Kelly began by joking with Brantley and asking if he has been requesting any short-yardage opportunities on offense.
“Oh, you know I am,” Brantley said. “I’ve been nagging Coach Pinkel about giving me a package on offense for a while now.”
Brantley, a Hershey, Pa., native, talked about the family atmosphere of Mizzou Football and how it impacted his decision to attend Mizzou. Murphy also discussed the family atmosphere and his teammates’ connection to one another..
“We came closer together and bonded like brothers, even the coaches,” Murphy said. “We realized we’re all we have—us as a team and our fans. We can depend on one another, and it’s the best family-type atmosphere you can have.”
After talking about the players’ studies, Kelly went into Murphy’s thought process when he only has one person left to beat on a return.
“It’s special,” Murphy said. “First, you have to focus on catching the ball, and then I trust my teammates that they’ll set up the blocks for me and create the lanes. The last thing I worry about is not letting the kicker or the punter tackling me.”
Brantley and Kelly also discussed what it’s like to work with defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski, who has now coached eight Mizzou linemen to First-Team All-Conference honors.
“There’s never a dull moment. I think that’s what makes us so great as a defense and as a D-line because we really are all brothers in the room,” Brantley said. “When you have a coach like Coach Kuligowski who has put so many players in the NFL, you try to just soak up everything he has to say because you know it’s been proven to work.”
Coach Pinkel rejoined Kelly at the table to discuss Brantley and Murphy’s versatility as athletes, as well as the team’s goals for practice.
“You have to go out there and practice at a different level. You as an individual have to be determined that, when you walk off that field, you’re going to be a better football player,” Pinkel said. “When you get a team of guys to do that, then you can really improve. Practice is so very important.
See Tiger Talk live at 7 p.m. every Monday at Buffalo Wild Wings, or watch online via the GaryPinkel.com livestream. See Mizzou Football back in action at 6 p.m. Saturday, October 18 against the Florida Gators on ESPN2. Follow Mizzou Football on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates throughout gameday.