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Ole Miss Fires OC/QB Coach Dan Werner

OC/QB Coach Dan Werner at The Sugar Bowl – Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

Earlier this morning in a press release, head coach Hugh Freeze announced that co-offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Dan Werner will not return to the Rebels next season.

Werner had been with the Rebels since Freeze took over in 2012 and was also with the Rebels in 2006-2007 serving as the OC. With defensive coordinator Dave Wommack retiring, the Rebels will now be searching for coordinators on both sides of the ball. Freeze praised Werner but expressed it was time for a new approach following a disappointing 5-7 season, the lowest win total in the Freeze era.

“I am grateful to Dan for his contributions to our program,” Freeze said. “His leadership and experience were invaluable in the development of our quarterbacks. These are always very difficult decisions, but at this time, I believe it is best for our program to have a fresh approach. We wish Dan and his family the very best.”

While the Rebels had success in the air averaging 315 yards per game, an inconsistent rushing attack subjected the Rebel offense to becoming one-dimensional throughout the 2016 season. Werner led the Rebels to top 10 rankings in scoring, total offense and passing offense in the Rebels journey to a Sugar Bowl victory in 2015. The inconsistency on both offense and defense in 2016, however, now has the Rebels looking for answers as they head into the offseason.

Freeze and the Rebels must find a coordinator who emphasizes more than just a high-flying air attack. The ability to run the ball and sustain drives will present a balanced attack, and give the defense a chance to rest. A quick-strike offense works to a certain extent, but looking at teams like Alabama, they’re able to achieve success in the air and on the ground, giving them a chance to control the tempo of every game they play. It’s unrealistic to recreate Alabama’s success, but taking cues from it may not be such a bad idea.

In the release, Ole Miss announced that assistant AD Barney Farrar is no longer a part of the staff. Farrar had been placed on administrative leave following his involvement in the ongoing NCAA investigation.

Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com.

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