Werner's Quest

Ole Miss Quarterbacks Coach and Co-Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner is a bottom line guy. For him, mechanics are important but throwing the ball on time and completions are what matter.

Dan Werner cracked a wry smile when asked what he is looking for from the Ole Miss quarterbacks in spring training.

"Completions," he answered, then grinned.

Obviously, there's a lot more to it than that, but results are what count with Dan.

"Almost every throw was late the first day (Friday), so we worked hard on getting the ball out on time today," he explained. "I saw a big improvement today (Saturday) with trying to throw the ball on time, so I was very proud of that. I'm looking for good reads, throwing on time and, of course, the end result - completions."

Werner has his hands full this spring, working seven different quarterbacks and trying to be fair in the process.

"I've never had this many, but everyone deserves a shot. We'll have to hone things down as we go, but for now things are wide open. We'd like to have two or three, obviously, but if there are four or five who keep on battling, we will keep giving them a shot."

Werner said JUCO transfer Bo Wallace has a leg up on the competition because he knows the terminology of Freeze's offense having run it at Arkansas State for a year.

Ja-Mes Logan
File Photo

"The very first meeting in January, he knew what all the calls were. That helped him and he can concentrate more on the reads during practice," Werner noted. "All of them, though, have picked up things pretty quickly. We haven't had a lot of mental issues and I thought we would at the tempo we are going. I'm proud of their retention."

While the quarterback hat is primary for Werner, he's also responsible, with Co-Coordinator Matt Luke, for the overall function of the offense.

Right now, it's all about the install and executing what is installed each day.

"So far, it's going well. After Friday I was a little worried we might have tried to put in too much because it wasn't as sharp as I would have liked, but we put in some more plays today and handled it well," he noted. "We had a few more plays in for the defense to worry about and that opened things up for us some - we had more big plays today."

Werner echoed the sentiments of Freeze after practice with praise of the wideouts.

"We had guys going and making plays today," he continued. "I talked to them after practice and congratulated them. If they make plays like that, it makes everyone's job early.

"Collins Moore, Ja-Mes Logan, Donte Moncrief, Korvic Neat, Philander Moore, Vincent Sanders - they all made some excellent catches, a couple were great catches and a couple of more on balls that probably shouldn't have been thrown. They were terrific today."

He said the offensive line is struggling a bit, but there's a reason.

"Coach (Dave) Wommack is throwing a lot at us right now. I've never seen this many blitzes and stuff this early in spring training. It's tough. Plus there's a huge disadvantage to an offensive lineman when he doesn't have his pads on," Dan said. "With no pads, you can't really get into defenders, but it will pick up once they learn a little more and we get the pads on."

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