Tidbits from media days

There has been a lot of speculation about what position/positions newcomers Mico McSwain and Larry Kendrick will play at Ole Miss.

Coach David Cutcliffe revealed in his Media Days press conference that McSwain, who played defensive back and running back/wide receiver in high school, will start out at wide receiver at Ole Miss beginning with tonight's first practice.

"Mico is the kind of athlete we want on the field and we thought he could get on the field quicker on offense," Cutcliffe said. "He has played some running back and wide receiver before, so we felt he knows what to do with the ball in his hands.". . .

Kendrick, the talented junior college transfer, will start out playing free safety and whip safety, according to Defensive Coordinator Chuck Driesbach.

"We certainly need him on the field because he is a quality athlete," said Driesbach. "We may use him in a rotation, if he can mentally handle it, where he spells WS Charles Clark some and FS Eric Oliver some. I think he can also be very valuable returning kicks. That's our initial plan - to teach him two safety positions and maybe a little cornerback and see where that lands him. The problem is that we are fairly established in the secondary and finding a home for him will be hard, but it's a good problem to have.". . .

Defensive Ends Coach Marion Hobby does not believe having bigger, stronger starting DEs this fall will hamper the pass rush the Rebels enjoyed from the edge last year.

"Cory Robinson and Jayme Mitchell aren't as fast as Charlie Anderson and Josh Cooper, but we've just got to coach them up and teach them great technique," Hobby explained. "I really feel they will be very good in run defense because of their size and strength and we will figure out a way, within this system, to get them to the quarterback.". . .

CB Trumaine McBride said if there is one thing he learned in spring it's that every snap counts in the SEC.

"There were times in spring, when I was the number one guy, that I would get tired and allow my technique to break down. That's a no-no in this league. You break down for one play and you are toast," he noted. "My goal for August is to not allow my technique to break down when I get tired. If I do that, which I will, I have the skill to play on this level."

WR Taye Biddle noted there were a couple of games last year when the Ole Miss receivers had a hard time separating from the truly good corners they faced in press coverage. He no longer believes that will be a problem.

"Some of us were very young last year and simply did not use good technique to shake corners at the line of scrimmage. The LSU corners come to mind most often," Taye said. "We worked hard in spring to become more physical and to use better technique when faced with those situations. I don't think that will be a major problem this year because we are a year older, a year more physical and a year wiser in technique.". . .

RT Tre' Stallings has been the starter at left tackle the past two seasons. He was moved over in spring and liked the switch.

"I'm naturally right-handed and feel more comfortable on that side," he explained. "My right-handed stance is more solid and I come out of my stance better from the right side.". . .

Cutcliffe has two concerns that seem to surface every time he discusses the 2004 team. One, depth along the offensive line. Two, expanded the roles of the defensive linemen.

"We are hoping in August that guys like James McCoy, Ryan Jones, and Tony Bonds will take care of depth on the interior of the OL, but we really need someone to step up big as the swing offensive tackle," he said. "I did not see that in spring and it is a concern. I am hoping Tony Sanders, Darryl Harris or Marcus Cohen will emerge. I also have a concern about our defensive front in terms of all these guys moving up in responsibility from being a backup to being starters and from being guys who got 5 snaps a game to getting 20-25 snaps a game as number twos. We will see, but both of those factors are important to this team and the season."

Cutcliffe's press conference will be posted later.

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