Pinkel shaking up Missouri's depth chart

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

It's one of the oldest motivational tricks in the book, but one that Missouri coach Gary Pinkel apparently is employing in the middle of two-a-day practices for his young team.

Sophomore Jerrell Jackson has moved ahead of Missouri's leading returning receiver, Jared Perry, after Perry struggled through the Tigers' scrimmage on Saturday.

Perry grabbed 41 passes for the Tigers in 2008. He expected to see his role expand with the departure of Missouri's top three receivers from last season -- wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Tommy Saunders and tight end Chase Coffman.

Perry told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he was surprised by the move.

"When I first heard about it, it was real frustrating, kind of de-motivating," Perry said. "I have to come back and make plays like I've done, and it'll all work out. I know I'm a playmaker. I respect the decision the coaches made, and it makes me work harder."

Also, quarterbacks Blaine Dalton and Jimmy Costello have moved into a co-No. 2 role behind starter Blaine Gabbert.

I'm just wondering if this is kind of an "inspirational move" meant to shake the cobwebs from Perry in the middle of long preseason practices, or if it instead shows Pinkel's growing confidence in one of his young players.

Pinkel has repeatedly said he's getting better, faster players from improved recruiting in recent years after the Tigers' back-to-back appearances in the Big 12 title game.

Maybe this is just one of those players moving up.