August 17, 2009
Like Father, Unlike Son: Scrimmage takes
The most impressive thing to come out of the scrimmage was?
Gabe: Blaine Gabbert. Not sure how you could say anything else. Through the first week of camp, I tried to hold back in praising him. The last thing I want to do is convince Missouri fans they're going to see a superstar at quarterback for the next two or three years and then watch Gabbert struggle to start the season. But the fact is, he was so good on Saturday, I had to tell it how it was. The kid looks far better than I thought he was going to look. It's not a guarantee it carries into the season, but it should give fans hope.
Mike: Okay, well, if you force me, I'll bypass Gabbert, although I agree with you. I don't see how you can keep Kendial Lawrence off the field. Even with Derrick Washington and De'Vion Moore, this kid has to play as well.
The area that still needs the most work is...
Gabe: The run defense up the middle. But they can't really work on it until Jaron Baston is back. They need Jaron Baston back. I don't want to give the impression there were gaping holes on every snap, but the fact is, I never really noticed a defensive tackle during the scrimmage. I understand the position isn't going to make 20 big plays, but I'd have liked them to turn my head a little bit more.
Mike: Disagree totally. The secondary looks no different than a year ago. Don't talk about interceptions. I saw too many receivers too open and too many yards gained after the catch.
Who should be the backup quarterback>
Gabe: I'm not quite ready to say Blaine Dalton. But if he's as good as he was in the next scrimmage, and he's as much better than Jimmy Costello as he was, I'll give him the job because that will be three straight scrimmages dating back to the Black and Gold game where he's been the second best quarterback.
Mike: I agree that it is not a decision you can make now. Wouldn't be fair. But I know this; Pinkel has always shied away from his No. 2 throwing the ball a lot. Hand it off. Run it yourself. And running the football is something Dalton is really good at. I also like Dalton's ability to consider the second option on the pass. Sorry, but Jimmy Costello just seem to run plays as called. There isn't any extra payoff there. Not as much risk, certainly, but not as much reward either.
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