"You can really take a deep breath and pinpoint in on the areas that need work with an open week," said Coach Houston Nutt, "and that's what we have tried to do. We don't have to rush on a gameplan, we can work a little on Alabama and get well. We can evaluate more thoroughly.
"We had a good, spirited practice today. I think we got better, even though most of our injured are still out."
Nutt was asked about his optimism of getting some of the injured back by Sunday, when the Alabama game week starts.
"I'm a little concerned about getting the guys with concussions back because it's treated differently than it was in the past," Nutt noted. "They take it one step further, which they should do. I'm not being critical of that, it's just a much more thorough examination before they are released to play."
Yesterday, Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix mentioned taking looks at other players at defensive end.
"We are just trying to keep everyone at a high level of play, look at everybody and get the best 11 on the field," said Houston. "Right now, our best pass rusher off the edge is D.T. Shackelford, which is not ideal for us. Our DEs should be our best from those positions. I think Gerald Rivers and Wayne Dorsey have the potential to be good, but they need to come on.
"Wayne has struggled with the speed of the game and everything different that has come his way. They chop you one play, power you the next, pass set the next and that has created some hesitancy in his play. I feel he'll learn and get better."
It has also been learned that DT LaMark Armour has been looked at this week at defensive end and that may be something in play in the future. We'll keep you posted on that development.
* With numerous injuries to keep track of each day, it's nice to be able to mark some of them off that least. WR Korvic Neat, who pulled a hamstring and missed the Kentucky game, was back in action Wednesday. He's not 100%, we were told, but he's "real close.". . . Freshman DE Carlos Thompson, who has missed the last week or so with a groin injury, was also dressed out and seemed active in the practice drills we were able to witness.
* RT Bobby Massie was limited in Tuesday's practice with a slightly sprained ankle, but he missed all of Wednesday's practice with a stomach ailment. With Bobby gone, true freshman Jared Duke was elevated to number one right tackle.
* PK Bryson Rose is sitting out a couple of days with a sore hamstring. In his absence, Andrew Ritter was perfect on four mid-range field goals in practice.
* CB Cliff Coleman, who has missed all year with a broken foot, is now out of his cast and walking boot and is wandering the sidelines more actively with the rest of the injured. He should be back in action soon. He will redshirt this year.
* SS Johnny Brown (bruised knee/hamstring), Center A.J. Hawkins (stinger), CB Charles Sawyer (concussion), CB Marcus Temple (concussion), S Brishen Mathews (concussion), TB Enrique Davis (knee surgery) and WR Lionel Breaux (bruised knee) all sat out today's practice. No word on their progress or when they may return to action, but the hope is Sunday for several of them.