling Carmon: "He has great athletic ability, he's got great feet, he's got himself to 300 pounds. The difference with him is just the maturity."
• Cornerback Johnthan Banks, on the linebackers: "I feel like our linebackers this year are just as good as our linebackers we had last year. Brandon Wilson playing middle, him and Brandon Maye. Brandon Wilson could've started last year, but Chris White was a senior, and he had a little advantage on him at that."
• Running backs coach Greg Knox on senior tailback Robert Elliott: "Elliott's a solid player. Again, I hear the stories about his recruitment and coming out of high school, and really a big-time recruit. But he's a very solid player, very productive, a situation guy. We put him in situations where he can succeed."