Published August 2, 2012 - 10:23am
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Tyler Russell takes over the reigns of the Mississippi State offense. But he’s a different quarterback than Dan Mullen has had over the last few years. He’s not an option quarterback but a pro-style guy who can rev up the air attack.
Russell certainly looks the part, though. He’s physically gifted with a big arm, and he has the presence of a successful pocket passer, from what little we’ve seen.
But how will a pocket passer translate in Mullen’s run-heavy offense? That’s the one thing I worry about.
Mullen is a good coach and an even better offensive coordinator. So, I’m sure he’ll gravitate the play calling and offense as a whole towards Russell’s strengths. However, Mullen has really had a dual-threat quarterback everywhere he’s been. The one exception may be Chris Leak, but the Gators had Tim Tebow on campus Leak’s second year to help with that task.
Mullen has a great deal of trust in Russell, as he should.
“There’s a great deal of trust between him and our coaching staff,” Mullen said of Russell. “He knows we’re going to turn the keys over to him, put it on his shoulders, let him go, give him control of the offense.”
The last three years, Chris Relf has guided the option-based attack, with Russell checking into the lineup in certain passing situations. Relf was a physical runner who was lacking in the passing game. In fact, he’s the exact opposite of Russell. Nonetheless, Relf played well at times.
Russell, a junior, has thrown for 1,669 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for his career at State.
And he’ll likely reach those numbers by week six or seven.
Coming off of a disappointing season, Mullen has called this year ‘the most important year in school history’.
Tyler Russell certainly has his work cut out for him. The good news is that MSU has a slew of wide receivers at his disposal, but the Bulldogs will be looking for a pounder at running back, as many are not convinced LaDarius Perkins can handle the pounding between the tackles.
Several items are on State’s checklist, but they cannot afford to have Russell feeling uncomfortable in the offense.