In case you missed my story in Tuesday's Star about Missouri coach Gary Pinkel's press conference on Monday, you can check it out here. In it, Pinkel addresses the offensive line, key freshmen who will play and the health of several players, including Henry Josey. You can also check out my initial impressions of the most recent depth chart, which was also released Monday, right here.
Anyway, here are a few more interesting nuggets from Pinkel's press conference:
*Missouri's head coach had some interesting thoughts about the new NCAA rules moving kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35-yard line and touchbacks up five yards. The NCAA says the changes were made to reduce the number of injuries on what is statistically considered to be one of college football's most dangerous plays.
“I think they’ll make the game safer," Pinkel said. "I think you’ll see huge numbers of touchbacks."
Pinkel said teams would be wise to take the touchbacks, since teams will now get the ball at the 25-yard line instead of the 20-yard line.
"If you averaged 25 (yards) per return, you’d be in the top 15 in the nation," Pinkel said. "So you’ve got to really think long and hard about bringing the ball out, and it depends on the players you’ve got back there. Jeremy Maclin, we’d probably put him back there and say come out anytime you want because of the potential of a big play.
"It will also be interesting (in) the long-term, when kickoff cover teams aren’t as good because there are so many touchbacks. So we’ll have the advantage then (of) sometimes being able to take it three or four yards deep because the kickoff teams are not really, gameday-wise, (ready) to cover. There’s a lot of dynamics there, we’re going to see what happens. Anything we can do for safety is good. We have to be as proactive as we can.”
*Pinkel said the placekicking battle between Trey Barrow and Andrew Baggett will be evaluated Tuesday and Wednesday, with a decision finally being made Thursday.
“We’re not sure how it’s going to come out with Trey or Andrew," Pinkel said. "Right now, it’s like a dead heat, almost."
*Star recruit Dorial Green-Beckham is listed as the backup at the "Y" inside receiver position to tight end Eric Waters, but Pinkel said the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2012 obviously won't be asked to do the same things as Waters.
"(Receiver) Danario Alexander, we played (him) quite a bit there," Pinkel said. "We have a position where you can play as a wide receiver in there, you can also play as a tight end in there. There are things that you do differently.
Pinkel also said Green-Beckham has learned both inside and outside receiver positions.
“He’s a little bit bigger athlete, certainly, from a wide receiver standpoint, but he’s certainly not a tight end," Pinkel said. "We kind of work those (positions) together, and it will work out fine. He’s worked very hard."
Green-Beckham joins a cast of talented receivers, which includes Marcus Lucas, T.J. Moe, Gahn McGaffie, L'Damian Washington, Bud Sasser and others. But Pinkel said the amount of touches each player gets this season will ultimately be decided on the field.
“We’re looking for guys that are difference-makers," Pinkel said. "So if anybody separates themselves, then we’re going to get the ball to them more. The great thing about our offense is we can get the ball to who we want to get the ball to. And when you have more weapons that are impact players, the better situations it creates for everyone else on the field."To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor and on Instagram at TerezPaylor.