August 14, 2006

Temp. and intensity high for Rebels on Monday

Ole Miss held an open practice Monday morning for members of the media as a precursor to the Ole Miss Media Day.

The workout was long and the temperature was matched only by the intensity level of the Rebels.

The practice mirrored many of those last fall during the preseason. There was early drill work in which the players split into their respective units and worked individually and as a group.

I spent a considerable amount of time focusing on the wide receivers working with the quarterbacks on a variety of routes. This wasn't standard 7-on-7 work but rather one wide receiver running a specific route.

I think before the Rebels break camp there will be a dramatic improvement in the play of the wide receivers. Both receivers coach Matt Lubick and offensive coordinator Dan Werner work with the receivers to fine tune their route running as well as technique off the line of scrimmage.

Mike Hicks and Shay Hodge had solid days catching the ball as did Michael Hicks. Two walkons that stood out were Josh Zettergren and Kyle Higginbotham. Zettergren, from a physical standpoint at 6-foot-1 200 pounds, looks like a guy that could play this year. He is a junior from Senatobia.

I still like Dexter McCluster to play a lot this fall as well. He is still making the transition from running back but it looks like things are going smoothly for him.

The other group I spent a lot of time watching was the offensive line. It's impossible not to notice the trio of John Jerry, Michael Oher and Maurice Miller. Those three men average 339 pounds as a group and all three could be on the offensive line for years to come (Oher and Miller are sophomores, Jerry a freshman.) Jerry moves very well given his size and inexperience.

Andrew Wicker worked at left guard this morning and looked fine in the workout.

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