Practice Report: Wednesday

The Ole Miss Rebel football team resumed practice today with an afternoon scrimmage in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium after this morning's walk through practice. Reb Head Coach Ed Orgeron was somewhat pleased with the effort of the defense early on and the offense later in the workout. Read about it inside.

The Ole Miss Rebel football team went through a full scrimmage today which put Rebel Head Football Coach Ed Orgeron in a jovial mood.

"We scrimmaged in the stadium today and it went really well. The defense started out real strong at the beginning of the scrimmage," said Coach O. "The defensive line played better than they have been playing.

"Patrick (Willis) was in there the first half of the scrimmage and our defense looked very good with him in there, which we thought it would. We were pleased to see our defense make some progress. We caused some fumbles, made some sacks and just came along a little."

Toward the end of the workout, the offense started doing things better.

"We ran the ball better at the end of the scrimmage. Overall, I thought it was a very balanced scrimmage," O continued.

Willis getting substantial action made O a happy coach.

"He makes our whole team look better. It's just obvious when he is in there that everyone else plays with a lot more confidence," Orgeron noted. "He made a lot of plays. He looked fantastic. The overall picture of the defense changed with him in there. He had a pick, he stopped the run - he was all over the field. We knew he'd be ready, we have just been cautious with him. I did exhale though when I saw him making plays."

In the running game, O was pleased with all the backs.

"Mico McSwain made some good plays. Cordera Eason has some nice runs. Bruce Hall did a good job. BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran the ball fairly well, but he was in there early on when our first team defense was really doing a good job," Orgeron explained.

Coach O was not real complimentary of the DL yesterday. He said they picked it up today.

"Hayward Howard did a good job today as did Jeremy Garrett. Those two were very solid in there," he noted.

Coach O was also pleased with the tight end play.

"All of them - Robert Lane, Lawrence Lilly and Robert Hough - made big plays and showed up. Keith Houston did too," he added.

O was asked if any of the players who missed the work the media was allowed to watch Saturday and Monday are back. He did not get specific, but did answer affirmatively.

"We have some guys who missed with some regular camp deals, but a couple of them are coming back, yes," he said.

Coach O said the Rebels also worked every phase of the kicking game.

"We started off with placekicking. I think both (Justin Sparks and Joshua Shene) were 3-5. We looked good in kickoff returns. Our punting was better today. We worked on our punt block and punt return for the first time today and did a nice job," he explained.

Along the offensive front, Coach O said they perked up some at the end of the scrimmage.

"During the first part of practice, the DL challenged them. I was pleasantly surprised. Toward the end, the offensive line did a good job," he ended. "Out wide, I thought Dexter McCluster, Marshay Green and Shay Hodge looked good, off the top of my head."

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