Bozeman – Last season for Montana State’s wide receivers can can be summed up pretty simply, according to their coach Matt Miller.
“Not up to our standard. Not up to the standard and everybody knows that in that room,” said Miller. “And we’ve got to make plays for our quarterback. Every pass isn’t going to be the perfect ball and so we’ve got to make those 50/50 catches and win the 1-on-1 battles.”
And in Miller’s second year leading the unit, they appear to be making those strides.
“You know as a group I think we’ve come a long way since day one,” wide receiver Mitch Herbert told us following the team’s first open practice. “One of our main keys and goals of the spring is to be consistent and we’ve had a few good days. We’ve also had a few inconstant days. And these last nine, eight or nine practices or whatever we have, we need to string together some good days.”
“Personally I left a lot of plays out there and I think as a group we did as well,” added fellow receiver Kevin Kassis. “And leaving those plays out there resulted in 4-7 (last season) and we know as a unit if we make those plays we can turn that around and improve our record.”
” Details. Details in term of the scheme. Details in term of our rout running,” said Milelr. “If we can clean those up I think we’re going to be a dangerous unit. A step here, a step there is going to make us an elite group instead of just an average one.”
If that’s going to happen, the Cats are going to have to rely on senior Mitchell Herbert.
“I think we just have to put him in the right spot and let him be successful in terms of this offense,” said the receiver’s coach of Herbert. ” Some scheme stuff and, and teaching him stuff in terms of detailed rout running and being able to win those 50/50 balls down the field because he’s a sure handed wide out. We just get him the ball, he’s going to make us look good.”:
And sophomore Kevin Kassis
” He’s had a great off-season in the weight room,” said Miller. “Getting a little bigger, a little stronger and to me looks a little faster. So that’s a testament to him and putting the work in. Catching a log of jugs, a lot of lobs on the tennis ball machine. He’s just made a lot of plays out there.”
” He can play in the slot, he can play outside, he can throw the ball as well,” added Herbert about his teammate. “He brings another dimension to the receiver group. He’s quick and not all our guys can keep up with him. He’s the best rout runner on the team.”
“I think the big thing for myself is a lot more confidence. And these guys are great,” Kassis said. “I mean I came in quiet and they broke me out of my shell. I’m really surrounded by a good group of guys.”