EAST LANSING – Mel Tucker enjoys seeing progression in every one of his players.
In spring ball, Michigan State athletes go from meetings, walkthroughs, individual work, group work, and eventually scrimmages.
Tucker called the Spartan's first spring scrimmage "a cleaner brand of football" than the team played last year.
"Things are starting to shake out a little bit as the intensity of the practices elevates," Tucker told reporters in a videoconference. "You really find out who can do what we need them to do ... pain and pressure is really what moves the needle with guys."
Michigan State focused on situational work, including first, second, and third downs, along with red zone and two-minute drills. There was a big emphasis on the run game, and while the staff doesn't keep score, they do track goal-oriented stats.
"At each position, we're seeing guys that are starting to separate themselves, but it's no child left behind; we want to be able to bring them all along at this point," said Tucker. "Once you get five practices, and then you go into a scrimmage, you can see who can carry it over."
Last season, the Spartans finished 2-5 and fell short in multiple areas, especially offensively; however, the second-year head coach intends on continuously "raising the bar."
"We're putting pressure on the coaches to make sure that we're getting it done the way we need to get it done because the lowest level of performance that you accept as a coach that will become your culture," Tucker said. "We're not letting anything slide and giving guys an opportunity to show that they can perform at the level that we need and do it exactly the way we want it. We'll find out as we go who can do that."
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