August 27, 2008

Depth an issue at defensive line

With an experienced linebacking corps and secondary returning, the Mississippi State Bulldogs do have a question mark coming into the season with it's defensive line.

That unit was hit hard due to graduation and suspensions since last season and seems to also been bitten by the injury bug in preseason camp.

"The defensive line I think, if we are healthy, is in better shape than I thought we might be," said head coach Sylvester Croom. "The only concern is that off and on they haven't all been healthy at the same time."

But fortunately the Bulldogs seem to be getting healthier at the right time entering it's opening week contest at Louisiana Tech.

"We had a couple of nick-knack injuries but everybody is getting back healthy now," said senior defensive end Tim Bailey. "We've got a lot of guys that can step up and play. The majority of the guys got experience from last year and we've got a couple of freshmen that might help us this year. We're looking real optimistic right now."

With all the injuries plaguing the defensive front from time-to-time throughout fall camp, Croom feels his squad will have to multiple players at each position to remain effective.

"From play-to-play, that's going to be a concern because they all have some nicks," Croom said. "We're going to have to play with numbers there. Hopefully Charles (Burns) is OK and they will all be feeling well. We're going to have to play anywhere from 10 to 12 defensive linemen in order to be able to get the job done up front."

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