Courtesy of Mississippi State Athletics
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Dan Mullen got a look at his 2010 Mississippi State football team for the first time on the practice fields here on Tuesday, and the head coach was pleased with what he saw during the squad's first spring workout.
"It was good to get back on the fields and get to work," Mullen said. "We're much further along than where we were to start last year, and we need to keep building on that every time we come out to practice."
The Bulldogs return 50 of 64 letterwinners from the 2009 campaign, and the veterans led Tuesday's first practice at a pace they began to understand was expected out of them last season.
"They knew what to do today, so we got right into coaching instead of telling them how to line up, where to go when we stretch, things that had to be taught a year ago," the second-year head coach said.
Tuesday's focus was mainly on fundamentals and footwork during early periods. Late in the practice the full-team focus shifted to the passing game, as contact was limited due to NCAA acclimation rules requiring practice in helmets and shorts are in place for the first three workouts of the spring.
State will work in the weight room tomorrow before returning to the practice fields again on Thursday afternoon. All practices this spring are open to Bulldog Club members and currently enrolled students. On Tuesday, under perfectly clear skies with temperatures hovering around 75 degrees, a good crowd was on hand to get their first look at the 2010 squad.