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August 13, 2006

Free: Week one camp rewind

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Technically, Missouri has been in camp for a week and a day. But our weeks generally begin on Monday, so we figured this was a good time to post our "Week in Review."

PowerMizzou.com has been at every open Tiger workout and has filed a practice report from each one. We have given you our plays and players of each individual workout. Now, we look at the broader picture and take a look back at the opening week of camp:

Biggest surprise (positive): The play of the Tiger cornerbacks. Darnell Terrell and Domonique Johnson look outstanding. It would be tough for the Tigers to have gotten any worse at the position, but we didn't expect them to be this much better this soon.

Biggest surprise (negative): The shotgun snaps from center haven't gotten better. When the snap is off, the whole play is off. Make no mistake, this is a concern. A huge one if it continues.

Best offensive newcomer: Danario Alexander was the best Tiger freshman all summer long, at least outside of Jeremy Maclin, from what we heard. He has not disappointed. It would be very, very surprising not to see him on the field.

Best defensive newcomer: Cornelius Brown is already second-string and could well be on the first-team nickel defense by the start of the season. Sean Weatherspoon has been the best freshman, but Pig has been the best newcomer.

Best position battle: Honestly, there aren't many. An injury to Marcus Woods has taken a lot of the intrigue out of the tailback battle. Only the third linebacker really seems to be up for grabs as far as the starters go. The best battle, and the one that will be watched very closely in the opening scrimmage on Monday, has probably been that for backup quarterback. Brandon Coleman had the edge coming in, but most observers though Chase Patton had a better week by far.

Offensive player of the week: We're going with the Helicopter. With Brad Ekwerekwu sidelined after an appendectomy, William Franklin has become the go-to receiver. With the two tight ends taking heat off the wideouts, Franklin could have a monster season.

Defensive player of the week: Domonique Johnson wins the award. He has done just about everything right. A close runner-up would have to be Xzavie Jackson who seems to have wrestled control of the battle for the starting spot at defensive end away from Stryker Sulak.

Play of the Week: Only once in four years have I seen Gary Pinkel get tackled, or "cheap-shotted" as he called it. Only once in four years have I seen Pinkel so angry that I thought there was a chance a vein would quite literally pop out of his head. If you don't know the play to which I refer, read about it here.

The Tigers kick off week two with an 8:15 a.m. scrimmage at Faurot Field on Monday morning.

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