Thursday, May 26, 2022

Kiffin’s Final Press Conference Before First Game

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin met with members of the media on Wednesday following the last full day of practice before Saturday’s season opener against the Florida Gators.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Kiffin said. “We are shuffling around a lot of people. For potential scenarios throughout the season with COVID. Just trying everything to be prepared the best we can.”

Preparing to go into the season opener after missing out on spring practices has been a challenge for the team, having lost the time normally used to hone player’s fundamental skills and make sure everything is in the right place for staff.

“Well, I hope that we are good at those things,” Kiffin said. “I haven’t watched much football … People are reporting to me that there’s a lot of sloppy play, which you would expect a lot of turnovers, missed tackles and not playing the ball well. I am sure that’s a product of no spring, and we’re just doing the best we can. I got no idea what is going to happen Saturday.”

The Rebels are still waiting on word from the SEC regarding whether or not senior defensive back Deane Leonard is eligible to play.

“No,” Kiffin said. “Another thing where he will be on the service team for the whole year versus probably starting for us. That one’s probably more frustrating because it’s already there. It’s not a real complicated deal. He couldn’t play because they didn’t have football anymore. What was the kid supposed to do, sit, and not play football? You would sure think that he’d be able to play just like the NCAA said that he should.”

Kiffin has been inquiring daily as to when the SEC will decide on Leonard’s eligibility but has not yet received a timetable on getting an answer.

“I guess they are still working on it,” he said.

Kiffin and his staff moved Grant Tisdale and Kade Renfro to receiver instead of quarterback.

“We’re just preparing for every possible scenario that you could have,” Kiffin said. “We’re very fortunate right now I know we tested again this morning and we’ll have those back again tomorrow, but our last two tests of two weeks have been perfect. We are just preparing for every situation by moving some backups around.”