Coach Ed Orgeron practiced the Rebels in the Indoor Practice Facility for 45 minutes in shorts and shirts today, emphasizing tackling fundamentals and getting an early start on the gameplan for Saturday's opponent - the Tennessee Volunteers.
The rebels, despite being 1-2 and fresh off a loss to Wyoming at home, had an energized practice.
"The kids had a lot of energy and enthusiasm today. They were feeling good and ready to get back to work," said Orgeron. "In this business, you have no choice. We've got to be able to put the past behind us and move on.
"We watched a lot of film today, showed them what they did right, corrected what they did wrong and now have our sights set on Tennessee. You can't dwell on wins or losses very long because you've got to play again in five days and there is a lot to do to get ready."
* The Rebels defenders worked with tackling sleds in a brief period on the fundamentals and form of proper tackling, which has been a deficiency the past couple of games. "We have to get better at bringing people down and being sure tacklers," said Coach O. "I think that has been obvious the past two games after a pretty good tackling effort in our opener."
* Three players who did not practice, or practiced very little, last week were working full speed today - WR Mario Hill, SS Jamarca Sanford and QB Micheal Spurlock. . . MLB Patrick Willis was still sidelined and FS Charles Clark was held out today, but is expected to practice this week. "We don't think Mario and Jamarca are full go right now, but we hope they will be by the end of the week. We're trying everything we can to get them back," O noted. "We're not sure when we will get Patrick back at this point."
* The Rebels have changed their numbre one offensive line once again in an effort to find the elusive chemistry and consistency they are searching for. Darryl Harris has moved from center to left guard and Tony Bonds has been elevated to the number one center position. "Darryl was our best guard in spring, so we feel it will be a benefit to the unit to put him there now. Tony made some progress last week at center so we are going to look hard at that combination," said OL Coach George DeLeone. "Hopefully this lineup will work and we can use it the rest of the year to gain some continuity and cohesiveness.". . . Seniors Tre' Stallings and Bobby Harris are still the number one tackles and frosh Michael Oher is the right guard.
* Senior Micheal Spurlock worked with the number one offense today after - somewhat - sparking the offense in the second half of the Wyoming game, despite wearing a cumbersome cast on the broken finger of his left hand. "When we have a running play going to the right, I have to hand off with the ball in my right hand," said Spurlock. "That is the only unnatural thing about the cast. The running backs and I have worked hard on that different move and they are aware to be watching for the ball very closely. Other than that, I've had no problems with the snap or throwing the ball or handling it."
* The number one defense today had McKinley Boykin at one DT in front of Jeremy Garrett. . . Frosh Robert Russell is still the number one guy in place of Willis at MLB. . . Jamarca Sanford was running with the number one defense at SS and B. Brown, who replaced Sanford last week at SS, was working with the one defense in place of Charles Clark today.
* It is apparent this week that, unless something drastic happens, Mico McSwain and Antonio Turner will be the top two tailbacks. Orgeron said in his press conference today that McSwain will be given more of the offense and more opportunities with the ball in his hands this week and that freshman Turner "fits the running game we are trying to install." They were the most productive against Wyoming, so it's hard to argue with that move.
* The Rebs are slated to practice in full pads tomorrow at 3:45.
Practice Report: Monday
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