Practice Report: Friday

Ole Miss practiced in shorts and helmets today in a preview workout of tomorrow morning's full scrimmage - the second such workout of spring training. Read about it inside.

"Today was our third helmets/shorts practice of spring and I was pleased with the workout," said ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron. "The guys were crisp and ready to go. We have a big scrimmage tomorrow - a lot of plays and situations to cover.

"We worked today on some situations we will go through tomorrow and correcting some things from earlier this week. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

Coach O was asked how the working relationship with new Defensive Coordinator John Thompson is going.

"Awesome," he said. "You know he coached me in college and we had a chemistry then. It's still there - like we were never apart. We have a chemistry and respct for each other. I really respect his knowledge of the game and the way he approaches the players. He gets them to play hard for him.

"He's brought some new things in and mixed them with what we already know how to do and it's been perfect. The installation has gone very well. He knows what he likes to do and is comfortable calling in certain situations and he's done that. He's brought a different flavor to our defense and it seems to be working well."

What does Orgeron hope to see in the scrimmage tomorrow? Execution and effort.

"I want to see line of scrimmage discipline. I want to see us complete some passes in a controlled passing game and continue to run the ball well," he expressed. "On defense, I want to see some linebackers step up and we need to challenge the secondary on some deep balls to see how we handle that.

"We also have to shore up a couple of areas in special teams that have been a litle shaky. Overall, I want effort and enthusiasm. Go get it. It's a Saturday scrimmage, you know? We expect a big day."

Spring progress to this point? O says the Rebs are "way ahead" of where they have been in previous springs.

"We are way ahead in our installation, in our players' knowledge of the systems and with the coaches and players gelling. Way ahead," he said. "A lot of that has to do with a lot of players being back and the foundation of the program being set. It also helps when you have a good offensive line. It all starts there - they are setting the tempo.

"Also, we are only doing things we know we are capable of doing. We aren't getting outside the box doing things we aren't very good at. We are keeping it simple and getting better at what we are doing."

O has brought up WR Marshay Green frequently after practices this spring. How are he and the other receivers doing?

"Marshay is doing great. Dexter McCluster practiced a little more today and is doing well. Shay Hodge is catching the ball well," O allowed. "Reggie Hicks at fullback is also having a good spring catching the ball out of the backfield. Robert Lane went down with an injury and since then Robert Hough has really practiced well the last couple of days. He's turned it on. Some guys are starting to step up."

At linebacker, O commented on spring progress.

"Jonathan Cornell has improved a lot and he will continue to improve. Jamie Phillips walked on and has been a complete surprise - he's on the first team right now," O said. "Antonio Turner and Ashlee Palmer continue to battle it out. Like I said, all of that will be decided later. We have some guys coming in and we may have more position changes. We'll see. We'll just keep on working."

O was asked if DE Greg Hardy is practicing yet after the completion of basketball season.

"No, he's not practicing yet. He's still working on academics," O answered.

The scrimmage tomorrow is closed.

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