Coach O: We prepared for preseason game IV, which will be a mock scrimmage tomorrow. We will go through pregame warmup, everything exactly like we will do it next Saturday. We will scrimmage against the service team, that will simulate Memphis' plays. We'll also get the special teams on and off the field to make sure we don't have any substitituion errors. We'll have about an hour scrimmage. We'll go through a typical game day just like we went through a typical Friday before game day today. It was good today - the guys were sharp.
Q: Is this the scrimmage where you put all the coaches in the box and use headphones, etc?
Coach O: We would, but we are allowing the high schools to use the stadium tomorrow for a jamboree. As you know, recruiting comes first here, so we are letting them use our field and we will go to the practice fields.
Q: Talk more about naming Seth Adams your starting QB earlier today.
Coach O: We made some adjustments in our offense and we felt he demonstrated the ability to run it the best. His completion percentage in the spring game was one test he passed and he has demonstrated every day the consistency and demeanor we like in our QB. He's the best quarterback we have right now to help us win, no doubt, and that was the bottom line on the decision. He had the best practices. He wasn't great all the time - he had some ups and downs - but overall he was the best QB to help us win games.
Q: Did you notice him being more confident or anythin today?
Coach O: No. I told him it's just now begun. We had a meeting with him and all the quarterbacks. I individually told all of them face-to-face my decision. I had a good talk with him and brought him in with the whole staff. I told him exactly what we expect out of the QB as a staff. He totally understands it and knows the work has just begun. He also realizes that this is not a permanent thing. It could be if he performs like we expect him to, but it may not be.
Q: How did the other QBs take the news?
Coach O: OK. Obviously they were disappointed because they wanted to be number one too. They competed hard too. But, for the most part, they understood.
Q: Is there still competition for number two?
Coach O: We'll figure that out next week - it's a see-saw deal at that position.
Q: Have you decided on any of the other positions that are in the air, like punter?
Coach O: Not yet. We still have some work to do.
Q: Does this mean Brent Schaeffer may play some wide receiver now?
Coach O: I think he will stay at QB. He may still play at QB and have great year - there's a lot of things that could happen in a season.
Q: Is this a great story to you in terms of a walkon being the starting QB at an SEC school?
Coach O: It is a good story. What a great story, but that happens in a program built for competition. He came here as a walkon and the QB was named before he (Seth) ever came on campus and Seth ends up beating him out. That shows you that everyone in our program will get a shot. It doesn't matter to me if you are a walkon or Parade All-American, we are going to play the best players. It is a tribute to Seth and his character. He grew up wanting to be the Ole Miss QB and what a dream come true for him, but now he has to get it done. I would hope just being named the starter is not his goal. I would hope he wants to be a good QB and have a great year and this is just the start. That would be the ending of the story.
Q: Was it important to name a starter the week before the game week preparations?
CoachO: That wasn't a factor. We were patient enough to let it play out and I just knew when I knew. After yesterday's practice, I told Dan (Werner) that I had enough - I knew who it was going to be and should be. And I really did not know until then. One day I would come off the field thinking one was better and the next I'd come off thinking the other one was, but yesterday I just had that final feeling. And I wanted you guys to quit asking me (laughs). Really, I just wanted to give him the week for the team to know and give Dan a week to plan around him.
Q: Are you solid in your two-deep everywhere else?
Coach O: No, no, no. We are moving people around some. We are trying out Chris Strong at defensive line. We have a lot of guys not practicing and we put him in a package with him on the line and he did so well there that we are going to shuffle things around some. We want the best 11 on the field. Peria has not practiced a whole bunch and we can't afford to play with third-string DL. Chris may be one of them, we don't know that yet, but he could be. He has shown me he can play on the DL and we know Jonathan Cornell can play Mike LB. There is some experimenting going on. Gameplanning for the spread offense is a little bit different than the two-back, in-the-box football so we have to put our best players on the field that are suited for the spread.
Q: Can Chris play DE and DT?
Coach O: He can play upside down if he wants to.
Q: Does it concern you that you are this close to the first game and you are still experimenting or not?
Coach O: No. We will make changes in the middle of the season. Why not? We have to do what is best for the team.
Q: Have you seen any more out of Lionel Breaux lately?
Coach O: I have seen him do good things on special teams and I look for him to be a guy who gets some touches this year, but I don't see him as a starter right now. He has more to learn but down the road he will be real good.
Q: Is the "other" corner straightened out some?
Coach O: It better be. It's looking a lot better and more consistent. It looks like Terrell Jackson is the guy and he has beaten out Cassius Vaughn for now. But obviously Cassius can win the game any time.
Q: Any eligibility news today?
Coach O: No. Sometimes you hear before me.
Practice report, Friday
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