All Things Considered. . . .

Ole Miss Offensive Line Coach Matt Luke has, once again, been greeted with some unexpected roadblocks to handle, but he doesn't sound like a man who's strapped with more than he can handle. In fact, he's pleased - all things considered - with where they are now after one game.

Every time Matt Luke addresses the media after a practice, he has very little voice left from hard coaching that day.

"I'm faking so ya'll won't ask as many questions," he laughed hoarsely.

The media showed no mercy. . .

Q: How did Rod (Taylor) do at left tackle today (Tuesday)?

Luke: There was a lot of learning going on. It was an experiment to see how he'd do in case we need him there. We know he is athletic enough. At the same time I wanted to see how he was mentally after being out since early August with the shoulder issue. He did fine.

Q: How is he physically? Can he punch, no pun intended, with his right arm?

Luke: He looked OK. He can punch better with his left arm because the right shoulder is the one that was hurt. That's part of the reason we moved him to the left, but not all of it. I think he has a chance, for now, to be better on the left side due to his right shoulder issues.

Q: How did freshman Javon Patterson grade out?

Luke: As good as any freshman I have ever been around. He played liker a veteran. He was not a deer in the headlights. He was good on his assignments. He communicated well on the sidelines. He was calm and cool. I think being here in spring had a lot to do with that, but nonetheless I was very pleased with how he played. He's also a very bright kid. He is what you are looking for on and off the field. He is fun to coach and his teammates respect him already.

Q: Is there anything specifically you'd like to see him get better at besides just maturing?

Luke: He can get better with the little things - hands, footwork, awareness, but I couldn't be more pleased with where he is right now. He will keep getting better and better.

Q: What about your other freshman starter from Saturday, RT Sean Rawlings?

Luke: I am really pleased with him too. He played more snaps than anyone and graded out well. He just needs to keep developing like all young linemen. He has the right attitude. He wants to do well and he wants to please. He is a student of the game and very intelligent. You can win a lot of games with guys like him.

Q: How is Laremy Tunsil doing?

Luke: Laremy is good. I really don't want to comment on him too much right now. That's not in my jurisdiction, so to speak. Obviously, he's not excited but he's handled it well.

Q: What about Christian Morris at LT?

Luke: I thought all our backups did good assignment-wise because UT-Martin throws a lot of things at you and we were on top of everything very well. Christian has not playe din a long time and has been injured some, but he did a nice job. I was pleased.

Q: Where do you feel Aaron Morris is now on his comeback trail?

Luke: He's pretty good. I don't think he is 100% yet and Javon is pretty good. Aaron is going to have to play really well to unseat Javon, but Aaron has done a nice job with his weight and he's playing hard. When he gets to 100%, he will get his opportunity.

Q: Justin Bell lost some weight last spring. Has that helped him?

Luke: A little. Justin's athleticism will never be his strength. His toughness, his leadership and his experience are his strengths and what makes him special. All the guys look up to him and trust his insights. He has played a lot of games and knows what is going on out there and that gives him a chance. If we get Rod back like we want and with Jordan Sims coming along, Justin won't have to play as many snaps and that will make him more effective. Instead of 80 snaps and being tired for maybe half of them, we can play him 40 snaps and have him going fast the whole time.

Q: How did Robert Conyers do at center? He started at LSU at center last year, but this was really his first start he was totally prepared for, correct?

Luke: Yes. Last year, he was splitting time at tackle and center and he wasn't as prepared as he needed to be for center last year. Now he is practicing almost exclusively at center and it's helped him a lot. With the exception of one high snap, I thought he did well and he gave us more length inside. He's a tough kid who will only get better.


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