April 7, 2009

Bulldogs begin week three of spring practice

Mississippi State braved the unseasonably chilly weather and piercing wind on Tuesday to begin their third week of spring practice and ninth overall day.

The Bulldogs worked out for three and a half hours in full gear but there still plenty of concern offensively for head coach Dan Mullen.

The rash of injuries at wide receiver has the position spread thin. O'Neal Wilder, Charles Bailey and Tay Bowser are the only healthy wideouts practicing leaving walk-on quarterback Todd Kilpatrick and walk-on receiver Kyle Roberts and walk-on defensive back Marvin Bure running with the second unit.

"We've just got so far to go offensively," Mullen said. "It just keeps getting tougher. I looked out there in our two group (at wide receiver) and it's a walk-on quarterback, a guy that has been on the team for three days and I don't even know who the third kid they had out there was. It's just tough duty that way."

The lack of playmakers at receiver has handcuffed the offense during scrimmage sessions during the week and also on Saturdays. The defense is at nearly full capacity and is looking dominant but Mullen is guarding against them being overconfident.

"They are doing pretty good," Mullen said. "I like the effort out of the defense and the things they are doing. The only thing that makes me nervous is our lack of skill on offense and them getting a false sense of confidence right now. They are out there covering and locking everybody down but they are going against a walk-on quarterback and our fullbacks and tight ends are playing receiver for us. That's one thing we've got to watch to not get a false sense of confidence."

One unit that Mullen and the Bulldogs have a bevy of depth at is linebacker. K.J. Wright may be the only linebacker returning that started every game last season but there will be plenty of experience laying licks in the middle next season. Jamar Chaney was the team's leading tackler in 2007 and returns after breaking his leg in the season opener last year. Terrell Johnson, Karlin Brown and Bo Walters all earned starts last season.

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