No. That's what Crockett and Witter are for.
Thanks for the comment. I thought Mizzou did a great job with both documentaries. Kudos to Ben and Parker from Mizzou for all the work they put in to produce both shows. I was honored to be part of the storytelling. I thought they captured the spirit of both seasons and both teams really well. I always identify with those 97-98 teams for a few reasons: I was the same age as those players and it was right when I first started covering the team. Making a bowl game in 1997 and then winning the bowl in 1998 meant more to those two teams than maybe anything I've seen a Mizzou team accomplish in my lifetime. That was a great time to be around the program and cover some great personalities. I still keep in touch with a handful of people from those teams, including Brock Olivo, Cobrin Smith (Larry's son) and that Odom guy.
It won't make or break the season, but if he's as good as the staff hopes, then he could be an impact player at multiple positions along the front. He'd help this line with depth and versatility.
For one, I'd have a lot more to write about. We could actually watch plays develop and write about the brilliant catch Danario Alexander made and how he looks like someone who can contribute as a freshman. In 2010 I wrote after a week of practices that TJ Moe and Michael Egnew would be the leading receivers even though they barely touched the ball a year earlier. You could see their roles develop in camp. Sure enough, they ended up catching 182 passes combined. I liked watching 1-on-1 pass-rush drills because you could get a feel for who's winning those matchups, who's struggling. It's not the end of the world that we can't see these drills, but you have to have a B.S. filter when you interview players and coaches about a practice that you're not allowed to watch with your own eyes.
I don't see it happening in football for one key reason: Big Ten teams have only three noncon windows and Iowa plays Iowa State every year. I doubt Iowa wants to play a Big 12 team and an SEC team every year when most Big Ten teams play a Power Five and two Group of Five teams.
Recruiting slipped. They never had a strong foothold in St. Louis and the staff also gambled on some sketchy guys that were knuckleheads on and off the field. In 2000, the team had had nine academic non-qualifiers. That's almost 40 percent of a signing class. The biggest problem was Larry's staff didn't have difference makers at QB and tailback to replace Jones and West. Those were special, special college players.
I've been to a few places there but nothing I would strongly suggest. My SEC travel book suggests Natasha's Bistro, Ketch Seafood Grill and Billy's Bar BQ. I can't say I've dined at any of those establishments. There's a good breakfast place in downtown Lexington but I can't remember the name. I'm bad with restaurant names.
1. Proven player development system; 2. Commitment to his organization/system; 3. Staff-player relationships, which evolved over time
Yep, I should have listed him earlier as one of the backups at outside receiver. I'm not sure he's a really dynamic receiver. Good deep threat.
Jeff Wolfert, the greatest kicker in team history, was a diver. They didn't actively recruit the diving team. Wolfert had kicked some in HS before a hip injury, and he pursued the kicking job with the football team. That was more luck than anything on MU's part.
Eric Beisel, J'Mon Moore, Ish Witter, Marcell Frazier. He's not a senior but Drew Lock has to be included. Paul Adams, too.
He's pretty busy these days as the Broncos special teams coordinator. He always came to Mizzou's pro day when he worked with the Chiefs and he came to Odom's first Black and Gold Game. He's a big fan of Odom and still keeps in close touch with his teammates from MU.
Blanton is 270 pounds, so he's much bigger and stronger as a blocker. I think he's got a chance to be elite. Egnew rarely lined up in a three-point stance. He was a tall slot receiver. Blanton will be down in a stance as a traditional tight end and line up in the backfield as an H-back/fullback.
Yes, if he has a great season. He's got all the measurables, but he has to improve his accuracy and efficiency. He has to produce better against the SEC teams with NFL talent on defense. He didn't do that last year against Florida and LSU.
It's amazing that NFL teams can have thousands of fans at their practices and aren't concerned about it impacting their team but college coaches are afraid to allow a few reporters in to write positive things about their team for free advertising. (Let's face it, most August coverage has a positive spin. We write about new players trying to emerge, old players trying to improve and redeem. Hope springs eternal in August.) I thought it was especially lame for Ed Orgeron to shut down access considering when he got the interim HC job last fall he opened practices and gave the LSU writers great access - until he got the full-time job. Then it was time to shut everyone out who wrote glowing stories about him in the fall.
Mason. Mason. Mason. He might have started over Brown last year if Brown hadn't gotten hurt.
SEC Network had its 24 hours of Mizzou coverage on Saturday, including documentaries on the 1997 and 2007 MU football teams.
OK, folks. That's all for today. Look for a couple more football stories in tomorrow's paper and more Saturday and Sunday, too. Busy time of year for sure.