"We can throw it and have people that can run. You have a hard time wining the SEC if you can't run," Cutcliffe said.
Much of the focus this preseason has been on Ole Miss' Eli Manning. Manning is trying to win the Heisman Trophy, something that escaped his brother in 1997. Cutcliffe said that Manning's work on leadership skills will help Ole Miss this season and could help him win the Heisman.
"Eli has to be more vocal. I think that is a big part of the leadership role," he said.
"There's a lot to playing QB," said Cutcliffe, who has coached a Manning for the last nine years. "The decision making training is an ongoing process because there are so many fast things happening. Sometimes you are better off punting, instead of trying to make a play. I think that he is trying to make better decisions. You got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to hold ‘em."
"Eli has to make the big plays when they present themselves, but don't force it when its not there," he said. But while Cutcliffe said that Manning is still working on some mental aspects of the game, his family's history of hard work helps.
"The thing that I like about the Mannings is their consistency. They handle themselves so well. Eli is looking for a consistent level of outstanding play," said Cutcliffe.
Another one of the biggest criticisms of Ole Miss in the recent past has been their lack of toughness on the defensive side of the ball. Cutcliffe says that the Rebels are confronting that.
"You expectations have to be physical. I think that your staff has to have that mentality. We are going to do more live contact work. We are going to focus on more physical practices. I am not talking about beating them up, but developing a mentality of what is expected of you," he said.
Cutcliffe added: "Our defensive was much more aggressive in the spring. They did not have to learn new terms. I expect us to be more versatile and to be able to do more things than in the past on defense.
The Ole Miss Head Coach said that last season's bowl win against Nebraska could be a turning point for the program's defense.
"The 2nd half of the Nebraska game I could not have been more proud of what our defense accomplished," he said. "You could see them coming of age. You know, Nebraska still knows how to run the ball a little bit."
Cutcliffe said that he is excited about the prospect of a good season this year in Oxford. "I feel better about this team than the ones in the past. These seniors have won some really big games. I think that the seniors understand what it takes to compete in the SEC," he said.
But a difficult schedule awaits the Rebels in August.
"There are 2 ways to look at the schedule. I think that it's tough to open up on the road. But the best way to look at it is that 7 of the last 10 are at home," he said.