August 19, 2006

Tigers carry confidence through camp

On Tuesday afternoon, Gary Pinkel showed up for practice in long basketball shorts and flipped his visor around backwards. On Thursday, he let reporters know that the day's second practice was cancelled because his players were going to a movie. Maybe relaxed is not the right word. Don't even think easy. But something different from Augusts gone by is going on in Columbia.

"Yeah, it is, and that's a good thing," said senior safety David Overstreet. The coaches understand us. We've got a long season and they know we've got to have our legs under us throughout this season. That's really coach Pinkel understanding that."

But even when the Tigers have been released from practice a little early, it hasn't always been for total relaxation.

"They cut one practice short to let us go to the swimming pool," said offensive guard and captain Mike Cook. "But I don't know if that was a break. I was more tired after that than after practice."

There is a quiet confidence that carries across this team, from the coaches to the players.

"We believe in us," Overstreet said. "When nobody else does, the guys there in that locker room believe in us. We feel like we can compete with anybody at any time."

And that is exactly what Mizzou expects to do.

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