Practice Report: Tuesday

The Rebels practiced twice - their normal morning walk-through and the full-scale afternoon workout - in the Indoor Practice Facility today. Once again, the facility saved the day due to inclement weather in the area and allowed Coach Houston Nutt and his staff to have a productive afternoon session. Read about it inside.

Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt has a find-the-silver-lining kind of personality. It's his nature to be positive.

So, we have learned, when he says something was not very good, the translation is it was really bad.

That was the case after yesterday's practice. While the media could not hear the verbiage, you could tell by his tone that he was not pleased when he talked to the team post-practice yesterday and in his not-so-glowing reponses to the meida's questions.

Today was a different story. In a 2 1/2 hour workout in the IPF due to rainy weather in the Oxford area, the Rebels responded to Nutt's words yesterday and rebounded with what he called "a very good day."

"They really responded and did a good job today. They practiced hard and really did a good job of trying to correct some mistakes they have been making," said Nutt. "They kind of hit a wall last night and were sluggish. They got out of it today. They came back strong and I was really proud of them."

After spring training, Nutt was concerned about the secondary. He was asked if he considers them a "weakness" of the team now after an offseason and eight days of fall camp.

"I don't see it that way now," he continued. "When you have Kendrick Lewis, Johnny Brown, Jamarca Sanford, and Fon Ingram at the safeties, and they have all had pretty good camps except for the injuries, and you talk about Cassius Vaughn, Dustin Mouzon, Marshay Green and Jeremy McGee at the corners, I am proud of what they are accomplishing.

"They have a great attitude, they are working hard and they are trying to take a step forward. I do want some more consistency from some of the corners, but otherwise they have done a nice job this camp. Mouzon did not have a good spring, but he has responded this fall so far. He was hurt, and should have been hurt, when he was demoted in spring, but he responded. I understand how feelings can get hurt, but now what are you going to do about it? He came back to work, buckled up and got his job back."

Last year, Brown was ahead of Lewis at free safety. This year, it's flipped. Why?

"Two reasons. Kendrick has great eyes and vision. He does a very good job of breaking on the ball and he has been a physical hitter," Nutt stated. "But on the other hand, Johnny has been hurt and that's put him behind a little bit. I can tell you this, though, I'm glad we have both of them."

Nutt is also starting to get more and more impressed with OLB Patrick Trahan.

"He's getting stronger every day and is stronger than you think," said Nutt. "I know I sound like a broken record, but he's just got one problem - conditioning. There's no question he is going to help us, no question. He can play his way into shape by the opener, no doubt."

Lately, freshman DT Jerrell Powe has had a wrap/soft cast on his wrist. Nutt was asked about that today.

"He broke that wrist before so we have decided to protect it as a precaution. He had surgery back in May, I think, and we just want to be careful. I think he's fine," Nutt noted. "I think the protection on it has given him a little more confidence as well."

Freshman DT Justin Smith, with Laurent and Jerry temporarily out, has moved ahead of returnees Lawon Scott and Justin Sanders on the defensive front. What catapulted the true freshman that quickly?

"Justin is intense, he's focused, he doesn't bust, he lines up correctly and he doesn't act like a freshman," Nutt noted. "Certainly, I didn't know we'd have that injury bug jump on the DL like it has, but I'm probably a little surprised with his progress just because you expect interior people on both sides of the ball to take a little longer to develop, but he has shown some great intensity and ability."

Laurent was working half-speed today, but was not in pads. Nutt was encouraged.

"It's a good sign. Hopefully the end of this week or early next week Ted will start running a little quicker and be much closer to coming back," Nutt said. "Chris Bowers has an MCL sprain and I hope he'll be back in a week or so. The MCL sprain has been a bad word for us this year, especially on the defensive front. I've never had a year like this one where one position was hit this hard and without that much contact.

"The good thing is that I think most of them - including Allen Walker, Peria and Ted, are going to be fine pretty quickly."

Random Notes:

* A complete, as far as we know, list of players who did not participate in practice today: Greg Hardy (stress fracture), Reid Neely (Achilles strain), Mike Wallace (hamstring), Bobby Peterson (do not know injury), LaMark Armour (knee), Ted Laurent (knee), Peria Jerry (knee), Chris Bowers (knee), Allen Walker (knee).

* Injured previously, but have returned to practice recently: Johnny Brown, Kendrick Lewis, Don Hargroder, Melvin Harris.

* One player who seems to be doing a little more right now even though he is still out is Laurent. Today, we saw him going through some half-speed drills and jogging. He was not in pads, but he was participating in assignment drills and was getting in and coming out of a three-point stance.

* We have been asked several times about the progress of basketball player turned gridder DE Jermey Parnell. At first, we were under the impression he was making pretty good progress, all things considered, but it appears he may have taken a step back recently. Today, for instance, in assignment and alignment drills, he was taking reps with the third team DL behind junior walkon Garrett Ryan. We're not sure what this signifies, but it can't be considered a positive move.

* We took quick depth chart notes today. We got some three-deep, but mostly two-deep. Here's an updated depth chart, without the injured included, starting with defense:

DE Kentrell Lockett, LaDerrick Vaughn, Gerald Rivers; DT Justin Smith, Justin Sanders; DT Marcus Tillman, Lawon Scott, Jerrell Powe; DE Emmanuel Stephens, Garrett Ryan, Jermey Parnell; OLB Ashlee Palmer, Patrick Trahan, Scottie Williams; OLB Lamar Brumfield, Lakenwic Haynes, Don Hargroder; MLB Jonahtan Cornell, Tony Fein, Jason Jones; CB Dustin Mouzon, Marshay Green, Derrick Herman; FS Kendrick Lewis, Johnny Brown, Jared Mitchell; SS Jamarca Sanford, Fon Ingram, Brandon Sanders; CB Cassius Vaughn, Jeremy McGee, Julian Whitehead.

Offense: LT Michael Oher, Bradley Sowell; LG Darryl Harris, Mark Jean-Louis; C Daverin Geralds, Brandon Green; RG Maurice Miller, Rishaw Johnson; RT John Jerry, Alex Washington; TE David Traxler/Gerald Harris, Reggie Hicks; FB Jason Cook, Andy Hartmann; TB Cordera Eason, Brandon Bolden, Derrick Davis, Enrique Davis, Devin Thomas; WR Dexter McCluster, Shay Hodge, Markeith Summers, Lionel Breaux, Andrew Harris, Jacarious Lucas (rotation).

* This summer, Ole Miss got a new film system for football. The old one was six years old and outdated. The new one is an XOS Sports Pro. What is the difference in old and new besides updated quality pictures? There is no processing time. The cameras that came with the new system hold portable hard drives. Camera technicians can take those from the camera and plug them straight into the coaches' computers after some minor sorting so they can instantly go watch practice "film" with the players for instant feedback and evaluation. The process from getting film from the cameras and onto the coaches' computers in cutup form used to take "hours" we were told. Also, now, on road trips, coaches and players can watch games they just played on laptops while they travel back from wherever they are due to the instant feedback they can get with the XOS Sports Pro. Technology can be a beautiful thing.

* Coach Nutt put the Rebs through a very rowdy one-on-one tackling drill to get the adrenaline going after stretch at the beginning of practice. There were many roars of approval after big hits, but the biggest was for Powe when he flattened a running back. We could not see the back through the mass of humanity between us and the action, but we heard the hit.

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