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Derek Mason Press Conference Recap: Texas A&M

Oh, we’re back to this, yes.

NCAA Football: SEC Football Media Day Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Mason has his first weekly press conference of the season ahead of the Texas A&M game, and as we are a full-service Vanderbilt sports blog, we recap his commentary for all of you. The depth chart was released earlier this morning.

  • We’re doing this remotely. Yep, this isn’t weird at all. Nothing weird at all about muting the reporters in attendance until they’re taken off mute.
  • We had a great practice this morning. “I feel good because it’s Texas A&M week.” Everybody’s at the same starting point.
  • I’m proud of our black student-athlete group. We’re having voter registration inside the stadium.
  • What’s your level of concern on the offensive line? “I’m excited about where we are on the offensive line.” The depth chart doesn’t list a couple of extra guys. We have a couple of guys in this group coming out of quarantine. We have starters and starters in waiting, there are about 8-9 guys in the rotation.
  • Privately, Derek Mason is down to two quarterbacks.
  • What are the strengths of the quarterbacks? Most of them have had the same opportunity. Two came in at the same time, the other two came in the summer. You have to have “command” of the position and versatility in the pocket. The biggest thing is leadership.
  • Injuries — Elijah McCallister he hopes to have back at midseason, BJ Anderson and Brendon Harris have unknown timetables for return. Feleti Afemui has opted out of the season.
  • We’ll have to play young guys on the offensive line, but that’s nothing new. Everybody in the SEC is dealing with this in 2020. (If any of the offensive linemen aren’t SEC-quality, would he say so out loud?)
  • Mason hasn’t paid attention to the number of players who have opted out.
  • We’re at a point in time where we’re semi-tired of practicing against one another. Everybody in the SEC has had someone opt out in some shape or form.
  • We have some young players that people haven’t really seen play but we’ve seen them in practice.
  • If you’re a playmaker and you have some specific skill, this offense is built for you.
  • Michael Owusu won’t be available this week due to being in quarantine.