Practice Report: Tuesday
Coach Houston Nutt was pleased with the day's work by his troops.
"We had us a good one today," he said after the Rebels finished up their evening practice. "They really bounced around today and gave us a lot of effort. You never know when you give them a day off - we had a lot of film study and weight-lifting yesterday – how they're going to respond. But they really came to work today. We got in some good work."
The Rebels had planned to practice outside but were forced inside only minutes after the start of the evening practice. Nutt said he wanted to stay outside and get in a practice under adverse conditions. But the first clap of thunder with a streak of lightning throw in was all they needed to move into the IPF as they were just beginning to stretch.
"We tried to stay outside as long as we could, but when the lightning came, we came back inside. Thank goodness for this building. It's awesome and we got a lot done today."
The Rebels continue to prepare for the season opener with Memphis even as some key players are out for a while, namely guys like Greg Hardy and Peria Jerry. Moving some players up to their spots and evaluating the depth are an ongoing process.
As with any number of situations, things could change as far as a depth chart goes. But Lawon Scott is running with the ones at Peria's spot with Jerrell Powe behind him; Justin Smith was behind Marcus Tillman.
"For now," is the way Nutt evaluated that particular situation.
"He's coming along," Nutt said of Powe's progess. "He's just been a long way from football. But he's coming and I'm real proud of him. He's made baby steps and he's got to just keep working. Teddy Laurent's getting a little better. So Jerrell's got to keep coming, because things could change tomorrow or the next day until we get ready to play."
Nutt said Lawon Scott has been steadily making improvement.
"He had a really good last two or three weeks of summer," Nutt said. "He really came on strong and has had a good camp. He's worked hard and I'm proud of him."
Injury Update and Notes: Reid Neely (Achilles strain) was back practicing, some with the first team; Ted Laurent (knee) was in full pads and practicing; Allen Walker (knee) was dressed and practicing; Jason Cook (ankle) was not dressed but was walking around fine; Jeremy McGee (slight concussion Saturday) was dressed out and practiced; Justin Sanders (ankle) was in a right foot boot; Lamark Armour (knee) was not dressed out; Brandon Sanders (shoulder) was in a no contact jersey; Dan Hoffman (knee) was in shorts and helmet; Mike Wallace (hamstring) was dressed out; Mark Jean-Louis was dressed out; Chris Bowers was in full gear and practiced; Peria Jerry (knee scope) and Greg Hardy (foot surgery) are still recovering; Lekenwic Haynes was not dressed (unknown injury); Trey Trip (knee) was not dressed; Bobby Peterson (ankle) was not dressed.
Maurice Miller was not at practice today. He was attending a funeral.
Reid Neely practiced some today with the first team at left guard but isn't 100 percent yet. "He can't go through a full practice yet," Nutt said. "We've got him working with the first group. He can go through some run polish and some mental things. But he's not completely well enough to mix it up yet."
Allen Walker is with the first team and is pretty much back to full strength.
With Greg Hardy still out, some of the backups have been getting more time and looks. "Emmanuel (Stephens) has been doing a good job for us," Nutt said. "(Kentrell) Lockett has really improved and been good. LaDerrick Vaughn has got to keep coming. Chris Bowers was back today for the first time in a while, so it was good to see him out there. We couldn't do a lot with him, but it was great to see him back. We've been missing Chris. He's got some natural instincts at defensive end. Garrett Ryan has got to keep coming."
Nutt isn't sure how much of the Wild Rebel we'll see. "It's still a work in progress," he said. "We've still got some work to do there. We aren't completely comfortable with it yet, so it's hard to say when we're going to break this thing out."
Nutt said all three of the freshmen running backs – Devin Thomas, Enrique Davis, and Brandon Bolden – are doing well. "They've all got their strengths. I've been proud of how they're competing, especially how they're hanging onto the ball. We've really emphasized that, ‘Hey, hang onto the football.' In this league they come to rip it out, tomahawk it out, all those things. Instead of worrying about the next move like they did on Friday night, better worry about keeping that ball tucked. They're all hanging in there. It's hard to say who might be ahead. We've got to discuss (if all might play). Maybe we'll hold one for a possible redshirt. But right now we've just got to see how this game flows. You just never know."
Nutt was very pleased with Michael Oher's practices. "He had his best day today," he said. "He was physical and really tried to dominate his guy. That's what we want from him each day. He's stronger in the weight room. One of the first things I heard when I got here was that he was weak. Well, he's not weak. He's gotten even stronger. I heard he may not practice hard all the time. That's not what we've seen. We've seen nothing but a guy that gives really good effort and tries to get better, working on his craft and his technique. He has all the tools. We just want him to keep being physical."
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