After the second practice for the freshmen - and a few varsity members - Coach Ed Orgeron was all smiles, despite some obvious drawbacks.
Even though several frosh could not practice due to injury, he was satisfied that progress had been made.
"In team drills, with both our young DTs out, we had to move linebackers into the DL to have enough bodies, but I think we made progress today with these young players," Orgeron, whose voice was just about to play out and was very raspy, noted. "We've thrown a lot at them but they are absorbing things well and learning what is expected of them tempo-wise.
"They got better and had a great day."
Orgeron ended the talk with the press by noting that Marrero, LA, DB Jabarre Mitchell has been kicked off the team for disciplinary reasons. He did not elaborate beyond that.
* Antonio Turner thought he was coming to Ole Miss as a fullback, but since he has been here - in two days work - he has played mostly tailback and - to this point - has been one of the most impressive frosh on the team, and a workhorse. He's got a shifty style and is quicker than his 220-pound frame would indicate. He could make some noise when he joins the varsity next week in full team practices. Of course, it's hard to tell without pads, but his look - up to now - is encouraging. . . His running back mate, Kendrick Perry, is playing some FB and some TB, and he has also looked good, but Turner is stealing the show right now. . . Also, RS frosh Hiram White, kind of the forgotten man in the TB rotation, has shown he wants to throw his hat in the ring too. Hirma had several darting, effective runs today.
* The problem with gauging the running game today was that DTs Peria Jerry and Jada Brown had to leave practice early due to dehydration or injury. That left DE Lamark Armour at DT head up with OG Michael Oher and a couple of LBs moved to DE against Maurice Miller and James McCoy. Pretty bad mismatch. They manhandled the undersized DL handily on most plays.
* Other frosh hobbling were CB Tyson Andrus, DE LeRon King, LB Rogers Loche and LB Robert Russell. . . Russell and Loche had a scary knee-on-helmet (Russell's knee on Loche's helmet) collision when both were going for a pass batted high in the air. The collision sidelined them both and was a direct hit, but neither injury appeared serious.
* The coaches currently have WR Milton Collins catching punts and Andrus and Gary Albury fielding kickoffs in drills.
* PK/P Will Moseley was moved down from varsity to freshman practice today and responded pretty well to the "demotion." In punting, he was booming the ball with good hang time. He had several in the 60-yard range with a breeze to his back. He was also 5-7 in field goal attempts, including one from 42 that was tipped by SS Kareem Moore.
* Several people have asked about OL James McCoy. He's working with the freshmen line in the afternoons along with Oher, Tim Henderson, Maurice Miller and Paul Hurd. No word on his progress, but he is on the team.
* The coaches put the afternoon group through a lot of individual drills today, getting them tuned in on fundamentals. On defense, there was an extensive period devoted to scoop-and-score, ball stripping and stripping the ball from the QB drills.
* TE Robert Hough, who is working with the afternoon group, will probably be a welcomed sight to varsity TEs Jimmy Brooks and Lawrence Lilly, who are having to run all TE reps in the morning session. Hough can run all day, and he has looked good catching the ball down the field with the freshmen.
* PK Justin Sparks planted wrong yesterday and is now wrapped from ankle to mid-thigh in heavy bandage. He has not kicked yet.
* LB Robert Russell must love contact, or he can't wait to get the pads on. Three times already the coaches have had to warn him about full tackling of running backs with no pads on. Looks like he has a headhunter mentality because he keeps grabbing them and slinging them to the ground.
* Both freshman QBs - Billy Tapp and Taylor Mazzone - have done some impressive things in practice thus far. Both seem to be getting a handle on the offense and both seem to have a knack of throwing to the right receiver at the right time. Both completed a couple of 25-30 yarders today - Collins was the recipient of one long pass from each - and they are both adept at dumping the ball off to safety valve receivers when nothing else is open. . . . "Things are going good for me," said Tapp, a 6-4, 220-pounder. "It's intense and hard, like I thought it would be, but I think I am adapting well and so is Taylor. I'm just taking things day by day trying to get better and get the feel of the offense. I think my mechanics are OK, but I'm working on a couple of little things with Coach (Noel) Mazzone to try to get my delivery perfect. I feel good."
* Some "big" plays in team drills. . . DE LeRon King caused a QB fumble when he hit Tapp, who was cocked to throw, from the blind side. . . King also tagged Turner going the opposite direction for a 1-yard loss by running down the line of scrimmage and catching him from the opposite side. . . Tapp made a perfect throw to Collins on the sideline just over the defender's reach. Collins dove and caught the ball for a 30-yard gain. . . Mazzone followed that with a perfect strike to the other sideline - also to Collins - an inch out of the reach of the defender - a perfect pass of about 35 yards. . . Hough was a constant target in pass scale, finding seams in the coverage in the 10-12 yard range. . . CB Bryant Thomas had a QB sack on a corner blitz. . . Thomas also nailed WR J.D. Lawhorn for a loss of five yards on a reverse attempt. . .
* Tapp and Mazzone also did double duty in practice by holding on field goal attempts. As we said, Moseley was 5-7 on FG attempts and Robert Bass was also 5-7 iwth a long of 45.
* The freshmen ended practicew with 10 10-yard sprints.
* The varsity will practice again in the morning at 8:45 in helmets and shorts and the freshmen group will practice at 3 p.m. We will ahve reports on both practices.
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