Practice Report: Wednesday

College teams get 15 practice days in spring training. The Rebels reserve the 15th for the annual Grove Bowl, so today - the seventh practice of spring drills - was, for all intents and purposes, the halfway mark. Read Coach Ed Orgeron's thoughts on how things are going inside.

The Ole Miss football team resumed spring training today with their seventh workout, a situational practice in full pads.

"We worked on short yardage, goalline and some more third-down work. It was a highly spirited practice - a good, physical, hard-nosed practice. I think we have some guys starting to step up," said Rebel Coach Ed Orgeron after the 2 1/2-hour session.

In the previous six workouts, Orgeron has mentioned some up-and-coming players. He was asked today about the guys who are considered the stalwarts and their progress.

"BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Robert Lane, John Jerry, Michael Oher, Marshay Green, Jason Cook, Bruce Hall, Robert Hough, and Reid Neely have done well on offense. Jonathan Cornell, Chris Bowers, Daverin Geralds, Marcus Tillman, Jamarca Sanford have all shown up well to this point on defense," he said. "Marshay has done some exceptional things at wide receiver. Jason has matured, is being a good leader and is making plays. We are doing some new things with him that look really good. Bruce has been fantastic. Reid has changed his body and looks good. Daverin has been a surprise to us. He's playing his tail off out there. Every day he gets better and better and better. We need inside guys on defense and he's surfacing. I'm very pleased with his progress.

"I've also been impressed with walkon LB Jamie Phillips, a transfer from Northwest CC via Lafayette County HS. He's one of the first guys we looked at when we got to Ole Miss. He's stepping up and doing a good job."

Can Orgeron tell a difference from last year to this year in some of his more experienced players? Absolutely.

"The learning curve is better. It's shorter. We are able to install more stuff and see it executed that day instead of like in the past - install something and go backwards or take four days to execute it," he explained. "They understand the system now and understand how we work. They know what we are talking about when we install something in the meetings. They retain better and that results in performing better. And installation leads to execution quicker."

O has repeatedly praised the offensive line in his post-practice meetings with the press.

"The defensive line is holding their own against them, but the OL is doing a great job. Their communication with each other is better and they are working hard and moving well," Orgeron stated. "When they miss a call, they know it instantly and correct it. They are growing as a unit. You have to credit Art (Kehoe). He's doing a fantastic job with them. As far as chemistry and knowing what he's doing, he's one of the best in the business."

Again the subject of the quarterbacks was brought up. Again, Orgeron was guarded in his answers.

"I have seen some good things from Seth Adams in terms of throwing the ball downfield well and operating the offense within its framework that are encouraging. He is also showing some leadership out there. Brent (Schaeffer) has the ability to make the big plays, has a strong arm and has scrambling ability. Those are the positives," O noted. "We are going to let the competition between them develop and when something happens, it happens, in terms of someone winning the job. We're in no hurry - it's an ongoing project.

"I can tell a difference in their knowledge of the system, but they are still not where they need to be. We have to keep on finding out what we can do and do that. We will throw out the things we can't. We have a lot of good-looking plays, but if it's not what we do best, we aren't going to do it. It may be a good play for someone else's personnel, but if it doesn't fit ours, why run it? We have to find our identity on offense. We know a lot of it is number 6 (Green-Ellis) but we have to find a passing game where we can control the ball and move down the field. BenJarvus will draw a lot of people in the box. We have to be able to throw the ball effectively to get them out of the box and take advantage of what the defense gives us."

A lot of fans have been asking about transfer QB Jevan Snead and how he has looked in spring training, even though he has to sit out next year due to transfer rules.

"He looks great. Jevan is smart, real sharp," he noted. "He's going to be a real good player for us when it's his turn."

The Rebels will practice Friday and will have a major scrimmage.

"Friday will be our first all-out scrimmage. We will have three full scrimmages this spring and Friday will be our first," he closed. "We are going to get after it pretty good during that practice."

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