On Wednesday, Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had a story that discussed a new way that Missouri Tigers head football coach Gary Pinkel had hoped to use his star sophomore wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.
No, Pinkel did not explain to Matter that he had a number of unique plays dialed up for DGB in an attempt to get him the ball much more often than the Tigers did last season.
Instead, Pinkel has DGB lining up on special teams as part of the punt blocking team.
Gary Pinkel wants Dorial Green-Beckham to block some punts. Perfect.
The most freakish athlete with the highest upside and most hoopla of any player in the history of the Missouri Tigers football program is now being asked to block punts.
Meanwhile, the coaching staff has yet to give one hint that they will actually try to feature this kid in the offense more regularly and get him the ball in more spots to make big plays.
Blocking a punt can be a big play, but it is not the type of play DGB should be making.
Pinkel’s logic would be correct if this was just another 6’6” kid with great speed. But he is not just some other kid. This is Dorial Green-Beckham, the former No. 1 recruit in the land who chose Missouri over traditional powers like Oklahoma and Alabama in an effort to stay at home and support his in-state school and lead them into the SEC while he develops into a highly sought after NFL draft pick.
I don’t think DGB signed up to play at Mizzou to block punts. I don’t think any top wide receiver recruit expects that they could spend some time on the punt blocking team. I don’t think working with the special teams is going to prepare DGB for life in the NFL, which is where he inevitably wants to and should be headed assuming that Pinkel and Co. do not screw him up.
How is Pinkel going to land another prized recruit when Nick Saban can just sit down in a kid’s living room and say, “Do you really want to block punts for Coach Pinkel, or would you prefer to win National Championships at Alabama.”
This is yet another event in a long list of incidents that shows that Pinkel has lost touch with this program. From kids leaving the program after three days of practice to opening your SEC Media Day remarks with a statement that diminishes your own team, Pinkel continues to make decisions and take actions that smell of “small school”.
DGB may very well block a punt, but Missouri should have enough other athletes around the program that can man this role and let DGB worry about catching more passes.
If Gary Pinkel wants to be the coach at Mizzou this time next year, he better hope that DGB blocks a punt every game and that other No. 1 recruits think that playing special teams is a reason to go to Mizzou.
- Mizzou football: Shouldn’t the Tigers be practicing more, not less? (stlsportsminute.com)
- Missouri football: James Franklin says his own Mizzou fans are rudest in SEC (stlsportsminute.com)
- Missouri football: James Franklin named to pre-season Davey O’Brien Award watchlist (stlsportsminute.com)
- Fan Interference recap: 08/02/2013 (stlsportsminute.com)