Practice Report: Rebs work in full pads

Even though several players are out with injuries, and even though there is a noticeable amount of weariness due to two-a-days and nearly two weeks without a break, Coach David Cutcliffe had good things to say about this morning's full gear workout.

"We are banged up and tired, but the kids responded well today under those circumstances," said Cut. "They were spirited and we had good contact work. They are doing a good job of battling through the fatigue. They are sore, tired and a lot of them are having to do extra reps due to so many missing time, but they understand that this is what it takes and have approached it with a good frame of mind.

"Tonight's practice will be nothing more than a rehearsal for tomorrow's scrimmage. We need to do some mental work and we need a little rest before tomorrow. We were planning 100-plus snaps for tomorrow, but I'm not sure if we will go that many. It will depend on who we have available. We have some kids who have been out who are close to being back, but I doubt if we will risk reinjuring them by working them in the scrimmage."


* The Rebs began practice today on the practice fields, but the residuals from last night's rain in Oxford left the conditions unstable. Cutcliffe moved the practice into the stadium midway through when some receivers started slipping in cuts. The weather was breezy and overcast. A light rain fell during the last period.

* Injury update: DT Daniel Booth is out with a calf muscle pull. No word on his return. . . FB Rick Razzano returned today after sitting out three days with a concussion. . . OG Doug Buckles came back today after sitting out yesterday with a mild concussion. He did not go through a lot of contact work, but he said he feels "much better.". . . OG Marcus Johnson returned to practice this morning after missing yesterday afternoon to attend a funeral. . . WR Mario Hill has been out a week with a hamstring pull. He was dressed out today and went through all drills. . . WR Kerry Johnson said he's still not 100% after sitting out the better part of a week with a hamstring pull, but he thinks he will be able to go in the scrimmage tomorrow. . . RDE Cory Robinson dressed out today after missing a few days with a hamstring pull, but he was limited and did not go through full contact drills. . . S B. Brown had to leave practice yesterday with an asthma attack, but he was back today. . . DT Andrew Wicker is out with a toe injury. No word on his return. He missed yesterday and today and is doubtful for tomorrow's scrimmage. . . WR Cameron Myers is still struggling with tendonitis in his surgically repaired knee. . . LB Shawn Johnson missed yesterday's work with a mild concussion, but he was back at practice today. . . CB Joshua Braithwaite is out with a knee injury, the extent of which is not known at this time.

* In a release from sports information yesterday, a health care partnership for Ole Miss student-athletes with Baptist Memorial Hospital was announced. Trainer Shannon Singletary discussed with us the benefits of the union.

"This agreement with Baptist Hospital puts us on the same level with all SEC schools in terms of health care for our student-athletes and ahead of some," Singletary said. "Athletic training has evolved into something beyond the old days of taping ankles. We have 490 athletes to care for in all sports.

"The partnership with Baptist Hospital allows us to offer a team of health care professionals and services that will take athletes through every phase of health care from pre-practice physicals to diagnosis to whatever procedure is necessary to rehab to treatment to counseling and emotional support and all the way to nutrition guidance.

"Couple the alliance with Baptist Hospital with th new facilities we are about to open with hydro therapy equipment and other things we can now offer and we won't have to farm out, so to speak, anything involved in the care of our athletes.

"This partnership allows us to provide complete health care - second to none - to our student-athletes. With our facilities, our in-house and extended staff, our Baptist Hospital package and everything else we have available to us now, we can tell prospective student-athletes and their parents that no university will have better health care. This team concept we have now will not only be better for the student-athletes, but it will be more cost effective for the athletic department.

"Our whole goal is to keep out athletes healthy so they can not only perform better on the field, but now we can use our resources to give them more proper lifestyle choices in terms of their diets and nutrition. We will also have a bigger team of specialists to help with counseling and emotional situations.

"With our agreement with Baptist, and the extra hands they bring to the table, we will also be able to give better care to every athlete, no matter what sport they play. That has been our goal all along, and we have tried to reach that, but sometimes we just did not have enough hours in the day and enough personnel. Now we do."

* The Winning Edge today centered on one little word - respect. "All outstanding teams have one thing in common - respect. They respect each other, they respect their opponents, they respect effort, they respect the words of the coaches and the veterans who have been there and have achieved. Respect - it's a winning attitude."

* In Oklahoma drills today, DE Dedrick Clark, LB Rob Robertson, DT Chris Herring, DE Brandon Jenkins, DT Michael Bozeman, DE Jayme Mitchell and DE Corey Mills showed up well for the defense. As we have explained before, this drill is designed to give the offense an edge, so we just list the defensive players who rise above that disadvantage and get a "win" on their snap.

* Today, Dedrick Clark was moved to the right side. With Cory Robinson ailing, Corvelli Haynes nicked up (groin) and Viciente DeLoach struggling with asthma and simply not executing right now, Coach Marion Hobby is playing a bit of musical chairs. "We can't wait on guys to get healthy. We have to practice as if they aren't going to be available," Hobby noted. "Jayme Mitchell and Brandon Jenkins are left ends. Dedrick can play both. Cory's been hurt, Corvelli's been hurt and Viciente has not performed well. Freshman Chris Bowers is making big strides, but Dedrick is much further along in his development so that is where we went today." The Rebs need Robinson to get healthy and stay healthy - pronto.

* The kickoff team, if the first game was tomorrow, would include: Iroko Ayodele, Marquis McBeath, Brandon Jacobs, Patrick Willis, Eric Oliver, Kelvin Robinson, B. Brown, Keith Houston, Bryant Thomas and Charles Clark. . . Jonathan Nichols is the number one kicker. Backup punter Wesley Bryan, who worked on kickoffs this summer, would probably be number two at this point. . . Interestingly, freshman LB garry Pack was on the second kickoff unit. Usually those slots are reserved for available players. In other words, for players who are not likely to redshirt. Hmmmm.

* Catching the ball, for whatever reason, has been a sore spot this fall camp. Today, it seemed to improve significantly. There were still a couple of drops, but overall it was a pretty good day for the wideouts and tight ends. All the QBs were "on" and all the receivers had good days. A welcome sight.

* Freshman QB Paul Eck continues to impress sideline observers with his fluid release and vision of the whole field. Good prospect for the future, if first impressions hold water.

* We will not do a practice report tonight on the walk-through. The scrimmage will start tomorrow morning at 9:15 in the stadium. Meet the Rebels will be from 1-3:30 p.m. It will be held in The Grove, weather permitting, but the forecast is for rain. If it rains, Meet the Rebels will be held on the East Side under the stands.

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