Practice Report: Saturday

What looked like a couple of thousand Ole Miss fans crowded on the North hill of the practice fields to watch the Ole Miss Rebel football team scrimamge today on Meet The Rebels Day. QB Brent Schaeffer, who "needed a rest," did not participate, but the scrimamge was successful, according to Rebel Coach Ed Orgeron. Read about it inside.

The Ole Miss Football team treated a couple of thousand Rebel fans who were on campus for Meet The Rebels Day to a 2 1/2 hour open scrimamge today on the practice fields.

Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron had a mixed reaction about the work. No. 1 QB Brent Schaeffer did not participate in the workout. Orgeron cited "he needed some rest" as the reason why he didn't.

"I thought it was a balanced scrimmage. The guys came out a little sluggish and made some mistakes at the beginning, but they battled back and forth after the rough start," said Coach O. "I wanted to see Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis run the ball some today and I thought he did a nice job. The offense made some nice plays on third down at the beginning, which was good to see."

Big frosh OL John Jerry got the nod today as the number one right guard.

"We think he's about ready to be a first-teamer. We just need to get him in more game-type situations and see if he can pick up the gameplan, which we think he can," explained O. "We feel he's right there. He's been pretty consistent. He's a big guy who can move and is athletic. He's what we need in the middle of our OL. I think he's further along than Micahel Oher was this time last year because John had a year of prep school at Hargrave. He's just so physically dominating and he can move so well. It's beautiful and rare to have a guy that big who has the feet he has."

Seth Adams worked as the number one QB today and moved the first unit down the field on several occasions.

"He did pretty good. He showed that he can go in there and run the offense. Seth's not going to do anything spectacular, but I think he could go in there and do the job if he had to," Coach Orgeron allowed.

Orgeron held number one QB Brent Schaeffer out of the lineup today to give him a rest.

"He's been doing fine, but we are never going to know for sure until he plays a game," said O. "He just needed a rest today. Do we think he can do it? Yes, but we want to see it in a game. I think Brent put our prgram at least three years ahead by coming here. We did not have another QB like him around here. If we hadn't gotten him, I think we would have been in some trouble. We knew he was a graet QB when we recruited him.

"He's caught on quickly and he's very important to the team. He grasped the offense very well and makes very few mistakes. He's made some, but not many. We will put him in more live situations next week to see how he performs."

Orgeron was not overjoyed with the production of the wide receivers.

"We didn't get it done there. No way. No way we are where we are supposed to be there, but I was pleased with the tight ends. They made a lot of plays today and made some big catches on third down. Robert Lane, Lawrence Lilly, all of them," he said. "I think they will be our best receivers because they have experience."

On defense, Orgeron was happy with the play of CB Nate Banks, who had one interception and a couple of pass breakups during the day. He wasn't as happy with the defensive line play, that went without LEO Chris Bowers and DE Peria Jerry again today.

"Nate is quiet. He just does his job. He has what it takes to do the job and he makes big plays," Orgeron stated. "On the front, we are not where we need to be. Hayward Howard is starting to show some consistency, but we have to dig in this week and get better."

The Rebels had a period of kickoff returns O was pleased with.

"Dexter McCluster had a nice return. That unit has been consistent because we have more speed in our return people and the attitude that Coach Frank Wilson has brought to that unit - he's coaching it," O noted. "We fixed some things that were broken last year and Dexter gives us some more speed back there."

Asked if he is more comfortable now than he was a year ago, Orgeron said yes and no.

"I don't know if I will ever be comfortable, but I feel that I know my team better this year and I'm more comfortable with my staff this year. There's no doubt about that. I'm very aware of everything that goes on and I like the hard work and organization I am seeing," he assessed. "Are we performing like we should? No. We are still not there, but I think we are going in the right direction in a lot of areas."

DE Reterio Brown, TE Jason Hawkins and frosh QB Cliff Davis were not at practice today. O was asked about them.

"I haven't talked to Cliff so I don't want to comment about him yet, but Reterio and Jason will not be on the team this year. I don't want to make any further comment about it," he said.

Once again, MLB Patrick Willis got in some valuable full-speed work and O commented on Will LB Quentin Taylor's prgoress.

"Patrick was supposed to go two series and went four. I had to take him out, but it was good for him to get some live work. He's Patrick - he makes plays. You can tell the difference in our defense when he's in there," Orgeron added. "Quentin is coming along. His conditioning is better and his attitude is better. He also knows more about the defense. We expect Rory Johnson to come in next week and challenge one of these guys. I don't know if he can be ready for the first game, but we need him to provide some immediate depth. Quentin will have to step it up when he gets here."

O also had some good things to say about true frosh DE Marcus Tillman.

"He's unsually mature for a freshman. He's in great shape and has the size and speed you'd expect an SEC DE to have. Obviously, he doesn't have the techniques down yet, but he's already performing where he will be in the rotation this year for sure," Orgeron closed.

We will have a compilation of our scrimmage notes in another story in about an hour.

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