The Big 'O'

After the 17-17 Red-Blue Game tie, Offensive Coordinator David Lee evaluated the game and talked a bit about how spring went for the offense. Read about it inside.

Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator was not disappointed or overly pleased with the spring game performance of his offensive players.

He was more analytical than anything.

"We had a draft and that split up the first team. That hurt our continuity a little, especially on the offensive line," Lee explained. "We had just found our top five up front and then we split them up for the Red-Blue Game, so I'm not real surprised how it all came out."

About the 17-17 Red-Blue Game, Lee made some mental notes before addressing the media.

"We had too many turnovers to be satisfied as an OC, that is for sure, but I did think we moved the ball at times and we were able to run the ball a little, like we had all spring," he noted. "Barry Brunetti had his best day as an Ole Miss Rebel so far. Randall Mackey was very effective when given time, but he had less time to operate than Brunetti did.

"The game showed us that right now we are better running it than throwing it, but that has been a common theme in spring training."

At quarterback, things are still in the air.

"It's a tossup. I think Brunetti made strides after struggling early with knowing what to do. When he runs through the offense the second time, I think he will play much faster," Lee assessed. "He's a strong young man. He reminds me of John Fourcade with the way he breaks tackles and is strong in the hips. His passing game is not as effective yet, but he is working on his accuracy. Coming from West Virginia, I knew he had a lot to learn going into our system, but he came a long way.

"Randall started out strong, but tapered off a little toward the end. I didn't think Randall got the protection Barry did, so that was a factor today. He did a lot of good things this spring though and I am encouraged by his spring. We know we will need more than one quarterback in this league - it's a shark's tank, we all know that. I was very disappointed Zack (Stoudt) was not out there today. I was disappointed in him personally and it embarrasses me as his quarterback coach and it embarrasses me to have to answer questions about it."

(Stoudt was not allowed to play in the game because of missing some classes and leaving one class before it was over.)

His overall view of spring training was his next train-of-thought focal point.

"We had a very physical spring. We put the ball down a lot. We hit a lot. We did a lot of middle drills, half-line drills, Oklahoma drills - it was a physical 15 days," Lee stated. "Our guys know what kind of personality we are going to have offensively. We will be a run-first offense based on spring training."

For now, it looks as if the Rebels will hang their hats on the running game until the passing game comes around, and maybe even after that happens.

"I like what we are doing in the run game. I think we are a good inside zone team, we run the counter well and the power well. We also installed the ISO from what we did at Miami," Lee added. "The key is that we have a tight end in Ferbia Allen who blocks well and a fullback in H.R. Greer who will strike you right down the middle. When you have a TE and FB that will block, I mean strike you, and an offensive line as big as ours and strong as ours with pretty good feet, it has a good chance to be effective."

Lee was pleased with where the offense is from the standpoints of having a lot installed and having worked on everything put in extensively.

"We were installing up until Thursday and I think we got in what we wanted to," David continued. "We held a lot back in the game today - we were pure vanilla, but overall I am happy with where we are from having the offense in.

"We just have to come back in fall with good recall. It's important to have that carryover in fall. I tell you - we did not waste one period in 15 days of practice in terms of teaching and installing."

Overall, Lee liked the attention to detail while installing the offense, he saw the run game develop continually and he feels the passing game has to play catch up.

Sights are set for a big offseason and then August practice.


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