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April 13, 2011

Mullen talks spring football

Exiting spring practice, Dan Mullen met with the media in the same conference room he did just before the spring started. The questions were similar to the ones before, only instead of, "What do you expect out of James Carmon," he answered the question, "What did you see out of James Carmon?"

Michael, Paul and Logan will have full stories and videos with all of Mullen's thoughts, but here are some of the highlights from Mullen as spring practice closes.

•Mullen said the last practice, yesterday, was important because the coaches install drills guys can do on their own over the summer.

•August 4th is the likely start date for fall camp.

•He believes the spring game is a good test to younger players for their first experience under pressure.

•Mullen mentioned Robert Johnson and Jameon Lewis as receivers who did well in spring game.

•He discussed the general team depth, and he said the team gets very young after the starters on each side.

•Mullen said he's more comfortable this spring with offense than any before, particular his receiver depth and the comfort level of the quarterbacks.

•He admits he is concerned about offensive line. Says after the ones it's all "rookies."

•If ones stay healthy on the offensive line, Mullen thinks depth among backups can get better by building on limited experience early in season.

•On former Croom recruits being some of the important pieces, he says most important players now are ones he either brought in or started their development as a freshman.

•Mullen said, again, a SEC West championship is the goal this season, hopes players can handle expectations this season.

•He said on the field Relf is relaxed now and Mullen thinks he can help some of the younger and inexperienced linemen as they learn by making mistakes.

•On the injury front: Tobias Smith is supposed to be full-go for training camp. Nickoe Whitley and Gabe Jackson are fine. October 1st is the hopeful return date for Nick Griffin, had surgery April 1st.

•Before spring practice, Mullen said he expected Carmon to be the starter at left tackle. Now, he said it's a very real competition between Blaine Clausell and Carmon. He said he'll make that decision before the Memphis game, or maybe play them both in the game and see.

•Mullen said he does not want to change Dylan Favre's playmaking ability, just wants him to cut down on mistakes.

•He said Tyler Russell and Favre trying to get on the field helps keep Relf from being complacent.

•Mullen says running the program is much easier in year three. He said he trusts his staff more and they "gel" now. Said he's a control freak and he's learning to let go a little bit.

•Finally, as the players leave his guidance for the summer, Mullen said that in the hierarchy of MSU football, He's No. 1, and Matt Balis is No. 2.


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