With starting SLB Garry Pack being the player dismissed, and backups Robert Russell and LeRon King being suspended, O was asked about the linebacker situation. There has been some speculation that SS Jamarca Sanford, who played linebacker briefly when O was first hired, might be moved, but O did not specify any names in his answer.
"We are going to be fine. We have Patrick (Willis), Rory (Johnson), Jonathan Cornell and some guys we may move around and check them out there. Some guys will have to step up," he commented. "I'm not ready to say Jonathan will be the starter at SLB yet. We will go through the week and see what goes on. I have an idea of who we will play and I think it is going to work out fine. I have a couple of guys I think are ready to answer the challenge. We are going to experiment with a couple of guys and see if they are ready to answer the bell."
There has also been some speculation true frosh FS Allen Walker may come into the picture now, but O refuted that. It appears he will be a redshirt this year.
"I don't think so. I would really hate to play anyone this late in the season who has not played yet. I don't think that's going to happen," he noted.
"We will be fine there. Robert is not practicing yet, but Jason is," he said. "We're fine there. We're in good shape."
The Rebels will be facing one of the premiere backs in the SEC in Kenny Irons this week.
"He is a hard-nosed, tough runner. He hits the hole hard with leverage. He breaks tackles and is a good inside runner. They have some guys who can run the ball and break tackles. They have a good scheme. They are going to run the ball and they know how to block eight men in the box," O assessed. "Auburn is not as complicated as Arkansas with their scheme in terms of preparing for them, but they will do things very, very well. They believe in blocking, tackling and playing hard. It will be a physical game and you have to be in the right spot and tackle their backs on a consistent basis."
O and Tommy Tuberville have a history. Teams they have coached for have faced each other four times. They also coached together at Miami in the 1980s.
"There are things I am familiar with about him and things he is familair with about me. We have similar backgrounds so obviously we will do some similar things, but we both do different things as well," O responded. "When I worked with Tommy, it was apparent he knew a lot of football, a lot of defense and was enthusiastic. He loved it. He spent long hours in the office. He was the linebacker coach and Coach (Sonny) Lubick was the DC, but Tommy called the plays in games. When Dennis Erickson came in, he let us teach the new staff the defense and he gave us a lot of say-so."
Coach O said Monday he hoped to get DT Peria Jerry back.
"He hasn't practiced yet, but if he is ready Saturday morning at 11:29, he will play. That's the way the season has been this year. I'd like to have a cutoff day, like Wednesday, but we are so thin, this year is different," he noted. "You'd like guys out there mid-week going full speed, but we haven't had that luxury. We've had guys playing on Saturday who haven't practiced at all during the week."
Orgeron also mentioned Monday he felt he'd have RG John Jerry back.
"John has not practiced yet this week, but I still think he should be fine," Orgeron allowed.
Coach O was asked several questions about the dismissal and suspensions from yesterday.
"I am not going to make any comments on that. I am keeping that all in house," he responded, three or four times.