Aug. 3, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss football team went through its second day of practice here Saturday morning at the Joe P. Park Practice Facility.
The Golden Eagles endured another scorching hot day and then added the team's annual media day and appearance at Fanfare to cap the squad's first Saturday together. Meetings were scheduled for early evening to end the lengthy schedule for the day.
First-year Southern Miss coach Todd Monken addressed the media during the afternoon session and the following are some answers to some of the questions asked:
How was today's practice?
"It went fine. We were better today than it went yesterday. We are still not where we want to be, but that is why you practice. I thought our mental toughness was better today. It was hot, it is going to be hot and that is just the way it is. We were better."
On the play of the offensive line which saw a lot of sophomores playing coming out of spring practice...
"Vincent (Brown) is now starting for us at right tackle so that eliminated one of the sophomores, but they (as a group) are doing fine. We don't lack talent there, we just lack experience. We have a number of guys that whether they are sophomores or freshman or junior college transfer Frederick Moore, that we are trying get some work in there so it's hard. If you are not careful, we can go through a practice day and they won't get reps because you are going to play the guys (in practice) that know what to do, but we are not going to do that. We have to do a better job as a staff of playing guys that have the talent to help us win and we have to determine that quickly so we can give guys reps. You can only get good with the reps that you give them and if you are not careful you will just play the guys that just know what to do and we never want to do that here."
On the Quarterbacks...
"We have to get it after a week - we have three guys competing for the job -to whittle it down to two and then go with one for the last two weeks otherwise you won't be any good no matter who you choose. So you just have to make that decision and go with it. That's for a game or two and if you don't like where you went, then you are going to have to change it. That's just the way it is. That's not the way you want to do it, but that is what you are supposed to do. As I said yesterday, there is no guarantee that you are going to make the right decision because the sample size is going to be small, but that is just the way it is. You just have to go with what you think and shrink the percentage of error and go with it."
On the freshman class...
"They have all been fine. They have all done a good job. They have a ways to go, but I am fairly pleased with our freshman class."
On would you go two-deep with your receiving corps...
"You have to, because when you go no huddle every position has to have a specific backup, because you can't crossover backups. If you are in 10-personnel, you have to have eight receivers that you are comfortable with in knowing what they are doing. We have to travel with at least eight guys ready to play - we don't have a tight end - so we are going to be in open sets. We are going to have to use a tackle if we are going to go to closed sets which we have had to do a little bit with our 12-personnel."
On his impressions on the defense in response to early comments by DC David Duggan who was pleased with the mental aspect of the unit... "I have seen the same thing. They are an older group that has played together and I think our defensive staff does a great job, so you are going to see that. Obviously I would guess that they have a ways to go, but I think that is great."
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