Drew Lock could have left Missouri this offseason for the NFL. Instead, the record-breaking quarterback from Columbia decided to return to help the Tigers reach new heights under Barry Odom and to further develop his own skillset.

One of the things Lock wants to accomplish in his final collegiate season is to become more familiar with pro concepts. His new offensive coordinator Derek Dooley should prove to be an excellent teacher for Lock, as he spent the last few seasons in the NFL coaching receivers for Dallas. But the gap between what Missouri was running last season and what Dooley intends to teach Lock appears to be pretty wide as spring practice has just begun in Columbia.

Following the first practice of the spring session for Mizzou, Dooley explained just how far Lock has to go before he’s ready to comfortably play in the system.

“A lot of this stuff is foreign to him, some of these drop-back plays,” Dooley said, according to Dave Matter of the St. Louis Dispatch. “It’s something he wants. But it’s not something you just get in a day. You’ve got to go out there and run it, run it, run it.

“You’ve got to make mistakes. Hopefully the mistakes he makes are in practice and he learns from it. Over the course of time by the time we get through training camp hopefully we’ll have tightened up what he feels comfortable running in a game.”

Not only is Lock having to learn a new system, he also has to develop a relationship with his new offensive coordinator and QB coach. Considering those are positions Dooley has never held before, there’s likely to be a learning curve on both sides of the relationship.

Dooley also commented on the progress of the relationship building process going on between the coach and his pupil in Columbia.

“It’s easy to click right now. We haven’t’ really played anybody. I feel like it’s going good,” Dooley added. “We’re communicating well. He’s still learning a little bit about me. I’m still learning a little bit about him. It’s kind of like any relationship. It’s not going to be perfect in one month.”

How well these two get along could very well determine the team’s overall success in 2018. Considering we are nowhere close to Missouri’s Sept. 1 season opener at home against Tennessee-Martin, expect the relationship between Dooley and Lock to grow exponentially between now and then.