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MSU football fall practice report No. 1 - Dan Mullen nearly leaves media room after injuries questions irritate him




Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Mississippi State University football coach Dan Mullen couldn't be more happy to be out on the practice field with his team for the first fall practice of the 2012 season.  


It's answering legitimate questions from the local media that have to do with injuries to key players for the Bulldogs that the fourth-year head coach would clearly like to do without.  


Less than two minutes into the media session with reporters, Mullen got up to leave after being asked about the status of offensive right guard Tobias Smith and free safety Nickoe Whitley.  


"They're working," Mullen said curtly obviously bothered that the two players were brought up in discussions. "They're working with the team. We don't talk about injuries."  


Due to fall practices being mostly closed and information about the two returning starters being important to the success of the 2012 season, reporters rightfully asked about the two players rehabilitation process and that's when Mullen quickly said reporters "were violating policy" and began to walk out of the interview room.  


Mullen then turn around and after the first day of camp created the policy of injury information being distributed to the public involving the Mississippi State football team. 




The new injury information policy at Mississippi State  


- Reporters are no longer allowed to ask about injured players as injury status of MSU players will be given before Mullen starts his weekly media conference in the Bryan Athletic Building in a NFL-type report (meaning: probable, questionable, doubtful, out.) 




Mullen did say the limiting of open practices from three (last year) to the one day of split-squad action had everything to do with issues with "the calendar" and not that they were instituting anything drastically new to the playbook on either side of the ball.  


"We didn't add much," Mullen said. "It's all stuff that's already been in. So I think there's a great comfort in it. The emphasis is on where you go. Every single year, if you take 100 percent of our offense, we use about 70 percent of our offense in each given season."  


And on the limit of open practices..... 


"We open up spring practice and I know there are a lot of people who don't even open spring practice out there," Mullen said. "I think we're probably more open than a lot of teams in the country. We open Saturday's practice. No, we just sometimes open up two or something or three. When we looked at the calendar, there was a Saturday practice. That made sense for the fans that we would be the day they come out to see it. There are two practices that day, so they can come out. If they can't make the morning, they've got a little league game, they can come at night. That's why we did it." 






In other news to filed under things Dan Mullen wants us to believe but were unable to verity ourselves:  




- When asked about the MSU offensive line, Mullen named two likely starters for the Bulldogs. 


"You've got Tobias (Smith) and Gabe (Jackson) starters," Mullen said. "There is experience there. It is the backups that are going to be the whole part. That's the main emphasis, the guys who haven't played." 




- Mullen said backup quarterback and redhsirt freshman Dak Prescott will see action early in the 2012 season similarly to how Tyler Russell was used behind Chris Relf last season. However, because Thursday's practice was behind closed doors, we don't know how many snaps Prescott received with the first-team offense. 


"Dak Prescott is going to play early in the season because I have to get him reps in case he has to become the guy, I want to make sure we broke him in a little bit," said Mullen. 




- Mullen said senior defensive back Corey Broomfield is seeing some action at safety early in camp and The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog will try to verify that information Saturday during the open split-squad practices.  




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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