HomeSportsPowerMizzou - Q&A with tight end and special teams coach Eric Link

PowerMizzou – Q&A with tight end and special teams coach Eric Link

tight ends and special teams coach Eric Link Talks about what the tight ends need to do better in 2023 Ryan Horstkamp puts into position, what Luther Burden III Needs to improve as a punt returner more.

– How does it feel to be back for another year of spring football?

“It feels great. In fact it seems to get faster and faster every year. Then, once you get on the field and rolling it’s definitely always nice to be back on the grass with the guys Is.”

– What tight ends have you come across so far through a handful of exercises?

“Honestly, I think all of them have done a good job collectively. I think we’ve definitely taken steps in the right direction. I would say Max Whisner There’s one little kid who you can tell has really capitalized and taken advantage of his redshirt season. From a physical point of view, he is ahead as he should be. He’s been here for one calendar year, so he’s definitely a person. I think Tyler Stephens Really doing some cool stuff. I think Ryan Hoerstkamp 一 they all did a good job of just maintaining consistency. Instead of taking a step back, keep moving forward, step by step, day by day.”

– Defensive line coach Al Davis said he wants his group to have two players each position and work together instead of one person playing all the snaps at one position. Is that a model you want to follow for tight end number 1 and tight end number 2 or something like that?

“I mean, ideally you want variety within one person to play multiple tight end positions. But, everybody has strengths and weaknesses, so try to build on those strengths and strengthen those weaknesses.” do is really what you’re trying to do. do. So, a guy’s skill set might be that he comes across as a more talented receiver as opposed to blocker. Well, we have to make sure that we’re continuing to develop those blocking abilities. We have to make sure we’re not asking him to do things he’s not good at yet. So, to answer your question we try to diversify And want the ability to be able to do a lot of things with our guys. But at the end of the day, sure the guys have certain skill sets and that’s really what we’re going to make of it.”

– What have you seen from kicker Blake Craig?

“Really positive. There’s no doubt we were really excited to have Blake here. He’s an extremely talented kicker. He’s done a really good job in four practices and he’s brand new. He’s still got Should be a senior in high school, but he’s definitely taking steps in the right direction. He’s done a really good job and we’re grateful and thankful he’s definitely here.”

– What are you looking for from Luther Burden in two years as a punt returner?

“I think the No. 1 thing with Luther is we know he’s talented. I think he’s one of the more talented ball carriers on our team at any position. But I would say his major One of the weaknesses was just making decisions. That’s a huge quality you have in that position and that comes with experience and putting yourself in those situations to make those decisions and to understand and force it. Not required. You can let the game come to you and take advantage of an opportunity when you have to, but the No. 1 objective of the punt return team and the kickoff team is to make sure we give the ball to the offense. Obviously, we’re going to be explosive. We want to be dynamic. We want to have the ball. The ability to create returns, but at the end of the day, we have to make sure the offense gets the ball back.”

– When he had those new mistakes, how do you approach him as a coach?

“You have to train it and get it right. You have to train it and you try to really educate yourself on those situations before it’s as high as possible. But there’s probably no greater teacher in any sport, But definitely in football than experience. You go back and you look at Luther in high school, I didn’t know that especially 10-12 punt returns for touchdowns. You go back and look at him and I All 10 of them seem to have at least nine out of 10 balls hitting the ground.

“So, it’s just different that you’re going to catch a lot more balls in the air at this level than you are taking a ball off the ground. I say that and versus Abilene Christian, the ball off the ground on your first touch. collides.” Another one when I knew we were cooking with oil because I knew it’s what this guy is used to, but you’ve got to do it right. ,

Hoesterkamp erupted during the New Mexico State game. What could he be for this crime if he reaches his potential?

“Ryan was a guy who probably came out of high school as more of a receiver. Played more on the perimeter than the core. So, I think the biggest adjustment for Ryan is learning to play the full position of tight end. He has really good ball skills and the ability to make plays. But to be able to execute as a blocker just to be an every-down player but also make plays as a receiver is what we want that he should

“Ryan’s focus is on getting better every day and I know it may sound cliché, but that’s our entire focus. I think he has the ability to make plays. I think he brings a lot to the table.” Yes, but Ryan is working.” On becoming a complete tight end. Sometimes it takes some time and some maturity, both physically and mentally.

– Does this include Ryan getting promoted because of the nature of the position?

“Yeah, I mean I don’t think Ryan will ever be a 260-pound guy. I think right now he’s as heavy as he’s ever been. I think he weighed 245 or 246 pounds the other day. A The penalty is the fine line between being too big and losing some athleticism or some speed, but you’re absolutely right. You’re going to play in the core within the formation in the Southeastern Conference, some big men, so you better be able to The ability to play physically and face the physicality of the game.”

– Take a step back to see Tight & Room next season, what’s the biggest thing you want to see happen with this group this time around?

“Just consistency. I mentioned it to someone else before, but there’s no greater teacher than experience. This group coming in last year was really inexperienced. Very few snaps were played in this position. So, I think That we have gained a lot. Experience, both good and bad. So, it has been a great teacher for us. But the consistency of our game. At all stages.

I mean the tight end position is one of the most difficult positions to play and evaluate in my opinion because we ask them to do so much. They have to block not only on the periphery but also in the core. He has to pass protect, he has to be able to run routes and he has to have good ball skills to play off the ball. So, they really have to master a lot of skill sets and that takes time. Those guys are working really hard and continuing to develop it, but I think we want consistency in playing day and night.”

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