MSU's Mullen hates to see two-a-days come to an end

August 15, 2009 10:59:00 PM

Danny P Smith -


STARKVILLE --¬†Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen hates to see the last week of two-a-day practice sessions end. 


Mullen liked the home-away-from-home setting at the intramural fields across campus and wished he had more time there. 


"The players came out and battled," Mullen said. "They came out with the right attitude. There were really hard practices Saturday." 


With the start of classes Monday, the Bulldogs will return to the team practice fields Tuesday. The team is scheduled to hold meetings, to have brunch, to visit the team chapel, to watch film and to lift weights today. 


Mullen said the coaching staff will work Monday to clean up the playbook while the players are adjusting to the first day of classes. 


He said it''s a good thing three weeks of practice remain before MSU opens the season Sept. 5. 


"If we were playing a week from now, I''d be paranoid," Mullen said. "We''ve just got to keep fighting through it. 


"We''ve got a lot of work to do on offense, defense, and special teams. (We''ve got to work on) blocking, tackling, catching, and covering. Everything. We''ve got to keep throwing, catching, and (stressing) the fundamentals." 


Senior wide receiver Brandon McRae agree with Mullen, at least from the offensive perspective. 


"We''ve got a lot of learning to do," McRae said. "The offense has to tweak a few things, get our timing down, and learn the system better." 


Mullen is encouraged the Bulldogs are battling for positions. He has been impressed with the defense and the effort it is giving running to the football. 




Sanders starts slow 


After the NCAA Eligibility Center cleared him Friday morning to join the MSU football team, freshman wide receiver Ricco Sanders practiced on a limited basis Friday and Saturday afternoon. 


The work was enough to confirm what Mullen believed. 


"Ricco is a great kid," Mullen said. "He''s just behind and didn''t get a whole month of conditioning with our strength coaches. It''s just going to take some time for him to get in shape and get caught up with everybody else." rated Sanders, a native of Duncan, S.C., the 51st-best wide receiver prospect in the country. had Sanders as the second-best receiver in South Carolina. 


Both Web sites follow national recruiting. 


Sanders had 42 catches for 765 yards to help lead Byrnes High School to the Class 4A state championship last season. 




No new injuries 


There were no major injuries in the last day of two-a-days, and others were on the mend. 


Junior offensive tackle Derek Sherrod, of Caledonia High School, has recovered enough from his knee injury to participate in light individual workouts, while junior free safety Zach Smith was limited with a sore hamstring. 




SEC issues revised media policy 


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Southeastern Conference has issued a revised policy for media outlets covering the league''s sporting events. 


The policy released Friday no longer prohibits television stations from airing game footage after three days. The stations can broadcast footage from the network showing the game for a week and has no limitation on how long it can use its own video. The footage can''t exceed three minutes. 


A rule against using video online from news conferences and practices was also dropped. 


Commissioner Mike Slive said the changes reflect concerns voiced by media members and balance the ability to cover SEC events against protecting the league''s digital rights and trademarks. 


Media outlets won''t be allowed to post game video on their Web sites. SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said the league will offer an SEC media player to play game footage. 


Associated Press reports were included in this story.