Robert Lane

Ole Miss Junior Tight End Robert Lane was expected to be the number one target for new Rebel QB Brent Schaeffer. Through two games, Lane has no receptions, but neither he nor Schaeffer are discouraged about the way it's worked out thus far. Read about it inside.

Ole Miss Tight End Robert Lane caught a lot of passes in the preseason from Rebel Quarterback Brent Schaeffer.

Both drew positive reviews from Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron and Rebel Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner. The junior tandem was expected to be prolific in the passing game based on preseason chemistry and results between the two.

The best laid plans. . . .

Through two games, Lane has zero catches, but nobody involved is discouraged.

"I'm not discouraged," said Lane, the ultimate team player. "That's just the way football works out sometimes. Touches are based on what the defense gives you and against Memphis, they were giving us BenJarvus running it and Dexter (McCluster) catching it. I was happy for those guys and we won.

"Against Missouri, I was in the gameplan and we tried four or five throws my way, but we didn't connect. Good coverage, pressure on Brent, it just didn't work. That's just part of the game. We have to be patient."

Lane has been resolute in his declarations about being a tight end.

"Ten catches or zero catches - it doesn't matter to me. I just want to do what I can to help the offense produce and help the team win," he said for the umpteenth time. "My chances will come, they just haven't in the first two games."

Werner and Orgeron said basically the same things about Lane's contributions.

"He's helping us in other ways right now because the other teams know I like to go to the tight end and they have kind of taken him and the other tight ends away from us," Werner added. "He was doubled a lot against Memphis and was given extra attention against Missouri. We had him open two or three times against Missouri and just missed him.

"One time we had him open on a little flare and Brent missed him. That one would have been a big gainer and was set up perfectly with Robert going to the right flat and everyone else going to the left. We'll keep working it and sooner or later it will happen for us."

Lane said he expects more defenses to try and take him and Lawrence Lilly and Robert Hough out of the game.

"Every defense tries to take the tight end out of the passing game, especially when they know you have young wide receivers," Robert said. "We just have to keep working hard to get open and get the ball. All the coaches have the tight end position in the gameplan. As long as that is the case, it will happen."

The game against Missouri was not only frustrating for the TEs from the standpoint of not getting the ball, it was frustrating from the standpoint of the offense not getting much going - period.

"We had a good day against Memphis offensively, but we just didn't execute against Missouri like we needed to in order to produce," he assessed. "They were too good to make mistakes against and still expect production.

"We had one person missing a block or an assignment on just about every play, and it wasn't the same guy or the same position. It was the whole unit messing up. Coupled with Missouri being a sound defense, it spelled a disaster for us offensively."

Surprise is the best way to decribe Lane's emotions following the battle with Missouri.

"We missed a few assignments or we would get beaten physically or we would take a bad step and get out of position to make a block. It's all correctable, but it was surprising as it was happening after we played a pretty clean game against Memphis and their tricked-up defense," he explained.

As a veteran, Lane understands the importance of letting the Missouri game go and focusing on the next opponent - Kentucky.

"We need to get off to a fast start and erase this bad taste in our mouths. We need to get points with our first possession," Lane said. "We need to have a good showing.

"Missouri whipped us, basically. They whipped us because we didn't play the kind of football we are capable of playing. Hopefully, we learned a lesson about focus and attention to detail and intensity. Hopefully, we learned a lesson about what it takes to play on the road when 95% of the people in the stadium are against you and there's only a handful trying to prop you up emotionally.

"We are a young team, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from our mistakes and learn not to make them again."

Robert was reduced somewhat to a blocker against Memphis due to having to max protect most of the time against a pressure defense. Versus Missouri, he was double covered some and always given special attention by the Tiger defense.

He expects more of the same in the future weeks.

"I will just have to learn how to compensate for all of that," he closed. "It's up to me to get open, no matter what a defense is doing. It will happen."

OM Spirit Top Stories