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MSU's Mullen likes mindset of his team

April 25, 2012

Members of the MSU coaching staff, including head coach Dan Mullen, right, instruct quarterback Tyler Russell (17) during Saturday's Maroon-White spring game. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

Spring football is now in the rearview mirror for Mississippi State after wrapping up camp with the Maroon-White spring game on Saturday.

MSU head coach Dan Mullen was pleased to exit the spring with his team relatively healthy and no new injuries to be concerned with.

On Tuesday, after a couple of day to think about the progress that was made over the past few weeks, Mullen remained pleased with the mindset of his Bulldogs.

“I like the attitude we had out there on the field,” Mullen said. “I thought we played with a much bigger sense of urgency this spring of trying to improve every single day at practice and worry about every play.

“There were a couple of key plays last year that could have turned our season around and you never know when those plays are going to occur. I like the approach our guys took. Every play was critical all spring. Having that mindset helped.”

Mullen is also gaining confidence in his team’s ability to throw the football. With Tyler Russell under center and in complete control of the offense Mullen liked what he saw out of his receivers.

“We’re getting there,” Mullen said. “One of the things we’re starting to see is some of our younger guys are really the more explosive potential playmakers and our older guys are kind of the steady guys. We’re starting to infuse some young talent in there that gives you some big-play ability.

“We need that position to be very strong because it’s probably our most experienced position on the field with the older guys and they can set a great example.”

Chad Bumphis, Chris Smith and Arceto Clark highlight the veteran group of wideouts that are being asked to introduce the likes of Joe Morrow to the consistency need to play Southeastern Conference football.

“Consistent play will allow the younger guys to develop beyond playmakers to every-down players,” said Mullen. “That’s going to be a huge deal for us going into this season. If we’re going to have a great year, we’re going to have to have our receivers, especially our senior receivers, play great.”

Overall, it is the competitive nature of his team that has Mullen fired up for the 2012 season.

“Guys are pushing for their playing time," Mullen said. "They want to fight for their time. People want to make talk about who is the starter, but that’s not that big of a deal to me. It is about how many reps are you going to get. That’s what everyone is fighting for right now. There are guys trying to get on the field at every position.”

Now it is off to the recruiting trail for the MSU coaching staff. They’ll not be allowed to work with the players until fall camp rolls around on August 3.

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