Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron was pleased with the "crispness" of the Rebels' first session of spring training 2007.
The Rebs worked for a little over two hours in the stadium in shorts and helmets.
"For the first day, the guys were really crisp. You can tell the experience of the offensive line and I thought BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the whole running game was good," said Coach O. "We started off very fast and looked quick out there. Defensively, we have some work to do, but the DL did well - Marcus Tillman, Kentrell Lockett, Greg Hardy, who practiced with us today off the basketball team, and Jeremy Garrett all looked good. Kentrell gained some experience last season and put on some good weight in the offseason. I thought Jonathan Cornell had a good workout at middle linebacker as well."
Coach O said the ball-handling was very good considering it was the first time the Rebs have worked out as a team with footballs in an organized, coach-directed practice.
"Ball-handling was very good. Crisp," said Orgeron.
O then stopped the press gathering for a personnel announcement.
"(WR) Mico McSwain will not practice this spring. We are giving him time off to concentrate on his academics. He will have the whole spring off for academics," said Orgeron.
This spring, former OL David Traxler was moved to tight end. O's first impression?
"Good. He blocked well, had some good pass protections and caught a couple of balls out there. I was impressed," O noted.
Orgeron said pre-spring he'd have five candidates for the safety slots - Ashlee Palmer, Jamarca Sanford, Jamal Harvey, Allen Walker and Markeith Summers.
"We've got good speed there. Those guys can run and can make plays. Ashlee did some good things out there today. He looked comfortable for the most part - a little nervous, but that is to be expected on the first day at a new school. He made some plays," Orgeron allowed.
On offense, the left guard slot is one hole that has to be filled. Orgeron said he will try several players there and let the chips fall where they may.
"We're going to try several guys there and let the spring run its course. We'll know something soon," he added.
Orgeron is pleased to have quality and quantity at the all-important quarterback slot.
"We have more quarterbacks than we have ever had. We have some real quarterbacks now. Jevan (Snead) got some snaps and did some good things. Everyone got reps," he continued. "Brent (Schaeffer) made a big pass play for a TD and had a big run. Seth (Adams) did some good things. Everyone got reps."
Getting all the QBs enough reps is not a major concern of O's.
"That's a great problem to have," he smiled. "Since I have been here, that's never been a problem - how we were going to get our QBs enough reps. It came up this morning in our staff meeting and I said that's a good problem to have, one we've never had before.
"On the other hand, you want some continuity and consistency out of that position, but for now we are going to rotate them in and out to find out who is the best we have. There's open competition at every position. QB is no different. The only position that is not open is BenJarvus at TB."
At WR, O singled out Shay Hodge first and worked down the line.
"Shay had a big catch today, it was good to have Dexter (McCluster) back out there and Marshay (Green) looked good. They caught my eye," he closed.
The Rebels will hold their second practice of spring tomorrow afternoon in the stadium. It will also be a shorts and helmets practice and is closed to the media and public.
Spring practice report
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