Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron said today's full-pad practice in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium was not a typical "Monday" practice.
Yes, we know it's Wednesday, but with the opener with Memphis on a Monday instead of a regular Saturday game, today's workout was considered Monday of a game-week schedule.
"This is not a normal Monday practice," said Orgeron. "Normally, we will not work out in pads or helmets on Mondays, but since there was no game two days ago, we decided to pad up and get in a good workout."
The Rebels will work out in pads tomorrow, shells Friday, no pads Saturday and have their walk-through Sunday in preparing for Monday's season opener at Liberty Bowl Stadium.
Ed was pleased to have several players off - or partially off - the injury list today, particularly some offensive linemen who have been missing. It's not certain if any of them will be able to play yet, but they were at least at practice and dressed out.
"We got a little depth back today, we hope," he said. "We needed them back today if they are able to help us against Memphis. Joe Lee Dunn's defense presents some different looks and you have to prepare for them in practice. If they can't practice, it will be difficult for them to play, even if they are healthy."
Orgeron addressed several subjects with the media - the play of SS Jamarca Sanford, who had a couple of QB sacks on the day; the play of the QBs; trying to find a home for Brandon Jenkins and the handling of the disaster on the Coast with the players.
"Jamarca continues to improve. His blitzing has been more effective recently. He's honed up that part of his game very well," Orgeron continued. "At quarterback, I always need to look at the film, but off the top of my head Robert Lane had another good day. He had command of the offense.
"We moved Jenkins back out to defensive end today from DT. We are just trying to find him a place to help us. He looks to good not to be playing somewhere, but we are still juggling him a little bit back and forth. As far as the hurricane is concerned, we have addressed it with the team. A couple of them have not been able to get in touch with a couple of their relatives, but most from down there are in good shape. You have to address situations like this, but then you have to move forward the best you can. We are keeping a close eye on the effects it's having on the team, but so far they are handling it well."
* Center Darryl Harris dressed out in full pads today, but he had on a Blue jersey, signifying no contact. Darryl got some snaps with the first team offense prior to contact drills, but sat out the rest of the practice.
* OG Andrew Wicker dressed out in a White jersey today and started out as the number one left guard, but halfway through practice he was pulled out to rest his ailing foot.
* Tailback Alan Abrams was back in a White jersey today. During Monday's workout, he was in a Black scout team jersey. Looks as if he's back in the playing rotation. He took most of his reps with the number two offense, but did get a few number one reps.
* WR Matt Pierce was dressed out today, but like Darryl Harris, he was in a Blue jersey.
* Converted LB Keith Houston continues to work with the tight ends. He is currently running fourth team behind Robert Hough, Lawrence Lilly and Jimmy Brooks, but in an offense that routinely uses a three-TE rotation, he's one injury away from playing.
* RS frosh CB Terrell Jackson has been with the number two defense most of August, but today RS frosh Dustin Mouzon, with a cast on his arm that covered his entire hand like a boxer's glove, was dressed out in a Red (defensive) jersey and Terrell had on a Black scout team jersey.
* Senior DB Bryant Thomas returned to practice today and was in a Red jersey. He's playing some free safety and some strong safety, but his impact on the team will be on special teams.
* LB Dontae Reed was in a Black scout team jersey Monday, but he was promoted back to a Red jersey today and was running number two again at SLB behind Garry Pack. Frosh LeRon King was also running some second team SLB in a Red jersey.
* Frosh LB Robert Russell was sick today and did not attend practice. In his place, frosh Rogers Loche, who has been in a Black jersey, was in Red today and was backing up Patrick Willis at MLB.
* It appears that Dedrick Clark will start working on the offensive side of the ball now. It looks like the former DL will be an offensive guard, but at this point it's just an experiment.
* WR Milton Collins, OT Reid Neely and OL Ryan Jones were the only Rebels on the injury list today, besides Russell.
* RS frosh David Traxler was dressed out today in full pads and was playing number two LT behind Bobby Harris.
* QBs Micheal Spurlock and Robert Lane essentially split number one snaps. Spurlock got a few more than Lane, but combined they got all the number one and two snaps.
* In punt drills, the Rebel booters did not have a particularly great day. Will Moseley kicked seven times for a 38.5 yard average while freshman Rob Park kicked five times for a 38.2 average. Not bad, mind you, but not what they had done the last couple of practices, when both averaged over 42 yards a punt.
* On punt coverage, it appears WR Taye Biddle and TB Mico McSwain will be the outside gunners - the guys responsible for forcing the action inside and being the first defenders downfield. Lot of speed in those two.
* In running game drills, the offense had a fairly effective day, but the defense made some stifling plays as well. Here's a recap: (Ones) Pittman for 7. . . McSwain for 8. . . Pittman 4. . . Pittman 0 (Jayme Mitchell on the stop). . . (Twos) Jacobs -2 (Peria Jerry). . . Jacobs 3 (Dontae Reed). . . Lane to Suggs for 7. . . Jacobs for 25. . . (Ones) Pittman 2 (Garry Pack). . . McSwain 2 (Willis). . . Pittman 2 (Michael Bozeman). . . (Twos) Jacobs fumbles (Reed FR). . . Turner -1 (Reed). . . Turner 18. . . Turner 3 (Quentin Taylor). . . Turner 0 (Jerry).
* From passing drills, the Rebs went into an extensive scout team period, with the scout team running Memphis' sets on both sides of the ball against the one and two offenses and defenses.
* In team pass drills, Lane worked with the number one offense and Spurlock ran the two offense. Here's a recap: (Ones) Lane to Taye Biddle 14. . . Lane sacked by Mitchell. . . Lane to Larry Kendrick 15. . . (Twos) Spurlock sacked by Brandon Jenkins. . . Spurlock to Mario Hill 10. . . Spurlock to Burnell Wallace 35. . . (Ones) Lane run 8. . . Lane to Biddle 35. . . Lane run 3. . . Lane to Alan Abrams 3. . . (Twos) Spurlock sacked by Chris Bowers. . . Spurlock to Robert Hough 18. . . Spurlock incomplete to Mike Espy over the middle.
* In field goal work, Matt Hinkle (with Rob Park holding) was 3-5, connecting from 20, 20 and 29 and missing from 33 and 32 yards out. . . Moseley, with Spurlock holding, was 3-3, hitting from 20, 20 and 28. . . At the end of practice, Orgeron had the team gather around Moseley and try to distract him as he attempted a 51-yard game winner. He drilled it.
* In team drills, Spurlock went back with the number one offense. Here's a recap of the mini-scrimmage: (Ones) Spurlock to Biddle 8. . . Spurlock to Biddle 8. . . Spurlock to Hill 6. . . Drop over the middle by Biddle. . . (Twos) Lane to Suggs 6. . . Lane to Wallace 30. . . Lane to Antonio Turner 5. . . Lane to Hough 8. . . (Ones) Spurlock to Hill 18. . . Spurlock to Biddle 9. . . Incomplete scrambling. . . Spurlock to Abrams 2 (Sanford). . . (Twos) Macswain 12 run. . . Lane to Suggs 7. . . Turner 4 run. . . Lane keeper for 7. . . (Ones) Spurlock sacked by Sanford. . . Two incompletions under pressure. . . (Twos) (With Spurlock under center) Sacked on CB blitz by frosh Tyson Andrus. . . Two incompletions under pressure.
* Freshman DT Peria Jerry shows up in spots in every practice, with at least a couple of tackles behind the line. He said that is no coincidence, in his mind.
"I can feel I've gotten better. I'm in better shape, my techniques are better and I am learning to use my hands better," he noted. "I need to keep working on using my hands more effectively, but I feel good about the progress I've made."
Jerry currently backs up Bozeman and is making a case for pretty substantial playing time. He and sophomore Jeremy Garrett give the Rebs a chance of pace on the two defense. Starters Bozeman and Boykin use their strength more while Jerry and Garrett use their quickness as their strength. The foursome seems to compliment each other in styles.
* The Rebs will practice tomorrow at 3:45 p.m.
Practice Report: Game week!
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