The Rebels woprked out twice today and the results put a smile on Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron's face.
Coach O: We had an excellent today. We had one of our better practices this morning and then followed that up with our best practice of two-a-days this afternoon. We really challenged them coming off yesterday, which was one of our worst practices to this point. They came back today hard, which is the sign of a good team. We had several individuals who showed up well. Jerrell Powe was more active than he has been and he made some dominating plays this afternoon in the backfield. So did Peria Jerry. This morning, we got after the offense with the blitz. This afternoon the offense made som adjustments and we threw the ball well this afternoon, especially in third-down situations. Seth Adams did a nice job throwing today. Mike Wallace made some big plays as well as Dexter McCluster, Robert Lane and Marshay Green. We threw it a lot better this afternoon. Joshua Shene was excellent in placements. We worked on punt block in special teams and we are excited about what we are seeing there with some special things we are putting in. It was a very tough day today, but they responded very well.
Q: Any eligibility news yet?
Coach O: We are getting a little feedback, but no final "yes" or "no" yet.
Q: How is Chris Strong doing in making checks and reading defenses at this point?
Coach O: He made a couple of mistakes today, but he still has the physical tools. What we like is his ability to play downhill. Obviously he's not going to get everything yet - the reads and such - but we are seeing some things we really like. Let me say we are excited about him but there are a lot of things he has to get better at and he has to lose some weight. He can't play at the weight he's at right now, but we feel we can get him down.
Q: What is a good weight for him?
Coach O: Patrick Willis was 245. I think Chris at 250 would be a pretty comfortable weight, I'm sure. This was Chris and Jerrell's first day in full pads and they handled it well. Jerrell made a play about seven yards deep in the backfield, kind of like the dominating plays I have seen before in coaching the DL at other schools. Chris made plays too. Their plays brought some spirit to the team and gave the offensive line somethig to think about as well. The OL is now going against a better level of football player in practice and it will give them a good taste of what they will face in the SEC.
Q: What about the other three freshmen DL?
Coach O: Teddy is coming along fine. Lawon has some good movement skills. Justin Sanders is tough. They are coming along, but they have a lot to work on too. I haven't seen any freshmen hit the wall yet, but you can sense the pace is getting to them a little bit. All the isntallationa nd practice and everything is time-consuming, but they are hanging in there.
Q: Talk a little about Jamison Hughes.
Coach O: Jamison is not practicing right now. He has a jaw problem from a big hit. I don't know when he will be back, but we want him back because he's one of the better saafeties we signed. I really like his athletic ability and his attention to detail. He has good knowledge and he's a big kid for a safety.
Q: Hypothetically, if Chris won the MLB job, would he be in a position to make your defensive calls or would someone like Cornell do that?
COach O: He's making them now. It's not hard to get our signals down. We're not very complicated. Go get the ball. It will still be a challenge for him. We have to get them all qualified by Saturday, that's their last day, or things could change quickly out there. And what everyone has to understand, he has to earn the Red (first team ) jersey. He doesn't have it permanently yet. It could change tomorrow.
Coach O: Talk about the depth in the backfield.
Coach O: We need all three of our tailbacks to keep them fresh. I want to play all three. I would like to play two at once sometimes to give our opponents something to think about and give us another weapon. They are doing well.
Q: You mentioned Mike Wallace today. How much are you challenging him to be on the same level with Green and McCluster?
Coach O: Always challenging him, always. We want him to use his strengths. He's becoming a better blocker, a better short route runner and he's catching the ball better. He's come along. He has to.
Q: Is Lionel Breaux still progressing like you want?
Coach O: He's doing very well. He's a nice athlete. Smooth and shifty. He has a little something extra about him. Good kid too.
Q: Did Seth throw a lot better today than yesterday?
Coach O: Seth made some real good throws this afternoon, a lot better than yesterday. I think he was trying to fool the media yesterday. He did a good job of it. (laughs)
Q: What will you do in the scrimmage tomorrow?
Coach O: We'll be pretty basic. The ones will go 48 plays. It will be preseason game number two. We will also go over a lot of special teams stuff.
Q: was one of the problems with the offense yesterday that John Jerry and Reid Neely were not in the OL?
Coach O: Yes. That's big. We were playing with Rishaw Johnson and Mark Jean-Louis. They are going to be good but those guys are nowhere near John and Reid, not even close yet. We will be fine.
Practice report, Tuesday
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