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Physical Practice Midway Through Camp

HottyToddy.com file photo
HottyToddy.com file photo

Nearing the midway mark of camp, the Ole Miss football team held a physical practice on Tuesday morning under the hot Mississippi sun as they continued preparations for the 2015 campaign.

Not one to feel that a practice was ever perfect, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze left the morning practice feeling very pleased.

“We had a really good practice today, very physical,” said Freeze.  “I woke up today a little anxious because we always had this practice marked as a very physical practice and you just keep your fingers crossed that when you do that you’re preparing your team and when you leave there you are still pretty healthy. I didn’t see anyone that suffered anything today and we got a lot of great work in today in live situations, third downs and red zone.”

Fall camp has been very competitive and today’s practice was no different with lots of good competition on both sides of the ball.

“It was a very, physical practice with good competition on both offense and defense, said Freeze. “And it’s about as good of a feeling I can have leaving a practice. I usually leave feeling like ‘ Gosh, our offense stunk today or Geez, our defense stunk today’ and its hard to feel great, but today I saw some really great things on both sides.”

When asked about some players that have stood out over the course of the first several weeks of camp, Freeze mentioned the leadership of Fadol BrownIsaac GrossMike Hilton and Trae Elston on defense and offensively, said that Evan Engram has been a really good leader.

Freeze also mentioned that Jaylen Walton has had some really nice runs and thinks Damore’ea  (Stringfellow) has had a really good camp along with Robert Conyers and Fahn Cooper.

When asked about the quarterback competition Freeze thinks he has in his mind who is leading the competition, but still isn’t ready to name a starter.

“I kind of have in my mind who is the leader right now based on the totality of what we’ve seen after 12 practices,” said Freeze.  “But if your spectrum is just one practice, then I have some mixed feelings, so we’ll see if my current feeling continues to be verified over the remainder of practices leading up to the first game. Today wasn’t quite enough validation for me to say I’m all the way there yet, but I’ll have to watch the film and see. I always feel a little different after watching the film.”

When asked what Freeze’s quarterback leader has done to separate himself, Freeze gave a few examples.

“Over the course of the 12 practices he’s handled blitzes better, which is one of the top things you look at in a quarterback, how does he handle that. ‘Is that a time the ball comes out carelessly or are you getting the protections right and getting yourself protected to make a throw standing in their taking a hit’, taking care of the ball and being efficient in moving the chains. Over the course of 12 practices I think I know who’s done those things better. I’ve watched closely on the field and in film, but then today you get another guy that maybe elevated himself a little bit leaving practice. It will keep playing itself out and I’ll get the right gut feel.”

Notes and tidbits:

  • Freeze noted that the run game has improved especially in the areas of “dirty runs” – the short gains, and eliminating negative plays. He mentioned that Akeem Judd has had a good camp and had a good scrimmage on Saturday with physical runs.
  • With the injury to Rod TaylorJustin Bell is rotating in at right guard along with Tyler Putman and Jordan SimsAaron Morris will also see some time there along with Daronte Bouldin.
  • Aaron Morris was cleared to go one-on-one on Monday and it looks like he’ll be released to go full on starting tomorrow (Wednesday)
  • Rod Taylor’s rehab of his shoulder is going good and he has more strength than initially thought. The staff is optimistic that he’ll be able to recover and play this season.

Follow Ole Miss Football on Twitter (@OleMissFB) and Facebook (Facebook.com/OleMissFootball), in addition to www.OleMissSports.com.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics


Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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