'Good Week'

Ole Miss DC Dave Wommack liked what he saw during this past week's practices as the Rebels ramped it up before the Christmas break.

It was only four days, but this week's practices were very productive, according to Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack.

"I thought we got better fundamentally overall and we had a chance to work all those young guys, which is big for us," said Wommack. "It's funny, but a couple of weeks ago Coach Freeze said we'll work all our young guys during this week and I told him we were already playing all our young guys.

"Kidding aside, we had some players like Temario Strong, Carlos Thompson, Woody Hamilton, Kameron Wood, Anthony Standifer, Q. Burdette and others get a lot of needed work."

The defensive coaches opted to try Strong at inside linebacker first.

"We limited what we ran out there this week and he did a good job physically," he said. "He likes to hit and run around. Spring will be big for him in terms of learning and getting the mental part down and he has a lot of work to do fundamentally, but we really like him and think he has great upside."

Thompson redshirted this year and was limited in practice reps, so Wommack wanted more of a look this week.

"He's quick coming off the ball and we are excited to see him develop more in the weight room and then in the spring," he noted. "I am really anxious to see him as we go forward."

Hamilton was injured during the season just as it seemed he was starting to make a move and become a bigger part of the defensive tackle rotation.

Dave Wommack
File Photo

"If he had not been injured (high ankle sprain) I think Woody would have played a lot more. He's a big, physical guy who has gone a long way. I think he is going to be a force as he gains more maturity and gets mroe experience," Wommack noted. "I want to try to get him more reps in the Compass Bowl. I think he's just going to get better and better."

At safety, the unit Wommack personally coaches, Wommack mentioned Chief Brown as someone to watch closely.

"I think he deserves more playing time than what he is getting. He has advanced very well since the first of the year and he's another guy I want to get more reps in the bowl game and go from there," he said.

The two young corners also got a short assessment from Wommack.

"One of them (Standifer) needs a real good offseason, but Paul (Jackson) will take care of that. Anthony is very talented and will be good in time," Wommack said. "Q. played all over the place in the last couple of games, but moving forward we want to find him a home at corner and just rep him and rep him over and over. We think he has a lot of talent and potential. They can both help this team next year."

Wommack has been pleased with the overall progress of the defense from last spring training until now.

"We are deficient in some areas, but we knew that going in. In terms of how the ones we have are developing, they have made a lot of progress. Certainly this recruiting class will be big for our defense," he said. "We are playing better with our eyes, we are playing physical and we are playing fairly fast.

"I still go back to the Texas game when I think of this year. It was so embarrassing for us as coaches and players, but I think it showed the players where they were and they could either do it correctly or it would be a long year. They chose to improve."

Bottom line?

"We have a long way to go to be a really good SEC defense, but we have made strides. We have some tough guys who will hit you, but we have to keep developing and recruiting," he closed.

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