Mullen Says QB Race ‘Wide Open,’ Won’t Discuss Injuries

It’s April 20, so naturally there was an SEC football coaches teleconference this morning. Dan Mullen took his turn and talked about quarterbacks, left tackles, receivers – lots of stuff.

But not injuries. Nope. That is top-secret stuff, sealed away from prying eyes like mine.

My question was about the ankle injury suffered by receiver Chad Bumphis, who initially thought he had broken it and said he was scheduled to have surgery Tuesday morning. Either the surgery wasn’t actually scheduled, or he misspoke, and it turned out to be just a sprain.

So, I asked Mullen how bad a sprain it was and what the time frame of Bumphis’ recovery would be.

“We don’t discuss injuries. Policy. Just for everybody to know, and all the media, we don’t discuss injuries as a policy in our program.”

(He was kind of mumbling midway through that, but that’s pretty close to verbatim.) This must be a new policy, although Mullen has been plenty vague about injuries before. Where’s K.J. Wright when you need him?

OK, moving on. Mullen talked about the quarterback competition and said it’s still “wide open.” Yet he said Chris Relf is still No. 1. Yeah, I’ll let Mullen explain.

“Chris Relf obviously did a great job this spring. I don’t know if he separated himself from all the other guys, but he also has the experience and has played the games and has done nothing not to be our top quarterback at this point going into summer.”

Tyler Russell and Dylan Favre are Relf’s competition, but as I’ve written before, I don’t see anyone but Relf being the starter. Perhaps this is just Mullen trying to give Relf extra motivation.

A couple of other thoughts from Mullen today.

• The left tackle battle between James Carmon and Blaine Clausell: “They both made some huge gains, but I think a lot of that was because they had so far to go, and a lot of inexperience, and not being used to being out there at that position. They still also have a long way to go. But I am pleased with the progress they’re making.”

• On wide receivers: “I wish we had some real go-to, primo wideouts, but we have a group of solid players right now. No one’s taken that next step to be the kind of star player.”