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December 11, 2010

Tigers back to work at bowl practice



The Missouri Tigers returned to the practice field for their second Insight Bowl practice on Saturday morning. This workout marked the first in full pads. PowerMizzou.com has the day's report.

*The only new injury was Terrell Resonno, who sat out with a bothersome patellar tendon. However, Gary Pinkel said after the practice that Resonno sat simply for precautionary reasons and that the injury isn't considered serious at all. In his absence, Jimmy Burge and Brendan Donaldson were running first-team at defensive tackle.

*Some good news on the injury front, Donovan Bonner went through his first full pads workout since tearing his ACL in fall camp.

"Rehab is pretty difficult with an ACL," Bonner said. "I'm probably about 75 percent."

Bonner said there is no doubt he will be ready to go for spring ball and hopes to be able to participate in 7-on-7 during Sunday's practice. Bonner's injury was a prelude of things to come for the Tigers, as linebackers were hit by injuries throughout the season.

"I get hurt the first day of practice, didn't even get to put pads on," Bonner said. "Then everybody starts getting hurt. We got safeties moving up to linebacker, just great team guys."

While the linebacking crew loses Andrew Gachkar, the return of Bonner and Luke Lambert will be like adding two new recruits to the mix from this season.

"Me and Luke coming back, we've got some recruits coming in, we've still got Will Ebner," Bonner said. "I think we'll be all right."

*On to the actual workout, I have been impressed with Rolandis Woodland the first couple of days. Haven't seen any drops and he's made some tough catches as well. But no receiver has turned my head as often as redshirt Bud Sasser. On one particular play, he snared a ball down the middle from Ashton Glaser. Sasser strikes me as a guy who could have a strong spring.

*No player looks to be having more fun at practice than Aldon Smith. The guy is always the most vocal player on the field. And, by the way, he's pretty good too. He left Elvis Fisher in his tracks with a spin move. Fisher redeemed himself the next time through, stonewalling Brad Madison in pass-rush drills.

*The young cornerbacks are going to be a bright spot, I think. Observers have noted that E.J. Gaines and Tristen Holt both appear to be quite a bit bigger than they were in the fall. Pairing them with the likes of Kip Edwards, Trey Hobson and Xavier Smith, the Tigers have a lot to like at corner.

*The hit of the day came from Will Ebner (big surprise) leveling Henry Josey on a pass route across the middle.

*Lucas Vincent made a nice play, batting down a screen pass as he rushed against Glaser.

*The running game looked good in inside run drills. De'Vion Moore, Kendial Lawrence and Josey all had long gainers.

*Play of the Day: For the second straight day, it's a long ball from Tyler Gabbert. This time, he hit Marcus Lucas on the left hash with a 45-yard pass. Lucas had beaten coverage from Jared Parham and/or Robert Steeples. Gabbert made a number of nice throws and will most definitely be in the mix to be the third quarterback come spring.

Missouri returns to practice at 12:15 on Sunday afternoon and PowerMizzou.com will be on hand with a full report.

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