Dan Werner -

Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner is not a finger-pointer. He accepts all responsibility for the production of the Rebel offense, but the only "constant" he's had on offense thus far is junior TB BenJarvus Green-Ellis and a mostly-solid running game. Read about it inside.

It's hard to remember the exact details of the 38-3 loss to Arkansas last weekend and, frankly, too painful to look up.

But when I reflect on the game, the thing that stands out in my limited memory is big plays - Arkansas making them and the Rebels not making them.

When we asked Ole Miss Offensive Dan Werner about big plays in the Arkansas game, he just shook his head.

"I think if we had made some plays early in the game that were there to be made, we would have been real close at half," said Werner. "From there, you never know what can happen in the second half.

"The chances we had - whether it's hitting an open receiver or drops or whatever - and didn't connect on were huge in that game. It was a strange game because we had very few mental mistakes, zero turnovers and we had guys in position to make plays that would have made a difference. If you had told me any team could lose 38-3 with no turnovers, I would have said you were crazy. I have never seen that happen before.

"That just tells me we have to start making some plays when the opportunities are there. That was the whole difference in the Alabama game, where we made some big plays, and the Arkansas game, where we didn't."

Dan does not think that is asking too much of the players.

"As a receiver or quarterback, when you sign with an SEC school, you know that's why you are going there - to make plays. We have to start doing that," he continued. "We are still developing our playmakers.

"Obviously not having Dexter McCluster in there has hurt, but we have to find guys who are going to do it. We are playing a bunch of receivers and giving them all chances. Who's going to step up? And Brent (Schaeffer) has to hit those guys more consistently when they are open. I'm not calling anyone out, nor deflecting the blame away from me, it's my responsibility, but we have to make those kinds of plays. Have to."

Werner said one big hurdle the Rebel staff is trying to overcome is not letting the young players get down on themselves when they don't make a play that is there for the taking.

"We preach to them that the last play is over. Forget it and move on, but sometimes that's easier said than done with young players," he explained. "We tell our kids all the time, and try to imbed in their minds, that the great players forget the last play instantly - good or bad. You can't dwell on either.

"It's just as bad to linger on a good play too. Make a play, move on. Don't make a play, move on. Drop a ball? Forget it because you'll get another chance and you want to have all your focus on catching that one. That's what great players on every level do. I know it's coach speak, but it's true. They don't have much carryover. That's something young players have to learn and develop and we are working on that as hard as we can."

From a quarterback perspective, Dan said the woes there continue to be a rep thing.

"Brent has been throwing passes his whole life and is an accurate passer, for the most part, but the chemistry and timing with his current receivers has not developed the way we had hoped. It's going to require more reps until it clicks," he stated. "It's a matter of the receivers and the quarterbacks knowing each other like the back of their hands. We had hoped to get there by now, but we aren't there yet.

"We also had a miscommunication. If the receiver reads a hard corner, run a takeoff. Soft corner, run a comeback. The receiver read soft corner and ran a comeback, Brent read a hard corner and threw a takeoff. That happens sometimes. Some of that has been ironed out, but some other things have not been and we work on them diligently every day."

So, how do playmakers develop?

"They have to develop that confidence in practice and see themselves making plays. They have to believe in their minds that if a ball is in the air, it is theirs, period," he said. "Half the battle is getting guys open. We are starting to see more and more of that and that's sometimes not easy. Those defensive coaches on the other side have a plan to kepe you from getting open. We have seen marked improvement in that phase of it.

"Now, we have to combine that with making the plays when they are there to be made, either with a good throw or catching the ball that is there to be caught on a consistent basis. You have to take advantage of those situations. The more they do it in practice, and the more they develop that feeling, the more it will happen in games."

Werner said he's frustrated, but determined to correct the shortcomings.

"It's very frustrating. I got hired to score points, to design ways to put points on the board," he closed. "That's what I'm supposed to do - find ways to score.

"We are in here 16 hours a day trying to find ways to get it done. We've are close in a lot of ways, but close isn't good enough. We have to keep plugging and get this done."

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