Other Than QB

Now that the barrage of questions about who will be the starting quarterback (Bo Wallace) has subsided, Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner fielded inquiries about the other ten guys on offense. Read about it inside.

For nearly a month, actually back into spring, the question of who would be the starting quarterback for the Ole Miss Rebels when the 2012 season starts Saturday against Central Arkansas has been the most repetitive OC Dan Werner has tried to handle.

Since that has finally been settled, and Bo Wallace has come out on top, for now, Werner got to talk about the rest of the offense.

From an overall offensive standpoint, Werner believes a lot of strides have been made from the start of fall camp to the present.

"We went from last spring not knowing much to understanding the formations to the plays and where everyone is supposed to be. We are now understanding concepts of what we are trying to do," said Dan. "Now, we can work more on little things like timing and fine-tuning the things that make a difference between a good play and a bad play.

Randall Mackey
File Photo

"I can't wait to see where we are in a real game, but I am very pleased with the progress and improvement that has been made."

One of the biggest concerns coming out of spring training was the ability of the players to be able to handle the up-tempo pace Hugh Freeze and Werner employ.

"We are getting the ball snapped now right where we want to. In the last scrimmage, we were snapping it around 28-30 seconds left on the play clock and if we can continue to do that, we will put a lot of pressure on the defense," he stated.

"We are playing much faster now than we were at the start of fall camp and the guys seem to be in good shape. We don't anticipate having to slow down much, but if we do, we have plans for that as well."

Dan was asked to name a surprise in fall camp. He didn't hesitate.

"Randall Mackey," he said. "We knew he had talent and athletic ability, but you never know how converting a quarterback to a running back will go.

"It's one thing to drop back with the defense thinking pass and you scramble out and make a big play. It's another to getting the ball in the backfield and they know it's a run and the defense is thinking run. He's transitioned well and has looked like a natural back there to me. He has great vision, great timing and great balance. He sets up blocks real well - it's innate. He just seems to have it."

Mackey has not been the only pleasant development in the backfield. Werner has been impressed with the freshmen running backs as well.

"Jaylen (Walton) and I'tavius Mathers have both had excellent fall camps for freshmen. They have an innate ability as well and are tough. That's what you worry about with freshmen backs - how tough are they? Those two have not missed a rep and they do whatever is asked of them to the best of their ability," Werner assessed.

Donte Moncrief
File Photo

Werner has also been pleased with the improvement of the offensive line, an area of concern all summer after a not-so-encouraging spring training session.

"It's amazing to me what Coach (Matt) Luke has done with those guys. He has asked some to change positions and has put them together into a cohesive unit," he noted. "Right now, it looks to me like they are gelling. We are happy with their progress. It's been a big advancement since spring training.

"They are playing much, much faster. They know all their calls and they seem to be communicating well."

Out wide, the Rebels aren't as deep as Werner would like, but he's excited about the unit as a whole.

"You start with Donte (Moncrief) and Vincent (Sanders) and Ja-Mes Logan. That's a good start, in my opinion," he said. "We hope Collins Moore is going to be able to play. He's solid. Freshman Cody Core has impressed us, he just has to eliminate the freshmen mistakes and keep learning. Korvic Neat and Philander Moore have also done some good things. Terrell Grant and Jordan Holder are also in the picture and can help us in different ways."

While QB has been the talk of camp, and is vital to any offense, it takes 11 to make things go.

Heading into the first game, Dan Werner is pleased with where the "other 10" are.

OM Spirit Top Stories