Grid practice report

The Rebels worked out in helmets and shorts today in preparation for tomorrow's "let-'em-play" scrimmage. Read Coach Ed Orgeron's comments about today's practice inside.

Rebel Coach Ed Orgeron put his football team through a 2-hour shorts and helmets practice today and worked primarily on special teams situations and goalline offense and defense.

The Rebels will hold a scrimmage tomorrow in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium beginning at 10:45 a.m. The practice is open to the public.

"By rule, you have to get in three days of work with no pads during spring. Today was our last day of that," noted Coach O. "From this point on, every practice will involved some form of contact. We felt today would be a good day for this since we will have a big scimmage tomorrow."

Coach O stressed the Rebels got a lot of positive work done in today's workout.

"We worked a lot of special teams situations. I think we are better in that area than we were a year ago in spring," he said. "We named Will Moseley first-team placekicker and he's hitting the ball really well. The punters are also doing a nice job.

"But we needed some inside work on punt team, work on sky kicks, sky returns, onside kicks, etc. We want to be more multiple in what we can do on special teams with fakes and other things."

O said he feels very good about the return specialists at this point in the process.

"Marshay Green and Mike Wallace are now the guys and Mico (McSwain), when he's healthy, will be a part of the return game," Coach O stated. "Marshay is very quick. He's a jitter bug out there. He can make you miss. He broke the Louisiana TD record and had two punt returns in the Louisiana All-Star game. He's just a playmaker and is really elusive."

Wednesday, Coach O announced a new number one offensive line of LT Michael Oher, LG Andrew Wicker, C Thomas Eckers, RG Maurice Miller and RT Darryl Harris. That lineup held up today.

"That looks like a combination that might stick, but we will certainly be looking at some new guys when they get here to see if they can break into the lineup," said Coach O.

Coach O said he has not seen much progress at the wide receiver slot, which is not good news from that graduation depleted unit.

"We have what we have out there. We are really counting on our freshmen that will be coming in," he noted. "Marshay and Mike are doing some good things, but we need others to step up."

O was asked about the progress of JUCO C Corey Actis, who started out as number one but has slipped to second team.

"He's improving, but he's got a lot of ground to make up. He has to get used to the way we practice and do things. He flashes and has the ability, but he hasn't gained the consistency we need yet at cener," O commented. "We cannot have another year of inconsistency at center - we won't. We will find someone who can handle that job in a consistent manner.

"I have found that to be the norm for JUCO linemen. Skill guys can come in and make an immediate impact, but linemen have a lot to learn from the JUCO ranks. Corey had most of his success in junior college on pure talent. Here, it takes more than talent. Corey has to catch on to what we are doing."

O discussed tomorrow's scrimmage briefly.

"We are going to let them play tomorrow. We've had controlled practices up to this time, but tomorrow we are going to turn them loose some," he closed. "We'll start off with live work with number one kickoff versus number two kickoff return and vice versa, number one punt versus number two punt return and vice versa.

"We'll keep the scrimmage basic. We are not going to run our full blitz package tomorrow, there's no need. We want to see who can play with good technique and I want to see the offense come off the ball and block someone. But if Dan (Werner) starts moving them too much, we'll start blitzing. (laughs)"

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