It's usually good to know stuff.

But if you don't know stuff, one of the worst things I think you, me, or anyone else could do is fake and act like you do know it.

Relating to McNeese State football, I'll get co-workers and the occasional fan ask me about the state of the Cowboys through the first week or so of camp.

Honestly, I don't know.

It's not willful ignorance, by the way. First-year head coach Sterlin Gilbert has a policy that allows the media at practice twice a week (on Mondays and Wednesdays) and we're allowed to watch pre-practice, warm-ups, and individual drills. The media usually has to go after that, right when things are about to get good and juicy.

We usually come back as or right before practice is concluding, so we can see a few plays of what normally looks like team offense versus defense drills. Though we may catch a play here or there, it's not enough to glean which particular players have stood out on either side of the ball or which side dominated.

It's a media policy that I admittedly don't like. I can somewhat understand it from Gilbert's position: he wants to keep specific formations, plays, personnel groupings, and other information as secret as possible until he springs it on a hopefully unsuspecting Southern University team on Aug. 31.

If McNeese wins that game, he will be vindicated in his policy. If the Cowboys lose, well, who knows?

But Gilbert is not the first and he will not be the last college football head coach to have a policy like this. As cliché as it sounds, it is what it is.

But I don't want to mislead anyone about what I know or don't know when it comes to McNeese football during training camp. Whatever I know, I do my best to relay to you.

But when it comes to the progression of Cody Orgeron, who was christened as the starting quarterback over the summer? I don't know. How is the offensive line — one that struggled mightily with injuries and on-field play last season — gelling so far? I don't really know. How is the defense doing in new defensive coordinator Jim Gush's scheme? I don't know.

I have heard things from sources within the program that my own eyes will occasionally pick up. For instance, I had heard great things about true freshman wide receiver Mason Pierce and when I got to the end of Wednesday's practice, he caught a pass and raced for about a 60-yard touchdown.

What I do know, or what I think I might know, is to not be surprised if Pierce is either getting a little bit of playing time once the regular season starts or is at the very least on the travel squad.

We're all going to basically find out what the 2019 McNeese Cowboys look like together on Aug. 31, and when I say we, I mean myself, you the fans, the Southern football team, the concession vendors, everybody.

In the meantime, we wait. I'll get you the information I can, I promise you that.

In a way, this adds an even deeper level of excitement for the Southern game because I'll get to see McNeese in a game setting for the first time since the spring back way back in April.

Being totally forthright, I do wish we could see one fall scrimmage, just to get an idea of what's going on. Anyway, I'd expect the offense and defense to be vanilla during scrimmages, but it would still be nice to see.

In lieu of that, all I can say is I don't know much about the nitty-gritty details of fall training camp, and I wish I knew more.

We'll all know on the last day of August, though.


David Berry covers McNeese State athletics. Email him at dberry@americanpress.com

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