Preseason Report 08.10: Rebels Practice in Pads Monday

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Preseason Report 08.10: Rebels Practice in Pads Monday

Post by rebeljim » Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:24 pm

Fall Camp Heating Up, Literally

Ole Miss donned full pads for the first time this fall camp and practiced just under three hours in the sweltering August heat Monday morning on the practice fields adjacent to the Manning Center.

The fifth practice session of the fall was split, with younger players going through drills during the first half and veterans joining in for the second half. Temperatures reached 90 degrees with a heat index in the mid-90s by the end of practice, which began at 10 a.m. in an effort to avoid the hottest part of the day.

“I think there’s a lot of carryover from spring with the older guys that I’m very happy with,” said fourth-year head coach Hugh Freeze. “I see a tremendous amount of effort. Their attitude has been great. I really believe our team can take a stand if they understand that what comes out of these 23 days of camp before we get into game week will have a direct impact when the time comes.”

The fans’ and media’s microscope will be squarely on the quarterback battle throughout fall camp. Freeze reiterated that all three competitors – sophomores Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade and junior transfer Chad Kelly – are getting snaps and showing off their abilities.

“(I’ve seen) some really good things and some inconsistent things,” Freeze said. “It’s kind of the same as spring. On a certain day or certain drill, you feel better about one more than the others. One of the big things is when we do put the ball down, no script, 1st-and-10, let’s move the football team … We’ll do that several times this fall. Those will be good indicators.”

Although the Rebels were more physical with pads on, players were directed not to tackle anyone to the ground. Freeze emphasized that the team was “physical at the point of attack” without risking too much injury by tackling to the ground.

“The hitting is not really what causes the injuries, as much as the falling and when collisions are happening in the interior of the line and people are falling on people that are unaware. Those are when those dangerous things happen.”

Sophomore DT Herbert Moore is an unfortunate example. He tore his ACL over the weekend when a teammate fell on his leg. Other injury concerns so far include a hamstring issue for junior TE Jeremy Liggins and a turf toe for junior TE Taz Zettergren. Senior OL Aaron Morris has not been “turned totally loose yet” following offseason surgery on a torn ACL.

Notes and tidbits:

•Freeze praised Jeremy Liggins’ hands and said he’s been catching the ball well.
•Lamar transfer Dillon Barrett impressed at tight end Monday. He is battling for snaps with Zettergren, Hunter Thurley and Ty Quick.
•Sophomore WR Damore’ea Stringfellow has had two really good days of practice and has become more consistent.
•Aaron Morris has lost a lot of weight (down to 313 from 345 last year) and has coaches excited about his potential for a big senior year.
•Senior Justin Bell is working at both guard and center. Robert Conyers continues to work at center and tackle like last year. Ben Still, the returning starter at center, is also battling for snaps with those two.
•Sophomore Rod Taylor practiced with the first string at right guard Monday. The O-linemen have been rotating who practices with the ones each day, but Taylor has had a good share of time with the first unit over the first five days of camp.
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