After three days of split - varsity and freshmen - practices, Coach Ed Orgeron joined the two forces today for the first full team workout of the year.
He liked what he saw.
"We had a walk through this morning and some good film work today to correct some mistakes and the results of those meetings showed up in practice," said Orgeron. "We had flashes of players doing well all over the field and I think we are on schedule where we wanted to be.
"We are putting a lot of things in right now - offensively and defensively. Then we will correct things as we go and screw things down tightly when everything is installed.
"We had some players show up all over the field in flashes. Michael Oher had an excellent pass protection drill; Will Moseley is doing very well punting and placekicking; Robert Lane did some good things today, as did Micheal Spurlock. There were others too.
"Freshman DT Jada Brown decided he no longer wants to play football and he quit the team. We don't want attrition, but I think it's pretty normal. Kids get homesick or whatever and they leave. It's part of the business. We have to move on."
* The following players did not practice today: LB Keith Houston, TB Brandon Jacobs, S Mico McSwain, LB Rogers Loche, LB Robert Russell, PK Justin Sparks, CB Dustin Mouzon, DB Tyson Andrus, LB Dontae Reed, OL Reid Neely and LB Marquis McBeath. . . C Darryl Harris was injured early in practice and did not return. We do not know th extent of his injury at this time.
* RS frosh LT David Traxler was moved to number one left guard today. This was prior to Harris' injury, not a move to put LG/C Tony Bonds at center, but Bonds did take over the center slot with the number ones when Harris was injured. Thomas Eckers remained at number one guard, with frosh Michael Oher backing him up.
* Nate Banks played most of the day at the number one left corner slot ahead of Travis Johnson. With Dontae Reed out, Garry Pack manned their OLB slot all day with the ones. Frosh Quentin Taylor backed him up most of the time with the twos, but also played the other OLB slot as well.
* Dedrick Clark, who has been working at DT since last spring, was moved to DE today and was working with the number one unit ahead of Jayme Mitchell and Brandon Jenkins. . . On the other side, Corvelli Haynes worked with the one defense today ahead of Chris Bowers. . . Sounds like Orgeron is sending some messages and some players are stepping up and wanting to play.
* Frosh RBs Kendrick Perry and Antonio Turner both got rotation snaps with the tailbacks, but Jamal Pittman and Alan Abrams were ahead of them on the one and two offenses.
* It appears that Ryan Jones, who has been backing up Eckers at RG, has been moved to left tackle.
* Two freshmen who have been working on the defensive side of the ball were moved to offense today. Michael Hicks, who has been playing safety, and Lamark Armour, who has been working at DE, were both moved to tight end today. In pass scale work, Lamark had a 30-yard reception from QB Micheal Spurlock and showed signs of having good hands.
* With Taye Biddle not at practice working on his academics, the starting wide receivers in a three-wide set are Mike Espy, Mario Hill and Larry Kendrick, but the most impressive wide receiver today catching the ball was JUCO transfer Milton Collins, who caught everything thrown his way, including two acrobatic catches on long boms from QB Robert Lane.
* TB Hiram White's jersey number has been changed from #25 to #34.
* Today's defensive depth chart: Leo - Corvelli Haynes, Chris Bowers; DT - McKinley Boykin, Jeremy Garrett; DT - Michael Bozeman, Peria Jerry; DE - Dedrick Clark, Jayme Mitchell, Brandon Jenkins; OLB - Garry Pack, Quentin Taylor; MLB - Patrick Willis, Brandon Thomas; OLB - Kelvin Robinson, Dustin Forston; LCB - Nate Banks, Travis Johnson; FS - Charles Clark, B. Brown; SS - Jamarca Sanford, Kareem Moore; RCB - Trumaine McBride, Terrell Jackson.
* Today's offensive depth chart: TE - Jimmy Brooks, Lawrence Lilly, Robert Hough all rotating; LT - Bobby Harris, Ryan Jones; LG - David Traxler, Andrew Wicker; C - Darryl Harris (before injury), Tony Bonds; RG - Thomas Eckers, Michael Oher; WRs - Espy, Kendrick, Hill, Suggs, Pierce, Wallace, Collins in rotation; TB - Jamal Pittman, Alan Abrams, Turner, Perry, White in rotation; QB - Spurlock, Lane splitting time; FB - Jason Cook, Seth Michaelson.
* Right now, give these players a bullet for coming on strong: OG David Traxler, DE Corvelli Haynes, CB Nate Banks, DE Dedrick Clark, TE Robert Hough, RG Michael Oher, DT Peria Jerry, LB Quentin Taylor.
* A break for humor: One of the running backs fumbled during the team drills. Who recovered it amidst several bodies flying around? RB Coach Frank Wilson.
* Tempers flared a little today in pass rush/pass pro drills between the offensive and defensive players, but it cooled down quickly. Here's the deal - every game with be "easier" than any Orgeron practice.
* In placekicking drills today, the coaches introduced something new. Two units kicking at the same time - one set up for extra points; one set up for field goals of varying length. It seemed to throw the kickers off some as they did not the success they have been having. Neither Matt Hinle or Will Moseley hit for the percentage they have been getting, but frankly, we couldn't keep up with the rapid fire kicks to tell you the exact figures. Coach O likes to create distractions for his kickers to see how they concentrate and handle pressure. This appeared to be another method of doing so.
* In the running game today, from my perspective, the offensive line had a pretty good day against base defense. There were some nice holes being opened fairly regularly. The running game, right now, is doing a pretty good overall job, despite the uncertainty and personnel movement along the line
* QB Robert Lane looked more comfortable today than he has at any time since last spring. He made some real nice throws today and completed a good percentage of his passes, both the short variety with touch and three long passes. "We put in some new stuff yesterday and had some confusion in executing it," Lane said. "We were all on the same page today. I got in a groove and was confident in the pocket. The walk through this morning helped us get some things clear in our minds and it showed up this afternoon. The more reps I got, the more confident I got."
* Spurlock was equally effective, making some nice throws and running the ball with authority. Good day, overall, for the two top QBs.
* The Rebel defense had one session in the last period team drills of blitz. Coach O blitzed players from all directions and the pressure package was effective, disrupting the offense several times in a row before Lane found Collins in man coverage for a long completion. Overall, the blitz work today looked very good.
* The Rebs will have a walk-through again tomorrow morning and practice at 2:45 p.m., just like today. Then Thursday they will hold a morning scrimmage, set for 9:30.
Practice Report: Frosh, varsity joined
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