Catching The Football

Offensively, things hadn't been going all that well for Ole Miss through four days. Wednesday morning, things improved.

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Head coach Hugh Freeze addressed that in his post-practice remarks, that while things were better, consistency is still a goal. Receivers coach Grant Heard said he's seeing things improve as well.

"There was progress, and I don't know if it was as much progress or a different mindset and just playing harder," said Heard, a former Rebel receiver. "That's what we want. If we play hard every play, we give ourselves a chance. That's the biggest thing. Even when you're tired, you can't let your mind lie to you. You've just got to keep pushing and fight through it."

Heard said given the up-tempo of the offense, he needs quite a stable of receivers. Eight, he even admitted, would be a nice number to work with.

"Right now we're trying to find out who our best eight are," he said.

With Barry Brunetti and Bo Wallace splitting time, and Maikhail Miller also getting some work, Heard said he truly believes his receivers don't care which one is throwing them the football

"I don't even think they notice, to tell you the truth," he said. "When the ball's in the air, it's ours, it doesn't matter whose hand it comes out of. Just make the play when it's time to make the play."

One receiver who is figuring in is veteran Ja-Mes Logan, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior. Heard said Logan's on course but not there yet.

"He's doing better but still has a long way to go," Heard said.

Logan said he likes the strides he's made in a lot of areas.

"My role is to make sure everybody knows their assignment, go hard, play for each other," he said. "Just go all out to the whistle."

And catch passes, of course. Logan said also being a leader is important.

"Yeah, I have to be since I've gotten used to the players," he said. "I'm an old guy, so I have to be a leader."

Logan could also sense a pick up in the offense and its production in Wednesday morning's practice.

Ja-Mes Logan
Chuck Rounsaville

"We weren't slow today," he said. "We were out here bouncing around, flying around, having fun, playing for each other."

Logan actually admitted he feels the playbook is in.

"We've got the whole playbook in right now," he said. "It depends on what plays they want us to run. It's all up to Coach Freeze."

Logan agreed with Heard that whichever quarterback is in there, the receivers can respond. It's just a matter of execution, concentration, and catching the football.

"We've gotten used to all of them," he said. "What they like, what they don't like, where they like to place the ball, things like that. You've just got to know your plays. Know you're assignment. Just go all out."

Heard said he knows his players are capable. He also knows what they need to do to be successful.

"The biggest thing for my guys is just giving effort every single play," he said. "No matter if they're tired or not, just giving effort. Because in this offense they're going to get tired, and they've just got to learn to push and fight through it."

Collins Moore went down with an injury earlier this week, and Heard said it's up to others to take up the slack.

"All of them (have to) because all of them know it and they're all interchangeable," he said. "Now certain guys are better at certain things, so we'll try to concentrate on putting them there. But they've all got to step up. When one man goes down, we've just got to close ranks and get tighter and push a little bit harder.

"Because we're short out there right now with a couple of guys missing," Heard continued. "But Tobias (Singleton) Philander (Moore), Korvic (Neat), Jordan (Holder), Jeremy Reed, they've all stepped up and they've answered the challenge. We have a long way to go but they're battling."

One young receiver, freshman Cody Core, has caught some attention so far. Heard said he's going to be a fun one to coach and to watch grow in the system.

"He's a pup," said Heard. "He's going to be really, really good. But he's going through his freshman woes right now. But the good thing about him is, if he makes a mistake, he makes it 100 miles an hour. I can correct the other stuff, and he's going to give me effort. So he's doing really, really well. We've just got to get him slowing the game down. The game's a little bit fast for him right now."

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