Practice Report: Tuesday

After resting his team for two days after the conclusion of two-a-days Saturday, Ole Miss Football Coach Ed Orgeron put the Rebs through a 2 1/2 hour workout today. LB Rory Johnson joined the team after being admitted to Ole Miss yesterday. John Jerry did not practice. Read about it inside.

Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron put the Rebels through a 2 1/2 hour workout today after the Rebels took Sunday and Monday off. It wastheir first "after school" practice and marked the start of their one-practice-a-day routine.

He was pleased with the defense in today's workout and was glad to see LB Rory Johnson, admitted to the university yesterday, on the field.

"The players are in the process of getting adjusted to practicing after school, but on their first day of that new schedule, I thought they did very well," Orgeron noted. "The defense was ahead of the offense today, by far. The defense had one of its better days today.

"(LB) Rory Johnson was with us today and I thought he practiced very well. He obviously has things to learn about our defense, but he looked pretty good out there. We couldn't tell a whole lot, but I'm glad to have him. (QB) Cliff Davis was back on the team today, which we are happy about."

Asked about Johnson's conditioning, O said Rory had "a ways to go."

"Rory has a lot of catching up to do in a lot of areas, but he'll get there. The team was fresh today after two days off, so it made him look even more behind," Coach O noted. "Rory is very happy to be here. He looked like he has a load off his shoulders. I think he will help us some in the first game."

Coach O said the Rebels did not hear anything officially on OG John Jerry today concerning his eligibility. John was held out of practice, by rule, but Coach O is very optimistic that a favorable ruling would be in hand shortly, if it did not come in during practice.

"We did not get a final answer on John, but we expect everything to be final, if not now, very soon," O explained. "We expect it to be positive news. He was not on the field today, but we expect him back out there soon."

O was asked to expound on his "defense did well" opening statement.

"We did better up front today, Patrick Willis had an excellent day. Rory showed up and the other linebackers had a great day. That's how it works sometimes," he smiled. "We had some picks today and made several big plays and that was exciting to me."

QB Brent Schaeffer, who has been resting a few days, returned to practice today, according to O.

"Brent played today and practiced well. We were glad to have him back after his rest," O stated.

Coach O said the wide receivers need to have a good week of practice this week and continue it right up to the opener.

"There's still a lot up in the air there. They are so young. They have good days and bad days. They just need a lot of reps to mature," he said. "They are all going to play, no matter who starts."

Coach O said the Rebels will start preparing for Memphis sometime this week.

"We will put some Memphis stuff in soon, this week. We haven't done anything yet, but we will," he allowed.

On the defensive line, Orgeron was complimentary of a couple of players today.

"DT Hayward Howard is starting to step up more and more and (DE) Marcus Tillman is starting to show he's learning the defense. Both of them have stepped up their games," he added.

The Rebels will have one more scrimmage - Saturday.

"We will have a mock game Saturday and that will be it as far as scrimmaging," he noted.

His film review from last Saturday's scrimmage was not much different than his live take immediately following the weekend workout.

"I thought the offense did very well. I thought the tight ends did real well and (QB) Seth (Adams) had a very good scrimmage, he threw the ball well. We made some mental mistakes on defense as far as leverage, alignment and little things. Those things are very fixable and we went back to those today to correct them," he evaluated.

Coach O's statment on Jerrell Powe was similar to what has been reported.

"I expect that we will get a response from the NCAA within a week. I don't know what the response will be, maybe they will need more information, they may say he's in, they may say he's not in. We don't know what to expect, but we expect it within a week," he stated.

O closed his post-practice press conference by discussing Willis briefly.

"His knowledge of the defense is better and he has excellent leadership abilities," O said. "Last year everything was new for Patrick. This year he knows. He's familiar with everything. Last year, nobody knew about Patrick. This year everyone knows about him, but he hasn't changed. He's still hungry. He's thirsty for knowledge. Good linebackers play with instinct, but they also know the formations and tendencies and their assignments before the snap. That's where he is now."

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