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April 27, 2011Question #1: Is there pressure on Coach Cohen to win right now, or else?
Answer #1: First, I've never met a head coach that didn't apply the pressure to win right now. No one likes to lose especially John Cohen. Secondly, I feel like you can see marked improvement in this year's team. They aren't where anyone wants them to be but they have made a big step forward this season toward returning to being among the best in the SEC.
As far as having pressured applied I don't think the administration has applied the 'or else' pressure to Coach Cohen and to be honest I don't think it is time to go that direction. This team is in the hunt to make it to Hoover and I think all would agree that is a step in the right direction.
Question #2: What areas are the coaches concerned about going into the summer?
Answer #2: Honestly, I think the coaches are fairly comfortable heading into the summer. They feel like they found the answers they were looking for during the spring and are now working on tweaking the gameplan to fit the personnel they have to work with. I really like this approach as opposed to trying to make a player fit into a scheme that doesn't work for their skill set.
That being said, I still think there are concerns with the left tackle position. State has two guys that can get the job done in Blaine Clausell and James Carmon, but neither have truly made the coaches sleep well at night. They are being challenged to stick their nose in the playbook this summer to be mentally prepped for the start of fall camp.
At one point linebacker was a question, but exiting spring everyone appears to be settled on how they will use the rotation of guys who will see action.
Question #3: How is Renardo Sidney?
Answer #3: Truthfully, I haven't seen him at this point. However, I'm told he is doing what is being asked of him that means he is working out and trying to get into shape.
While we are on the subject let me say that I'm not overly worried about Sidney. The reason I say that is because I don't think he is needed next season for MSU to be successful. That's right they don't need him. If he comes back in shape and ready to play he can be a tremendous asset for the team. He can make this team incredible, but that will require effort and the proper mindset. Before I will believe that he can do it he is going to have to show me that he can. I can no longer believe in the talk I've just got to see it.
The reason I don't think he is crucial to State's success Arnett Moultrie. I'm buying on what he will bring to the table because I've seen him work and I've talked to those around the program that see his production and the passion he brings to the court. His leadership will be the reason MSU takes a step forward next season, not Sidney.
Question #4: What is the truth behind the Chris Smith incident?
Answer #4: I'm afraid there just isn't a lot to talk about with his situation. He was at a club where he was punched and picked up a broken jaw. There is no police report and there were no arrests made. As Brandon Marcello has reported, the police are looking into it, but I don't expect anything to come of this.
Smith's surgery went well according to team spokesman and he will be ready to hit the weightroom this summer.
Sorry there isn't more to share on the story.
If you've got more questions for the UPS Mailbag please email MichaelWardlaw75@gmail.com. This article is brought to you by the UPS Stores of Starkville. Mike and his staff can handle not only your shipping needs but your copying needs as well. Make sure to visit them in the Student Union or next to Kroger in Starkville.