Ole Miss Football Coach Ed Orgeron marveled at what can be accomplished in a day after a tough, full-pad practice tonight ended.
This morning, he and several members of his coaching staff were in Los Angeles, CA, after scouting California JUCO prospects last night. Today, they were on the practice fields in Oxford, MS, leading the Rebels through a grueling full-pad practice in moderately cool conditions.
"Amazing what you can get done in a day if you put your mind to it," Orgeron noted. "We put in a full day today, but it was a productive one.
"I really liked the intensity level the players hit the field with tonight. It was good to get back to practice after a couple of days rest. We had to shake off a little bit of rust early, but it was really a great day."
Orgeron and his staff have done some personnel experimenting the last few days and it appears some of it will stick - namely frosh Michael Oher at number one right guard, Alan Abrams at tailback and Tony Bonds at center.
"Michael had a really good day last Thursday so we kept him at the top of the depth chart. He's improved a lot lately and is learning all his assignments pretty well," Coach O continued. "Alan is getting his shot. Hopefully, he can handle it because he fits the style of running game we would like to run. Since he had his suspension, he has done everything he is supposed to do and now he's starting to surface on the field as well. We'll see."
Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone echoed Orgeron's assessment.
"We think Michael has really improved lately and gives us more bulk and beef up front. Tony Bonds can be a good center, we think, and Alan's got the kind of moves and quickness we are wanting with our style of running attack," Mazzone noted. "So far, the personnel changes we have made are working OK, but we are still rotating several guys in the offensive line and several backs are getting good reps and good looks. Those three, though, got a lot of reps with the number one offense today and we will evaluate their performances when we watch the film."
* Everyone but OL Ryan Jones and OT Reid Neely was dressed out today and off the injury list, except TB Brandon Jacobs, who was not at practice. Not all of them participated in contact drills, but they were all dressed out.
* Here's a rundown of the personnel that has been on the injury list and their status: C Darryl Harris was dressed in a White offensive jersey today, but he did not participate in contact drills or full team drills. . . LG Andrew Wicker was in a White jersey today and went through all drills. . . WR Matt Pierce, who has been in a Blue jersey signifying no contact for over a week, was in White today and went through all drills. . . MLB Patrick Willis remained in a Blue jersey, but is expected to be fine for the Vandy game Saturday. . . WLB Kelvin Robinson dressed in a Blue jersey today but is also expected to play versus Vandy. . . LEO Corvelli Haynes, who was sick a couple of days last week, returned to practice in a Red defensive jersey and went through all drills. . . DT Peria Jerry, who missed most of last week, was dressed out today in a Red jersey, but his cotnact work was limited. . . WR Milton Collins, who has been out for over a month, returned to practice dressed in a Blue jersey, but he did not go through many drills. . . TB Brandon Jacobs was not at practice today and Coach O would not comment on his situation. . . WR Mario Hill was in a White jersey today after missing a couple of days last week. . . CB Trumaine McBride and DE Jayme Mitchell were nicked up in practice, but are expected to be fine. . . Also, CB Dustin Mouzon had the cast he's been wearing for a couple of weeks removed from his arm/hand and he practiced in all drills.
* In punting drills, Will Moseley had six kicks, all with good hang time, for a 39.5 average.
* As we mentioned in the intro, Abrams, Oher and Bonds got most number one reps today at their respective positions and all three were fairly consistent. Oher appears to be getting the hang of things and is starting to use his vast physical prowess to his advantage. Some of the confusion appears to be gone which is allowing him to play more aggressively, and it shows. He's certainly not a finished product yet, but he's getting there and adds some beef to the OL that struggled against Memphis. . . Abrams is a cutback runner in a cutback system. That ability served him sell on several carries during practice today. His vision and quickness give him a slight advantage in this system. . . Bonds adds a little more "umph" to the center slot and is a veteran who understands different defensive looks. . . We'll keep a close eye on these developments all week.
* At left guard, David Traxler and Andrew Wicker alternated quite a bit today, but mostly Traxler was number one and Wicker was number two. Both appeared to have fairly productive days.
* In the team running game period, the following is a breakdown: (Ones) Abrams gains 8 (Jamarca Sanford on the stop). . . Micheal Spurlock keeper for 12. . . Abrams 0 (Michael Bozeman - he was a M-A-N all day, nobody could block him consistently). . . Spurlock to Robert Hough on play-action for 16. . . (Twos) Mico McSwain 3 (McKinley Boykin - also a DL who caught everyone's eye today). . . McSwain 8 (Gary Riggs). . . McSwain 11 (LeRon King). . . Robert Lane keep for 25. . . (Ones) Jamal Pittman fumble (Jayme Mitchell covered). . . Abrams 4. . . Abrams 7. . . Abrams 1 (Quentin Taylor, filling in for K-Rob, on the tackle). . . (Twos) Antonio Turner, who had a real good day, 1 (Boykin). . . Turner 1 (Boykin). . . Turner 18. . . Turner 2 (Dedrick Clark).
* The scout team offense had a new tight end today - QB Billy Tapp, who made several nice catches from QB Taylor Mazzone. Tapp is still a QB, but due to a lack of bodies, he was asked to play some TE today and did a nice job.
* The scout team defense was a little light in the britches today. Lamark Armour and Viciente DeLoach were the DTs. They are normally DEs.
* TB Antonio Turner has been sort of an after thought the past couple of weeks, but today he ripped off some nice runs and was elevated to the regular rotation with the ones and twos. Where that leads him in the future, we will keep a watch on, but today he had one of the best days of all the backs.
* Senior Bryant Thomas got a few reps at SS with the number one defense, as did B. Brown. Sanford appeared to be having an "off" day and was replaced a couple of times by DB Coach Chris Rippon.
* In passing drills, the following was the breakdown: (Ones) Spurlock to Taye Biddle 8. . . Spurlock keep when protection broke down for 12. . . Incomplete. . . Spurlock to TE Jimmy Brooks 8. . . (Twos) Lamark Armour QB sack on Robert Lane. . . Lane to Brooks 6. . . Lane keeper for 10. . . Lane to Larry Kendrick 8. . . Lane to Biddle 6. . . (Ones) Spurlock two incompletions. . . Spurlock to Hill 15. . . Spurlock pass broken up by Patrick Willis. . . Spurlock to FB Jason Cook 8. . . (Twos) Lane to Burnell Wallace 15. . . Incomplete. . . Lane to Kendrick 7. . . QB sack Armour. . . Lane keeper 5.
* The field goal kickers hit a bump in the road today. Little went right for them. Frosh Rob Park did the holding today for all kicks. . . Frosh Justin Sparks was 1-4 from inside the 35, connecting from the 20 on his first kick then missing three straight. . . Moseley was 3-7, hitting his first three from 33, 37 and 44 yards, but then missing from 40, 50, 50 and 50. That area has got to pick up in the next few days.
* In a team mini-scrimmage, the results were as follows: (Ones) Spurlock to Kendrick 5. . . Incomplete. . . QB sack Quentin Taylor. . . Spurlock to Lawrence Lilly 9. . . (Twos) Incomplete. . . Lane to Biddle 12. . . Lane to Biddle 25. . . Armour QB sack. . . (Ones) Abrams 4 (Sanford). . . Spurlock to Abrams 1 (Mouzon). . . Antonio Turner 9. . . Incomplete pass. . . (Twos) McSwain 10 run. . . McSwain 2 (Robert Russell filling in for Willis). . . McSwain 1 (Boykin). . . McSwain 10. . . (Ones) Abrams 0 (Bozeman). . . Abrams -1 (Bozeman). . . Pass dropped by Abrams. . . Spurlock to Biddle 8. . . Spurlock to Kendrick 7. . . Spurlock to Mike Espy 5. . . (Twos) Lane to Hough 6. . . Lane to Kendrick 6. . . Lane to Wallace 8. . . Incomplete deep. . . (Ones) Abrams 2 (Bozeman). . . Abrams 3 (Russell). . . Abrams 5 (Travis Johnson). . . Turner -2 (Bozeman). . . (Twos) Turner 0 (Boykin). . . Turner 2 (Boykin). . . McSwain 0 (Dedrick Clark). . . McSwain fumble (Boykin covered). . . McSwain 6.
* The Rebels will take tomorrow off and then start up game week practice Monday.
Practice Report: Sunday night
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