But Coach Ed Orgeron did not let that affect the team at all as they put in a tough 2 1/2-hour workout in full pads with some periods of full contact.
"This was a good workout, even though we had some players missing," said Coach O. "I like the attitude I saw out here today. Guys were working hard and getting after it."
* TB Mico McSwain (shoulder) sat out today for the second day in a row. Orgeron said he believes Mico will be able to play Saturday against Auburn, but he will miss a lot of practice. Can he afford to? "Nobody on our team can afford to, but we have to do what we can do with him," Coach O stated.
* WLB Kelvin Robinson (concussion) also missed practice and Coach O called him "day-to-day." "He's staying into everything mentally so hopefully he will be back for the game, but it's day-to-day," he noted.
* In McSwain's absence, Antonio Turner and Larry Kendrick got most of the reps at tailback. Kendrick, who experimented at tailback in spring, ripped off a couple of nice runs today showing his elusiveness. On one run - a long TD jaunt - he faked outside and cut back inside, planting freshman DB Tyson Andrus. Simply froze him and broke into the open field. . . Turner also gained some good yardage on some physical runs in the 4-8-yard range.
* Freshman Quentin Taylor was in the lineup for K-Rob. He had a couple of busts the coaches corrected him on, but for the most part QT held his own.
* MLB Patrick Willis did not participate last week in contact work, but he did today. Boy, did he. As always, he was all over the field and in the full contact drills, he was laying lumber on backs. Typical P-Willie stuff. How good is that guy? We don't even know yet. The best is yet to come.
* During practice, both LEOs - Corvelli Haynes and Chris Bowers - went down to injury. Haynes is still struggling with a nagging shoulder injury, but is expected to be OK for Saturday's game. We're not sure on Bowers, but it appeared the trainers were checking his leg. We do not know the extent of his injury and Coach O did not comment on either player. . . In their absence, frosh Lamark Armour and sophomore Viciente DeLoach took some of their reps, but Coach O said they were "not ready" to make an impact yet. . . Don't know if this was just to get by today or not, but we also saw DT Jeremy Garrett take a couple of LEO reps. Probably just needed a body to get through practice, but you never know with Coach O. He'll swap a player in a heartbeat. By the way, Garrett, who has been nursing a sore shoulder the past two weeks, was full speed today and was not in a Blue jersey.
* TB Brandon Jacobs was back at practice today after being sidelined last week with a spider bite on his right arm. He was hospitalized for one day, but is OK now.
* The see-saw battle at left guard on the OL between Thomas Eckers and Andrew Wicker continues. Today, Eckers ran with the number one offense. Yesterday, they split time. Today, Wick was with the number two offense.
* WR Milton Collins is still missing practice trying to get some personal issues worked out, but we have been assured he is still in good standing on the team, he just is not practicing at this time. We do not know if or when he will return to the team this season.
* The Robert Lane "experiment" expanded today extensively. Robert was seen lining up at FB, TE, WR, Slot, H-Back - basically all over the field. He was used in the running game as a blocker today for the first time, but he did not run the ball - yet - from the straight fullback slot. We figure that's coming soon enough.
* Coach O said after practice there is a player the fans aren't hearing a lot about that has been invaluable to the team - transfer TB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. BJGE has been on the scout team simulating the star back for each opponent each week. This week he is Kenny Irons. "BenJarvus has had such a great attitude being the opposing tailback on the service team," said Orgeron. "He reminds me of Justin Fargas who transferred to USC from Michigan and had to sit out a year. He ran very hard against our number one defense and made us tougher and a better defense. The following year, he was our premiere back. BenJarvus has done the same for our defense - we are getting better, in large part, due to him and his toughness and the look he gives our guys every day. He has made us a tougher team."
* In field goal work today, Matt Hinkle was 7-10 and Will Moseley was 2-2. . . Hinkle hit from 20, 25, 25, 30, 35, 37 and 40, while missing from 30, 34 and 37. . . Moseley hit from 43 and 46 yards out. . . All kicks were live under a full-speed rush. . . The Rebs worked hard on shoring up their protection package and went against the number one defense, with Willis as the designated "leaper," on several kicks. The protection was perfect. The Rebs have installed three starting OL into the FG team - Michael Oher, Bobby Harris and Tre' Stallings - to give it more "umph."
* In 7-on-9 (running game drills), the defense was basically on fire except for the Kendrick burst for a TD. DE Jayme Mitchell, DTs Bozeman and Boykin, Willis and Jamarca Sanford were all over the field and making most plays at the line of scrimmage. Pretty dominant.
* The following is a breakdown of team drills: (Ones) Spurlock incomplete. . . Spurlock to Pittman 7. . . Spurlock incomplete. . . QB sack Sanford. . . Spurlock to Espy 10. . . Spurlock to Biddle 22 on blitz. . . (Twos) Flatt incomplete deep to Matt Pierce. . . Flatt incomplete. . . Flatt to Suggs 12. . . Flatt to Wallace 10. . . (Ones) Spurlock to Hill 25. . . Turner 6 run. . . Turner 5 run. . . Turner 7 run. . . Spurlock keeper 13. . . (Twos) Flatt incomplete deep. . . Flatt to Wallace 12. . . Flatt to Wallace 9. . . Kendrick 7 run. . . (Ones) Turner 3 (Willis). . . Turner 6 (Snaford). . . Spurlock keeper 8 (Clark). . . Turner 2 (Bozeman/Willis). . . (Twos) Flatt to Suggs 7. . . Kendrick 10. . . Flatt to Lane 18. . . Flatt to Suggs 6.
* DT Michael Bozeman assessed Auburn's running game. "Kenny Irons is a downhill runner, a dtermined runner and a quick runner. Auburn runs a similar running scheme (zone) to us, so we are kind of used to that. They have a big, phyiscal OL, but I think we will be alright. The key to the game will be us keeping Irons under control. If he gets loose much, we will lose. If we contain him, we win. We have to play our keys, don't miss assignments and continue tackling effectively - same as every week. We've gotten better on our assignments and keys and I think our tackling has gotten much better the past two games," he noted.
* The Rebs will practice tomorrow in full pads at 3:45 p.m.
|Photos by Chuck Rounsaville|