Not even Mauk has job sewn up for 2014 MU football team

It’s not Maty Mauk’s starting job just yet.

Even after an impressive 2013 campaign, the redshirt freshman is no lock to take over for the departing James Franklin when football rolls around again in 2014.

“Certainly Maty played very, very well for a young player,” Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel said Saturday in a season wrap-up before the men’s basketball team took on Alabama. “There’s going to be competition there. There’s not an established starter. He’ll be competing like everybody else. I think that they’ll be some good competition there. May the best player win. Maty, I think, expects it. That’s how we do it around here. That makes us better, I think it makes our players better.”

Mauk completed 68-of-133 passes (51 percent) for 1,071 yards with 11 touchdowns to just two interceptions while playing in 13 games last season, including four starts. He also ran 41 times for 229 yards and a score. Mauk went 3-1 as a starter — beating Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky — with a loss to South Carolina. He closed out a win at Georgia after Franklin injured his right shoulder.

While certainly the favorite to win the job, Mauk must compete with redshirt freshman to-be Eddie Printz, junior-to-be Corbin Berkstresser, sophomore-to-be Trent Hosick and incoming freshman Marvin Zanders for the starting gig.

Pinkel, however, did outline what Mauk needs to work on in the offseason.

“I think it’s just the general fundamentals,” Pinkel said. “The footwork, I think that’s where quarterbacks always become more accurate throwers, by how well they use their feet. It sounds crazy to most people but it’s so true. The consistency of his footwork and being able to get himself a frame to throw and balance the throw.

“Things will start slowing down for him because as a quarterback it does the more things you see. He got a lot of great experience in there in the 4 1/2 games and some of the series he played afterwards. I think those will all be a positive. He’s a real hard worker, he’s very determined, he’s a very competitive young man. He constantly tries to get better like everybody else does.”

The same can be said for the rest of the squad in the offseason.

“Your program is continuous,” Pinkel said. “We get done with our bowl game, we get back here, we start working out three days a week. Hugely important. It’s always player development, but this is where we make great strength and speed and quickness gains. We have winter conditioning in the mornings. … It’s a time where we have to make a lot of gains here.”

Pinkel touched on a variety subjects including:

• The situation surrounding Dorial Green-Beckham, who was arrested Jan. 10 in Springfield on suspicion of felony distribution of a controlled substance.

“I’ve been consistent in how I’ve done it since the day I got here,” Pinkel said. “I never discuss any discipline issues.”

• The departure of running back Henry Josey to the NFL draft.

“Everybody has their reasons for (entering the draft),” Pinkel said. “For the reasons he expressed to me, I think it was important that he do it this year. We support him, back him, wish him the best.”

• The possibility of raises for his coaching staff.

“For my coaches, yeah, (it’s important),” Pinkel said. “It’s a slow process. Disappointed to this point. … We’ll see where it goes.”

Defensive coordinator Dave Steckel signed a two-year deal last August that pays him a base salary of $550,000 annually. Offensive coordinator Josh Henson signed a two-year contract last October good for $500,000 per year. According to USA Today’s annual salaries database, Steckel’s 2013 salary ranked 11th among SEC assistant coaches and Henson’s ranked 16th. Missouri’s collective staff salary of $2,642,500 ranked 10th in the 14-team SEC.

• Pinkel’s program-best 102 coaching wins, accomplished during Missouri’s Cotton Bowl win against Oklahoma State. Pinkel passed Don Faurot on the list with the victory.

“There’s a lot of people that are involved in that, there are a lot of players that are involved in that, there’s resources that you have to have,” Pinkel said. “I feel very fortunate. This is a very difficult job. We all know how tough it is. Just watch what happens at the end of every season. I’ve been very, very fortunate my whole life to be surrounded by good people. It’s been a blessing to me. You don’t have the success that I’ve had without, there’s a lot of people that have had a huge influence on that. I’m honored. I’d just like to win another (102) or whatever it was.”

Now the focus turns to the 2014 season.

“Our players (returned this) weekend and (will) start working out and preparing for 2014. The cycle begins again,” Pinkel said. “… We’re going back and evaluating everything in our program and trying to find ways to make it better. If we can make everything we do one percent better then we’ll continue to improve as a team and a program.”

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