April 16, 2009

Bulldogs making progress this spring

When Dan Mullen took over the helm of the Mississippi State program he knew this spring was going to be an uphill battle.

Not only did he have to become familiar with a new team and their abilities but he and his staff also had to implement an entirely new philosophy an scheme for the Bulldogs. He understood it would be long process but as the close of the spring draws closer he is beginning to see signs of improvement.

"We started slow but they have learned what the expectations were from the coaches to give that effort everyday we really picked it up," Mullen said. "I think now they are starting to realize over the last couple of practices they are starting to see the execution and understanding of the offense, defense and kicking games."

There is one common theme Mullen and his staff have used since their arrival in December; 'relentless effort'. That effort was expected of the players in the offseason weight program, in the classroom and now on the practice fields this spring.

"This group came out in spring drills and one of the things we asked them to do is just give great effort," Mullen said. "There is a big giant learning curve for our guys learning a new offense, new defense, special teams and really a new style and a new way we are practicing right now. When you look at all of those things, there is an awful lot that is going to be on these guys plate. One of the biggest things I want to focus on is we are going to make mistakes and there is going to be a learning curve in here but as long as we give great effort every single day we can walk off the practice field and feel like we have taken a step forward."

One of the hardest transitions this spring has been at quarterback. Returning starter Tyson Lee and backup Chris Relf both struggled early on adjusting to the change in offensive style but have shown improvement of late and drew improvement from their first year head coach.

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