Practice Report: Wednesday

The Ole Miss football team marched one day closer to Sunday's opening game of the 2006 season with a full pad practice in the stadium today. Coach Ed Orgeron was pleased with the workout. Read about it inside.

The Ole Miss Rebels held a full-pad practice today in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium as preparations for Sunday's season opener against Memphis continue.

"We had a good practice today," Orgeron stated. "We continue to put in the gameplan, execute the gameplan and continue correcting mistakes from the day before. I was pleased with the way the guys worked today. It was a good day."

Coach O said the Rebels are responding well to the installation of the gameplan.

"Their retention has been good. They are trying hard and getting some positive things done," he continued. "I'm feeling better about this team, but I will feel even better the closer we get to game time. We're trying not to get too anxious because the game will get here soon enough and the game is a day later than a normal game week.

"Today was really like a Tuesday. Tomorrow will be like a normal game week Wednesday. We are just trying to get into the rhythm of a routine."

O was asked if any players jumped out at him today. He said there were a couple.

"You know who had a good day today? Jonathan Cornell (freshman LB). He made a lot of plays today. Also, (LB) Rory Johnson made a lot of plays. I was fired up about both of them today," he stated.

Asked if he has determined which players might redshirt this year, Orgeron said a definitive "no."

"There's no way we can say that right now because we are so thin at some positions. We can't make that decision now and probably won't be able to say it until the end of the year. All these young kids need to be ready to play and stay ready," Orgeron answered.

Coach O said there are still some personnel decisions being made, other than placekicker, which is still a two-man race between Justin Sparks and Joshua Shene that has not been determined yet.

"We have a couple of decisions to make along both lines in terms of rotation questions we have," he stated. "Who's going to play where and how much. We are evaluating our options on the offensive line in terms of backups.

"At receiver, we don't know yet. We know who is going to start, but we don't know how they are going to play. We expect them to play well and to have a rotation worked out, but we are a little iffy there."

O explained the positions that are, in his mind, solid.

"We are settled in the secondary, quarterback, running backs, the tight ends and two linebacker slots with Garry Pack and Patrick Willis, obviously," he explained. "We are looking for some others to step up. We know who is going to start at most line positions, but we are always looking for more production from all of them. We want to see if Rory can handle starting. We think he can, but he has to prove it more. And we are making evaluations and determinations on several young players and figuring out how they fit in the different rotations."

The Rebels, Coach O said, will wear their RED jerseys in Sunday's game against the Tigers.

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