Blaine Gabbert works on his timing during Thursday's practice

The 2010 Missouri Tigers took the practice field in helmets and shorts and started work on the upcoming season in Columbia on Thursday. The Tigers must practice three days in helmets before moving to shoulder pads and eventually full pad work outs.

Mizzou’s entire recruiting class was on hand for the first practice and is eligible to play this season, with a lot of fresh faces on the field, Head coach Gary Pinkel said his head was spinning after practice.

Gary Pinkel on the first day

With so many new faces and a lot of open position battles, there are not too many positions set in stone. Of course, Blaine Gabbert will be back and Pinkel is looking for him to just build on what he did as a first year starter. Pinkel says its a natural progression for Gabbert to improve. I asked both Pinkel and Gabbert how the pressure has changed now that Gabbert is another year removed from playing under the shadows of Chase Daniel.

Pinkel and Gabbert

The team voted on their captains and it was confirmed running back Derrick Washington, center Tim Barnes, linebacker Luke Lambert and defensive back Kevin Rutland were named team captains this season.

Co-offensive line coach Bruce Walker was on the practice fields after being arrested on Monday night in the Mizzou Athletic Training Complex parking lot on suspicion of DWI. Walker had not been charged. Pinkel would not comment on the situation.

Gary Pinkel’s comments on first day of practice