Saturday practice report

The Rebel football team opened fall camp today with a three-hour afternoon practice in blazing Mississippi heat. Read the Q & A with Coach Ed Orgeron inside.

The following is a Q & A between the media and Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron after the Rebs' initial practice of the 2007 fall camp. The Rebs worked outside on the practice fields in sweltering heat today for roughly 3 hours.

Q: How did the first day go?

Coach O: It was a long, hard practice. We did some good things, but we were rough around the edges. Having 105 guys out there, we are in the process of getting everyone accustomed to our system and the way we do things. The tempo of the practice was unusual for some of them and some of them will ahve to pick it up some. I was really impressed with guys like John Jerry, Michael Oher, Marcus Tillman - guys who showed a lot of fire and went hard every down. Greg Hardy played some offense today and caught some nice passes. Bruce Hall had a good day today running the ball. Dexter (McCluster) looked fine. Tony Fein showed us some good things at middle linebacker. He's not where we need him to be, but we knew that coming in. We have work to do with our linebackers but we expected it. The young defensive linemen are really impressive - Ted Laurent, Lawon Scott and Justin Sanders are good young players. I was impressed. Johnny Brown did some good things today at safety as well. He showed some good athletic ability out there. At quarterback, I thought Seth (Adams) had the best day today. He and Michael (Herrick) completed some balls today and Seth made some really good decisions. We worked on the punting game some. Bryan (Powers) had some good punts, but waas inconsistent. I thought the coaches were organized and ready to go, but we have to get used to working long, physical, hard practices.

Q: Are you keeping Jonathan Cornell in the middle with Tony right now?

Coach O: For now, we are. Jonathan is the starting MLB and Tony is number two. One, we wanted to see what he could do. I learned my lesson in giving someone first string without ever having taken a snap. I won't be doing that. There is a chance Jonathan will move outside, but Tony has to prove himself first.

Q: How did the young corners look in their first practice?

Coach O: Jamariey (Atterberry) did some good things and so did Lionel Breaux. We also moved Terrell (Jackson) back to corner. We are thinking about playing him some at safety, some at corner and some at nickel. He had a good day for us today. Jamarca (Sanford) was solid today and Kendrick (Lewis) did OK - not great, but OK.

Q: Is Peria Jerry moving around OK?

Coach O: He's moving well. There will be some soreness, like Patrick Willis last year, but we will watch him closely and react accordingly with him in practice.

Q: How do you work Greg Hardy in practice?

Coach O: Right now, he's splitting it. Both sides want him all the time, but I step in and split it up. He did more with the offense today, but we let him do that because he knows what he's doing on defense.

Q: What are looking for from Fein?

Coach O: Right now, getting lined up right and consistency. Our Mike LB should be our leading tackler and we'll see if he can do that from sideline to sideline. I was really impressed with his intelligence and maturity. I think he will be a good player.

Q: Does the depth on the DL give you the opportunity to use Greg the way you are?

Coach O: Yes. It creates more opportunities for everyone. In the past, we have gone ones against ones and twos against twos and start all over again. Now we have threes against threes and sometimes fours against fours. It gives everyone a chance to rest, but it also provides little room for missing assignments and not getting the job done because there's someone behind you ready to go. The competition level is a lot higher this year.

Q: Can you see any leaders emerging?

Coach O: Everyone can be a leader on the first day. Let's see who surfaces after the 10th, 11th, 12th day. (smiles)

Q: How was the conditioning?

Coach O: Aaron (Ausmus) has them in good shape, but being ready for practice is a little different conditioning. He had them ready for camp, but now they have to get in practice and football shape. Sometimes today they struggled a little bit. It was real hot, but that doesn't matter. We have to perform despite the circumstances, and we will do that.

Q: What about Brent Schaeffer?

Coach O: He did OK with some balls today. He and Michael shared reps with the twos. Seth got most of the reps with the ones. I'll have to watch the film, but I didn't see anything great today.

Q: How will you handle Jevan Snead this year?

Coach O: He had about 12 reps at the end of practice with the threes. We will mix him in, but right now we have to get guys ready for this season. He did well with the threes.

Q: What about getting everyone enough reps with more players out there?

Coach O: That's a good problem to have. It was good. We have to stay focused when we are not in there.

Q: Is Johnny Brown provisional to practice but not cleared by the NCAA yet? And what about Chris Strong?

Coach O: Johnny is provisional. We have not heard anything on Chris. Maybe we'll hear something Monday on Chris. Not much happens on the weekend with those cases.

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