Southern Miss athletics news release
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss football team returned to the practice fields Thursday morning to complete the first week of fall camp with a two-hour, 45-minute workout.
The early morning practice came on the heels of the team's first two-a-day practices on Wednesday. Despite being a little sluggish early on, the team got better as the morning progressed and second-year coach Todd Monken after the workout evaluated his team a week into its preparations for the season.
"You talk about our older guys carrying the message - that is the greatest thing now," said Monken. "A year into it and guys are carrying the message of how we do things. It is a lot easier. It is becoming team-led and not coach-led with guys not pulling or being one-sided. It is becoming more and more of everyone pulling in the same direction.
"We had kids like that last year, but it takes time to build a relationship where guys trust you; where you trust them. There is more of that now. I mean trust in their assistant coaches; trust in the head coach; trust in the administration."
With sophomore Nick Mullens at the helm at quarterback and a wide receiver corps that should contain more depth than it has in the last couple of years, the Golden Eagle passing game has really come on this fall.
"It starts with protections and the quarterback knowing what they are doing," said Monken. "It boils down to us doing simple things so we can do it better. It is not about play calls, but execution and our guys seeing enough looks where they can adjust. That is the biggest thing. Our defense is doing a great job of giving them a bunch of looks."
The Golden Eagles were planning on going through meetings later Thursday afternoon before returning to the practice fields twice on Friday for its second two-a-day session of fall camp. The morning workout is slated to begin at 8 a.m.