HOOVER, Ala. - Ole Miss head football coach Ed Orgeron brought the same enthusiasm and intensity to the media here Wednesday that he has brought to the Ole Miss nation the past six months. He let it be known from the get-go that nobody would outwork him and his team.
"We'll compete on a daily basis," Orgeron said in his first situation as a head coach to meet so many members of the media. "We'll come to work every day. We'll have a system and stay with it. And the results will come."
Orgeron told the several hundred gathered here that he was pleased to be back in his home area after many years in Miami, Syracuse, and Los Angeles, and that his family is very much at home in a smaller environment.
"It's good to be back in the South," he said. "I'm from south Louisiana, and my wife is from Jonesboro, Ark. Our kids love Oxford. They go fishing and play baseball all day. It's kinda like how I grew up."
But much of the focus of today's session was on his team. Orgeron remained positive about all aspects of his team and program.
"I am pleased with the talent level, especially at some positions," he said. "You have to run to win in the SEC, and we're strong at running back and fullback. Our offensive line will need some work. We're strong on the defensive line. We have a lot of guys at wide receiver who will do well. We have three tight ends returning. On special teams we have some players, and our punter and placekicker will be new."
As for the quarterback situation, Orgerson said the job is still open.
"It's a great opportunity for our young men to learn (at that position)," he said. "Micheal Spurlock is there and can run the offense we brought in from USC. Robert Lane only practiced seven times in the spring because of injury. Ethan Flatt didn't have a great spring but is in the mix. It will take all 11 players on offense to be productive, and the quarterback is only part of that."
Orgeron talked about the positives of his linebackers and he feels good about the secondary.
"We'll play good, hard-nosed, fundamental football," he said.
There were lots of questions thrown his way after his opening comments:
"How much was urban legend and how much was fact from your first meeting with the team?"
"We had a very good first meeting," he said. "Some of that was true and some of that was not so true. I wanted to set a standard from the very beginning."
"How much of your depth chart is set right now?"
"Our depth chart is etched in sand," he said. "I do want our team to know that it's special to start for the University of Mississippi."
"How hard is it to recruit to Oxford as opposed to other places you have been?"
"The best players are in the South," he said. "In the draft 47 players were chosen within six hours of Ole Miss. I love the competition. The better the competition, the better we'll be."
On in-state recruiting:
"We've visited every school in the state of Mississippi," Orgeron said. "I feel every young man born in the state of Mississippi wants to come to Ole Miss. I want to recapture the things they love about Ole Miss. We can have a distinct advantage in recruiting."
More from Orgeron on Thursday. Also stories and comments from Spurlock and Patrick Willis who were also in attendance in Hoover.
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