Mullen Addresses Media In Preseason Press Conference
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen held his preseason press conference Saturday afternoon in the Bryan Athletic Administration Building to discuss the upcoming season. A transcript of both Coach Mullen's comments and those of selected players follows.
PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
"Good to see everybody again. It’s been a long time. Today is really our first big kick off day of training camp. We’ll head out to the farm and check into the hotel. We seclude the team and change practice locations. We’re in shoulder pads again today unlike those first few days where you’re just in helmets trying to get everyone squared away. There’s a lot of introductory work that gets done – a lot of just getting used to being back on the field again. To me training camp starts for real today. I’m ready to get them back out on the field and get this season rolling."
Chad Bumphis needed to do in the
offseason to make himself better…
"He had to mature in the offseason. It wasn’t so much what he had to do to make himself physically better. He lost a little body fat and got a little quicker, but he really matured as a wide receiver. He has a lot of athletic ability and potential, and we got to see that last year with him leading us in receptions. For him to be the caliber player that we need him to be, he needs to become a great fundamental wide receiver. He needs to learn how to beat man coverage and how to become a great blocker on every single play."
On how the run
game changes this year without Anthony Dixon…
"We aren’t going to shy away from the run game this year. Last year, at times, I think our focus was to get Anthony the ball. When you have the ability to spread the ball around in the backfield, it actually opens your offense up more and makes you more productive running the football. We are going to run plays that we think are going to be good schematically and it doesn’t matter who is going to touch the ball. We aren’t going to focus on getting one guy so many touches. I think that can make the offense perform at a much higher level."
improvements the secondary has made as a whole from last year to this
"Hopefully a lot of them. There’s that experience factor back there now. The plays that we made on the positive side of things were made on talent and ability. The big plays that we gave up were given up on lack of experience and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hopefully we can continue to make the big plays with our talent and eliminate the bad ones with experience."
On why you wanted
to bring someone in with an attacking style of
"That was kind of my mentality offensively so I thought it would go good together. He really has a similar philosophy to defense as I do to offense. Manny (Diaz) isn’t afraid to think outside the box. He’ll blitz you from every different direction. He does that, though, while we are still very sound defensively. He does it to try to cause issues for the offense. He makes them not do what they want to do on offense very much like what we try to do to other defenses."
On what is
different for you this year as a second-year head coach in the
"I know what’s going on now and have done it before. Last year, even though I expected stuff to happen, it is still your first time doing anything. Anytime a situation presented itself, it was my first time handing it as a head coach. Having gone through it before, I’m a little more comfortable dealing with situations."
On the difference
between Chris Relf and Tyler Russell right now..
"I don’t think there’s much. Each of them has their strengths. I see certain things out of both of them that are good, but I also see things from both of them that are glaring mistakes as young players will do. That is a battle that will not be decided for quite a while now. We are going to put them both in situations and hopefully have both of them ready to play. If we get in a situation where there is a number one and number two and our number one goes down, our number two is ready to step up."
Johnthan Banks, DB, So.
expectations for this season…
"I expect us to be better as a whole. I expect us to win the division. Last year, we were right there in a lot of games. This year we are already more talented than we were last year and we are smarter. We know what we should do and where to be now and I expect us to win a lot of games this year."
differences you notice in Manny Diaz as opposed to the defense last
"Last year, Coach Torbush was more laid back. Coach Diaz is way more aggressive. He gets out there and gets everybody ready to play. The other day, I tipped a ball away from a wide receiver and the next thing I knew Coach Diaz was jumping all over me celebrating. He’s just crazy. We have a lot of fun on defense."
Tyler Russell, QB, RFr.
On how you feel
about the quarterback battle at this point…
"We are both contributing different things right now. We have our different things that we bring to the table. I’m excited about how much we can do together, but my goal is to win the starting job and be on the field."
On the difference
in the offense right now as opposed to this time last
"Knowing what we are supposed to do. We’ve been in this system for a season now. We know what’s going on now and know what to expect. It’s all about making the right decisions and getting as good as we can be. There is no reason we shouldn’t win this year. Everybody knows what to do and how to do it now."