It was another full day of pads. We had a good walkthrough this morning, and I think the guys really responded this afternoon. We're excited and think the guys are rested. It was a good day. We did some third-down work, some situational work. Both sides did some good things. Seth threw some good balls, and I thought he had a good day today. BenJarvus had a good day. Robert Lane caught a bunch of balls. Defense struggled a little bit. I think the offense got the best of the defense for the second day in a row so we have to look and see what we are doing on defense and get it fixed.
Jerrell obviously with the walkthrough this morning and was able to do a couple of things this afternoon. He and Chris both showed that they are very good athletes. They have a way to go and learn some things and get in football shape, but they both show a lot of promise.
Did you hear anything from the Clearinghouse?
No, I did not.
Can you share anything from Archie Manning speaking to the team today?
It was fantastic. What a great day for our boys. He came, and we gave them a little history of Archie beforehand. A lot of guys knew who he was, but it was the first time that they have met him. Their eyes were wide open. He talked to the team almost an hour. He was prepared and gave a great speech, really did a good job. He had some things that he really wanted to send to the team, and I think he helped them. What really was clear, was his love for Ole Miss. And how much it meant to him to be the quarterback at Ole Miss. I think it was excellent. We are really appreciative of him doing that.
Was being quarterback the basis of his message?
There was a lot of stuff (laughing). He was very detailed about some goals. He was goal-oriented and challenged our guys. He talked about some things that helped them go to the Sugar Bowl and be successful. In what he looked for, and really some good things. What he meant for him to be the quarterback was his biggest message.
Was that the first time he has spoken to the team since you have been here?
Yes, that is the first time, and it was fantastic.
On what it means for former players to come back.
We really like our guys to come back. Yesterday, Kris Mangum talked to the team and today Archie. I invite all the guys to come back. I think it makes us very powerful.
On John Jerry:
I think John has really blossomed. He played last year and is in great shape. He's something, a good player. He is a leader and is vocal and jovial. The guys look up to him. It was a no-brainer from the first time he walked in. That guy was going to be a leader. It's the way he carries himself.
Can he become a special player?
No doubt. I can see him being a Lombardi Award candidate. I can see him being an All-Pro football player. There is no question in my mind that he can reach that.
On the other quarterbacks:
They did ok, had an ok day. I think Seth had the best day.
Is Brent showing flashes of excelling?
Couple plays. He has made a couple plays.
After a week, what sticks out?
Their spirits and being emotional. We are a lot closer than we have ever been. We have had the opportunity to spend some time in the morning about the philosophies of our football team. Camp isn't like going to Disneyland. It is a little bit different. They have a good attitude towards work. They want to come to work, and they know what practice is going to be like. They are going through it. They surprised me today by the tempo. There wasn't any guys falling out or anything. Guys were having fun, running around and competing.
On the staff:
They are working hard. I don't know if they are sleeping. They are staying late at night and waking up early in the morning prepared. A lot of times, I am just sitting back there watching, maybe make a correction. The first two years, I felt like I had to be the hammer. I had to run around and get guys going. I don't have to do that anymore. You look at Ryan Nielsen, he must drink 80 gallons of water a day. He is drenched. You know Dave Carraro, Art Kehoe, Hugh Freeze, Frank (Wilson). All those guys are doing fantastic. They guys do a lot of work and understand the program so to prepare for practice. They watch the film, make corrections, go home at night, come back the next day. For me, the most important thing is to be fresh during practice and to give energy.
Yeah, we got two tomorrow.
On Marcus Tillman:
I expect him to have a breakout year. He started slow in camp a little bit, I don't know what it was. But he has come along the last couple days.
We are going to have preseason game number one. We called the Saints, but they didn't want to come. We are going to have a little meeting in the morning and go out and have like a Friday practice before and then have a preseason game. Everybody is going to get about 36 plays of scrimmage work. Eventually, we'll end up with 60-70 plays of scrimmage work.
On the NCAA upping the number of core credits needed for admission:
We have to get on them (recruits) early. You have to have a bigger pool. It's tough.
Will the first couple years be more difficult because of adjusting?
No doubt. Guys are always scrambling at the end. (16 core credits will be needed.)
How early are you on your staff about it going up?
We educate them as soon as we know. As soon as something like that happens, we call and let them know. I think, for the most part, they are well informed.
How much effect will it have on the state?
Things are gonna have to change. The grading scale is tough (in Mississippi). It is different than in other states. That makes a difference. With the elimination of so-called prep schools, it is going to liven up the junior colleges a lot more.
On receivers behind the starters:
Mike Hicks is starting to show out a little bit. Shay's not at practice obviously. We are thin there. That is about what we have. Greg splits out there a little bit. Robert splits out there a little bit. BenJarvus splits out there. Bruce splits out there. We all go out there and try to catch a pass.
Return of Shay Hodge?
I would say around Memphis, we should be close. He looks good and looks like he is doing some good things. I don't know if it will be the Memphis game or not, but he should be close.
Friday Practice Report
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