Most observers and insiders believe senior QB Seth Adams left spring training with a slight edge in the quarterback race for 2007.
Seth, a humble sort, isn't approaching summer offseason work that way.
"You tell me who the leader is," he smiled. "All I know is we are all working hard to try to win the job. We lift and run early in the morning and we get together twice a week for 7-on-7 passing drills with the skill guys on both sides of the ball.
"We run about 40-45 plays and then do some one-on-one reps. We compete and work hard, but we're also having some fun together before August practice starts."
Adams said everything in the passing game is covered in the 7-on-7, but he's trying to perfect and improve one specific area as well.
"I've been working on the deep passes, but we're also working the short passing game and the play-action stuff pretty hard," Seth noted. "The main thing is making a better connection with my receivers on the timing of throws.
"The deep ball is not a high percentage throw, but when the opportunity is there, you want to complete it as much as possible. I have confidence I can make every throw, but you have to keep improving and competing. On the deep ball, it's all about ball placement. I have the arm strength, there's no doubt about that, but you have to be able to place it in certain areas based on the defender. Throw it outside, throw it inside, throw it short - all based on the read you get off the defender."
Adams said the biggest gain from the offseason, as a team, is the relationships that are being built.
"It's a time when we can develop leadership and comraderie," he stated. "We are strengthening the foundation of the team and making sure everyone is on the same page, working hard and being accountable.
"We can run plays and talk about them. If I see something that I'm not sure about, I can go ask Coach (Dan) Werner about it and then correct it the next time in 7-on-7. I also watch a lot of film - our stuff and then how other QBs do things. I watch Peyton Manning a lot. I watch his mechanics and techniques. I watch how his feet are aligned and how he looks off safeties and things like that."
Adams said he can tell a big difference in the maturity and practice production in the still young wide receivers from last year until this point in the offseason.
"They are bigger, stronger and faster. They aren't rookies any more. The timing is better. They have more confidence in their routes and their reads. We are communicating a lot better," Adams continued. "It's good to have Dexter (McCluster) back. He's a playmaker who will do well in the fall."
Who is number one at QB isn't something that is discussed, Seth said.
"We don't talk about it. We're all just out there working hard to get better - all of us," he added. "I don't worry about that. I just compete, play as hard as I can within the ability I have, and will let the rest unfold."
Adams said he's quietly living a dream, staying under the radar.
"My Dad and I talk about the upcoming season a lot. It's been a dream of mine to play at Ole Miss forever. Just to be here and be a part of it is an honor. I wouldn't trade it for anything," he closed. "To have the opportunity to compete for the job is an incredible feeling.
"It feels great to be in the position to win the job, but that's a long road ahead with a lot of work yet to be done. All I can promise is that I will do my best."
With the job of Ole Miss QB comes more recognition, some wanted, some not.
"There was an internet rumor that Brent (Schaeffer) and I got in a fight," he laughed. "I don't know how that evolved, but it was silly. Brent and I have never discussed the rumor. I just laugh when I see things like that. It was hilarious and absurd, but I guess it comes with the turf.
"All I know is that I am going to keep my nose clean and be a good example for this team. Anything else is just not true. It's nice to be recognized, I suppose, but I'm kind of a low-key guy. All I want to do is help this team win and get my education."
Nobody knows who will be the starting QB against Memphis when September rolls around.
But Seth Adams is giving himself every opportunity in the offseason to be ready for the challenge.
Seth Adams update -
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