College football players across the country are not allowed to work out with their coaches during the summer, but they can organize and participate in voluntary drills as a team.
The Ole Miss players - above and beyond their strength and conditioning workouts - do individual and group drills.
The quarterbacks, traditionally, organize and direct 7-on-7 passing drills twice a week. The skill players on both sides of the ball show up and compete using plays and coverages they learned in spring.
"I think that time is very important," said Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner. "One, they can work on the timing of the throws, which was a problem for us last year. With me out there, there's no coaching going on, but they can stay sharp and help each other out. Two, it helps with togetherness and leadership, establising those things prior to the season. Sometimes leaders emerge and other players take notice. Sometimes some important things surface before August practice begins."
After spring training, Werner sits down with all the quarterbacks and gives them a checklist of what they need to work on in the offseason.
"My hope is that they will work on what I outline for them. I'm sure they do," he continued. "Like I said, the big thing is timing. Getting in football shape, accuracy, footwork, things like that are key and important.
"It's a great time for them to learn and progress on their own. Little things like organizing the workouts, being a leader, getting guys in and out of the huddle, calling plays, making players accountable."
Individually, Werner talked about his top three QBs and what they needed to work on this summer.
"With Seth Adams, we want him to work on the deep ball. We are going to take our shots downfield. When we have a guy open and we take that shot, we want to be able to complete it, obviously. Seth knows he needs to improve that area," Werner said. "Brent (Schaeffer) if working on his timing and accuracy. He improved in the spring, but he needs to keep working on it.
"With Michael Herrick, it's a footwork issue. He's been in a shotgun his whole career and now he's coming out from under center more. His footwork is good, but the more reps he gets, the better it will be and the more comfortable he will be with it."
Coming out of spring, there was no clear-cut starter at QB. Werner does not want to set a timetable to determine that.
"As soon as someone steps to the front, we will know. Certainly, the sooner the better," Dan noted. "Like I said, hopefully some of that is taking shape right now without me being there. Who is emerging?"
Werner was asked if he would consider a two-QB system.
"We would prefer to have one guy who is the guy, the team leader, but we had to go with two last year at times to try to jump start things,' he noted.
While the players are going through voluntary workouts, the coaches are busy getting ready too before their July vacation break.
"We've already broken down our first five opponents and are still studying different things we have seen from other schools and NFL teams to see if there is anything else we want to install or try in August from an offensive standpoint," he closed. "We've been to two or three places to look at what they are doing and we've had some people come in here to give us ideas. Most teams do that to try to improve what we are doing every year."
Football is still six weeks away, but don't think the coaching staff and team is idle right now. They are doing important work as you read this in preparation for the season.
Dan Werner update -
OM Spirit Top Stories
AP: LSU 38, Ole Miss 21BATON ROUGE, La. -- Leonard Fournette broke LSU's single-game rushing record on just his first eight carries -- scoring three touchdowns of 59 yards or more -- and the 25th-ranked…
OM SpiritYesterday at 10:57 PM
Instant Reaction: Ole Miss - LSUBATON ROUGE, La. - Ole Miss Spirit staffers give their instant reactions from the Rebels' 38-21 loss at LSU Saturday night.
OM SpiritYesterday at 10:48 PM
From the Locker Room: LSUBATON ROUGE, La. - Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly and defensive end Marquis Haynes met the media following the Rebels' 38-21 loss at LSU Saturday night.
OM SpiritYesterday at 10:44 PM
A Hard LookBATON ROUGE, La. - Hugh Freeze praised LSU for their play Saturday night in Death Valley as they emerged with a 38-21 win over his Ole Miss, but once he got over the formality of…
OM SpiritYesterday at 10:33 PM