Football notes. . .

The media had an opportunity to do quick interviews with a lot of Ole Miss football players recently. It was a bang-bang deal, but some of the comments from various players were revealing in terms of what's happening in the Rebel camp. Read about it inside.

The following are quotes from the mini-interviews conducted during a recent media opportunity with various players and assistant coaches.

* TE Robert Lane on QB Brent Schaeffer: "Brent's mature. He's got SEC experience and it shows on the field. He takes command of the huddle and runs the plays successfully. He's a little bit behind, but he's learning quickly and he had a real good day Sunday. He's further along than I thought he'd be. I'm trying to build a relationship with him and let him know I'm there for him if he needs anything. So far, the timing between him and the TE position has been very good. I caught seven or eight balls in 7-on-7 Sunday."

* Lane on his transition to TE: "It's been a tough transition because it's so different. I've never blocked before, but I'm making good strides and feel I'm doing well now. You have to be real tough to get in the trenches with the big guys every play. And you have to learn how to get off of linebackers to run your routes and get open. I'm having a great time."

* Lane on the 2006 season: "We are on the same page a lot more this year. Everyone is together in this deal. I think the coaches have everyone in the right positions, we're working hard and we have more talent here than we are given credit for. We're pleased with the way things are going."

* TB Mico McSwain on playing TB and not WR, for now: "BenJarvus (Green-Ellis) and I are splitting time right now. Cordera Eason is also getting some reps and looks good. I'm not surprised I'm at tailback and not at WR, but it really doesn't matter to me. I have said all along that I will do what I need to do to help the team. I want to be on the field, but I don't care where. I prepared a little for WR in the summer just in case, but we have some freshmen who are stepping up and I don't think the need there is as great as the coaches thought it would be."

* QB Brent Schaeffer on his first three days at Ole Miss: "I've gotten acclimated to the weather, the pace and the other players. We're working hard every day and doing what we can to get better. So far, everything is what I expected. I had a chance to study the playbook before I got here and practice is just like looking at the pages in the book. I think since this is a new offense, the coaches kind of started over with a refresher course in August and that gave me a chance to kind of catch up from spring. I'm able to keep up this way."

* Freshman CB Cassius Vaughn on what he believes will be his impact on the team: "I know I can help this team, but my contributions will be more from a team standpoint than an individual standpoint. I can fill in where needed. I can help on special teams if they want me to. I can help, but I'm not thinking about me right now. I'm thinking how can I help the team. The way I can help is to make myself better and try to fill in wherever the coaches think I fit. I'm playing corner right now behind Trumaine McBride and Terrell Jackson. Turmaine has helped me a lot. He's showed me some little things and he's teaching me patience at the position. He's also helping me understand the concepts of corner in this system. I've played corner before, but the speed of the game is so much different that you have to play with more technique and be a lot smarter. Foot speed is not a problem with me, but I'm having to speed things up mentally a lot."

DE Marcus Tillman on his first impression of college ball: "I feel I'm coming along alright. I have to get used to using my hands and the techniques to beat bigger guys on the line of scrimmage. Most of it is coming to me pretty naturally, but I've got a lot of work to do too. I'm weighing 262 now and that's a good weight, so I feel good physically. Where I have to catch up is in recognition of what the offense is trying to do - I have to react quicker. I feel good where I am right now, but I can see where I need a lot of repetitions to be able to compete effectively on this level."

* MLB Patrick Willis on his health: "My foot is doing well. I have had no problems in practice so far. I have pushed it all three days and it's fine. It's to the point right now where I'm not worried about it. I haven't had to pull back yet, which is better than I hoped for as I headed into camp. I figured I was going to have to take some down time, but I haven't and I have had no soreness after practices yet. I'm putting everything in God's hands. I have total faith in whatever happens.". . . On John Cornell: "He's smart. He has a lot of heart and he comes to practice every day. He's calm player who doesn't get overwhelmed and he takes leadership from the veterans. I like him a lot as a person and a player."

* WR Dexter McCluster on his progress: "My plan was to come out and make an impression on my teammates and coaches. I wanted to show them my work ethic and that I am a team player who will do what it takes. I think I have done a lot of things well. I'm catching the ball very well and I'm retaining what Coach (Matt) Lubick is teaching me, I think. I watch a lot of film. I know I am young, but I feel like I am making steady progress."

* WR Mike Wallace on some of the young receivers and on Schaeffer: "The young receivers are doing real good. Kendrick Lewis, Dexter, Markeith, Shay - all of them look like they will be ready to play this year. A couple immediately, a couple in the few games. I'm real excited about them because they have come in here competing and working hard and with great attitudes. Brent? Oh. man. Every throw comes out with a spiral, every throw is on target. His throws are just the right velocity - not too soft, not too hard. He's something. He's making some great reads too, which surprises me since he's just now learning the offense. Once he's been here the whole camp, look out. His throws are coming in there perfect, on the money. There are no excuses for dropped balls now. I have only seen him throw two bad balls in three days. The OL has really improved too, which has given him time to operate. He hasn't had to run but a couple of times when he's been flushed from the pocket. And he can do that too."

* WR Coach Matt Lubick on his young WRs: "My first impression is that I'm very impressed with their eagerness to learn - they are putting in a lot of time on their own beyond practice. I'm also impressed with their confidence and competitiveness. That's a special quality for freshmen. They want to compete and they want to play now. These aren't nervous freshmen feeling their way. These are guys who think they should be playing. Athletically, they are also impressive. They can all run and catch. It's just a matter of learning the offense. They haven't backed down from the level of intensity expected here and on the college level. They have all responded to that like champions."

* LG Andrew Wicker on the progress of camp: "It's going real well. Everyone is very positive about what is happening. We have a lot of freshmen who were projected to make an impact when they signed and they are doing just that. They are looking real good, not like normal freshmen. The veterans are coming along well too. We have a very positive outlook this August. Reid Neely is backing me up and doing well. We're all still learning some of the finer points of Coach (Art) Kehoe's methods, but we're getting things down. I really like the potential of John Jerry. He will help our OL in a hurry, I think. He's a great athlete to be so big. Amazing feet and quickness for a 350-pounder."

* Offensive Corodinator Dan Werner: "My first impressions of Brent are very positive. I had never seen him throw in person until Saturday. I've seen film of him, but it's the first time I've seen him in person. I'm impressed. He has a lot of zip on the ball and he's accurate. The thing I am impressed with is that we have talked a lot about the offense. It's one thing to talk about it, another to actually run it against a defense and know where to go with the ball. I can see he has a real feel for where to put the ball. He's studying a lot on his own and watching a lot of film. You can tell he wants it and that's half the battle. It's just been two days, but I went into this thing with a thought in my mind of where he would be. He's right there, or maybe a little ahead. I'm very pleased. I've been doing this a long time and usually they (QBs) are behind where you think they will be. He's not. Now we just have to give him a million reps to get him ready in four weeks. I am also happy with the retention the rest of the guys have from spring. They've been working hard all summer on their assignments and it's obvious in August drills so far. You can tell they were studying and it's been a good carryover from spring. We didn't want to start all over again. We wanted to pick up where we left off at the end of spring. That was up to the players and what they did in the offseason. They did not fall behind in the offseason, which is critical to our progress this fall."

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