Defense Receives a Thumbs Up From Croom

Publisher-Gene's Page
Posted Mar 30, 2005

MSU head coach Sly Croom praised the defensive for their effort and play during Tuesday's practice. However, he was still not pleased with what he saw from the offense.

Opening comments
"The defense had a good day. They did a good job of being more aggressive. We were very good, defensively, as far as getting tip balls and turnovers. By the same token, the offense stunk in the red zone. They had too many turnovers. We aren't playing with confidence down there and we aren't executing. We have to continue working on that part of the field.

"Offensively, except for Chris McNeil, we didn't play well. We had way too many drops, too many drops. I think Tee (Milons) had about three and that is uncharacteristic of him. He does some good plays, but he's not making catches right now.

"(DT) Corey Clark has started stepping up. He had a great day yesterday (Monday) and a good day today. He is one of those guys who has the ability to really make a difference for us. If he continues to play like he is capable of, then that would be a huge plus for us. We would have three defensive tackes who could really help us."

Are you concerned with the way your team is up and down in practice?
"That's been the history of our program for some time now. We have to change that. We have to start getting better every day. We have to be able to win every week we go out there. And that is what we have to do."

I noticed that Andrew Powell was wearing his number today after not wearing it Monday.
"He practiced very well yesterday (Monday), so we gave him his number back. If he didn't practice well today, then he won't be wearing it the next practice."

How do you think the linebacking position has progressed this spring?
"They have made improvement. The key to them is you know that Gabe (O'Neal) will play well and that Quinton (Culberson) will play well. We moved (Clarence) McDougal to the WILL linebacker and put Fred (Akines) to the SAM linebacker. That was a swap. We did that because Mac is more accustomed to taking on blocks. It has helped us."

Aren't you having your coaches clinic this weekend?
"Pat Dye will speak at our clinic Thursday night. We'll have several top coaches from the state speaking here Thursday and Friday."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by email at

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