Senior wide receiver McKinley Scott faced the media at the 2004 SEC Media Day Wednesday. The topics discussed ranged from sophomore quarterback Omarr Conner, to senior nose guard Ronald Fields to how well he expects the team to play this year."/>

McKinley Scott at SEC Media Day

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01players/football/2004/scottmckinley-mediaday.jpg" align="left"> Senior wide receiver McKinley Scott faced the media at the 2004 SEC Media Day Wednesday. The topics discussed ranged from sophomore quarterback Omarr Conner, to senior nose guard Ronald Fields to how well he expects the team to play this year.

Tell us a little about Coach Croom.
"I think he is a great coach. First of all, he showed us he is a very disciplinary man and that is how his program is going to work. You have to do it his way or it's the highway."

Talk about your personal relationship with Coach Croom.
"It has been a pretty close one, but he's on the road a lot. During practice, we got some one-on-one with him. He would come over and talk to you, making sure that you were having a great day. Not only is he a good coach, but he's a players' coach."

There are a lot of new coaches on the staff. Which one is your favorite?
"Of course, the receiver coach. He has been with us for two years. Coach Croom is my favorite, too. I'll go with him and Coach Holliday. Those two, and the offensive coordinator Woody McCorvey, are the ones that I'm in contact with the most."

A lot of people think that Coach Croom should have gotten the Alabama job. Do you think the kids in Starkville needed him more than the kids in Tuscaloosa?
"I don't know how the kids in Alabama are, but I think it is a blessing that he is at Mississippi State."

Why do you say that?
"It is something that we needed. We needed discipline as a team. We needed a great role model to show us the right way instead of our way."

What is the biggest concern going into the season?
"The biggest concern is whether the quarterback can give it to us and call the right plays. And how he will handle the pressure. The receiving corps has to come on strong and be consistent."

How did you feel when Coach Sherrill decided to step down?
"Of course, when the only coach you have known for four years steps down you are going to feel bad. But I think it was a decision that he had to make. And he made it for the best of the team and not for himself."

What do you think about Omarr Conner?
"Omarr is a very young player, but, at the same time, he shows great leadership. That is what we need from him this year. He is going to have to step up to the plate at the quarterback position and show everybody that he can do it. He is very versatile. He can throw, catch and do pretty much everything."

His high school teammate, Joey Sanders, has moved up to number one on the depth chart. Talk about his progression.
"Joey came on very strong and had a great spring practice. He showed Coach Croom that he can catch the ball across the middle and hold on to it. And that is something that Coach Croom wants."

Do you think the media sometimes make too big of a deal out of a coach? Last year it was Coach Shula, this year Coach Croom.
"Not really. I think he deserves it."

How did you feel about being picked to come to SEC Media Day?
"I was very excited because my roommate last year, Justin Jenkins, had the chance to come here last year. He told me about it. When I found about it, I was very excited."

Do you know why he chose you to attend Media Day?
"There were three of us who are team captains. I don't really know how he selected us, but I'm here (laugh)."

What do you like about the West Coast offense?
"It pretty much gives you the chance to make plays. And, as an athlete, that is what you want."

Why do you think this team will be better than last year's team?
"We are working hard and coming together. We are going to stress finishing every play."

How close are you to being 100% healthy?
"I am about 90% to 95%. I don't know if I will ever get back to being 100%, but I am pretty close. I think I will help the team out this year."

Talk about the other receivers.
"I think Tee Milons is going to have a great season. He has been showing in practice that he is a great player. Brandon Wright, Jason Husband, Tyler Threadgill give us a lot of depth. Everybody is trying hard. Because of that, you can't slip. With (Wide receiver) Coach Holliday, you sure can't slip, because if you slip up, somebody will take your spot."

Coach Holliday once told me that he doesn't have season goals, but daily goals. You don't meet those goals, you move down the depth chart. Is that what it's like in practice?
"Yeah, he makes you play hard everyday. You can't have any off days. It's like when a new coach comes in and you want to show him how good you are. You have to do that with Coach Holliday everyday. You mess up once, he's going to put somebody else in your spot."

Talk about last year's defense.
"Some of the guys were out of place last year. I'm not a defensive player, but I think some were out of place. This year, I think they have been put back in the right spot. Kevin Dockery is a great defensive back, but I don't think he should have played safety last year. I think he will be a great corner for us. I think moving Slovakia Griffith back to safety is a great move."

What do you think about Ronald Fields?
"He is unbelievable. I think he is going to be a great player for us. He is showing leadership ability and that he really wants it this year. That's all you can ask of him."


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders.com sports network. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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