Coordinators update -

Each week, a general progress report is in order from the Rebel coordinators. OC Kent Austin and DC Tyrone Nix bring us up to speed after week two of August camp. Read about it inside.

After Saturday's scrimmage, Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator Kent Austin was asked if another week had made a difference in the offense.

After week one, you will recall, the offensive side of the ball wasn't feeling too spiffy.

But a week will do wonders for a coach and a team.

"We were pretty good today," said Austin. "Jevan (Snead) was as good today as I have ever seen him. He saw everything - the hots, the progressions, he saw safety down on the post pattern for a short TD, he recognized blitz and he threw the ball really well. He was just really, really sharp today."

Even amidst some good news, the offensive side of the ball received a temporary blow when starting TE Gerald Harris went down with a blown left hamstring.

The options at TE now or, should we say, for now?

"That's something we'll have to discuss as a staff. It factors into more than one personnel grouping, so we have some shuffling, evaluating and decision-making to do until Gerald comes back," Kent stated. "We're hoping we'll get him back soon, but you never know. We will plan accordingly as we get a more detailed report on his condition.

"I think Ferbia (Allen) and E.J. Epperson have come a long way in their games, especially in their blocking and understanding what we want, but before we gameplan without Gerald, we will see where he stands in the next two or three days. Reggie Hicks also factors in."

Austin is still pleased with the abundance of running backs at the offense's disposal.

"I think everyone has a role. Again, we have so many different personnel groupings and they all fit in somewhere," he noted, "but from a foundational standpoint, I still think Brandon (Bolden) is our guy and Cordera (Eason), Enrique (Davis), Devin (Thomas) and Tim Simon also have roles, some bigger than others. And we can't forget Dexter back there, for sure. We just have to see how everyone continues progressing in the next week or so and go from there."

Austin is pleased with his options at the skill positions.

"I'd rather have more options than less," he laughed. "It's our job as coaches to maximize the talents and skills of everyone we coach and to put them in a position to succeed. That's what we have to do. We also have to bring them along in such a way that they can buy into their roles, be unselfish players and provide good production when they are called upon.

"We are still sorting some of that out, but we have made good strides in that direction as I think you could see in the scrimmage today."

Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix took a different tack in Saturday's scrimmage.

His starting unit did not play.

"I wanted to get more of a look at our twos and younger guys," said Nix. "We did some good things and we did some bad things. We needed to find out who is ready to go into a game and I saw some good things."

Tyrone said several players caught his eye, but they are at different levels of "being ready."

"The guy who is standing out right now is MLB D.T. Shackelford. He's getting better with every rep," Tyrone said. "He's making plays and is very active.

"DT Jerrell Powe is coming on and is making plays now on a more consistent basis. I consider him having starter status, like DE Emmanuel Stephens and a couple of more. Freshman CB Charles Sawyer made some real good plays today, but he also gave up some plays. He's shown me signs that he can be a playmaker, but he needs to keep working on his consistency. I was also impressed with Safety Frank Crawford. He's not afraid to come up and stick somebody, he just needs a year in the weight room and on the training table and I think he will be a big time ballplayer."

Nix said things seems to be shaping up nicely - except for a recent rash of nagging injuries at defensive end, but he's still searching for more safety help.

"If we played today, I would go with Fon Ingram as the third safety. I have the most confidence in him. He's had a steady camp," Nix allowed. "We think he can provide quality depth. Derrick Herman needs to keep coming along, as well as Jared Mitchell."

Overall, it was a successful day in the eyes of the coordinators.

Austin wanted to see better execution from his top unit and test the waters with the younger guys. Both took place.

Nix wanted to thoroughly check out the backups and see where they stand. He got the look he wanted.

Missions accomplished.


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