So I caught some heat for yesterday's practice report being too negative... Get ready, Rivals and Spirit posters. I'm not about to tell you that everything's alright when it isn't. If you want to know who's playing well and what's going right, you need to occasionally hear who isn't, and what's going wrong, so you know that we're not just pumping sunshine. I think the team will be good. I don't think that the team is ready to strap up and play Alabama tomorrow. My apologies. Moving on...
Stanley probably took more 2nd team snaps than Tapp did. I don't know how indicative that it of of their depth chart positions, but I like seeing Stanley getting the work right now.
Cotton's passes were bit better today. I see where some people saw him running around yesterday, so maybe I missed that. Again, didn't see him running today. He looks athletic, so I'm watching for a big run from him.
Bolden hardly played at all today. I'm guessing that his position is pretty firmly in his grasp. Enrique ran with authority today, as did Tim Simon.
Rodney Scott, I forgot to report yesterday, is short, but in stellar shape. When a guy shows up built like that (like Dex was), you expect them to play early. Scott had a pretty sick catch and juke in the light scrimmage.
Z Mason is working pretty low on the depth chart right now, but with the tight ends, you can't tell much until the hitting starts. He's huge, but Gerald Harris looks to be improved and waiting to improve on his Cotton Bowl performance. If the other tight ends have done anything to separate themselves, I haven't seen it.
In scrimmages, I thought Sowell looked alright. Later, I looked over and saw him doing grass drills on the sideline until he looked sick. Something he did apparently really pissed off the coaches. He was really frustrated with himself. Again, I'm dying for the pads to go on, so we'll know how much of a concern he is.
Massie was moving well. The coaches were working him seemingly over half the time, so maybe they're trying to push him hard for early PT.
Shay is the clear cut #1. He's awesome. He had a hook route that left Marshay standing in the dust; he was there, then he wasn't. Shay continues to climb up my list of favorite OM receivers. He was already # 1. Now he's # -3.
Markeith had a solid catch or two today. Still waiting for him to grab the #3 spot. I have to think that he'll do it. His combination of speed and athleticism, as well as his blocking, should overtake Breaux on the depth chart.
The coaches keep testing Patterson. He gets lots of reps against the upperclass defensive backs. He had one sick catch that I noticed today, and several other great efforts. He throws his body around. He isn't Julio Jones yet, though, I in no way expect him to crack the top 3 by season's end.
Melvin Harris did something in drills, I missed it, that made the coaches and players go nuts. Wish I'd seen it.
Ja-Mes Logan continues to be solid and athletic. Jesse Grandy also showed awesome speed today, though he looks like 150 pounds out there. He took a reverse and blew by some fast guys on the way to getting edged out of bounds. He also had a juke that left one of the better DB's dead in his tracks. This kid looks bound for offense.
Hardy and Powe both looked really intense in drills today. Gerald Rivers looks beastly, if still a little thin. You can see that he's tall and athletic and light on his feet.
The coaches look pleased with Shackleford and Kight at linebacker. I saw more of them than of Jason Jones and Lekenwic Haynes today, though I didn't spend a ton of time on the linebackers. Jason Jones looks too big to play sideline to sideline. We'll see.
Darius Barksdale (I'll call him 'Tig' when/if he gets his shit together and does something on the field...) was dressed out in #14 today, but this seemed like an orientation session for him. He wasn't out there doing much at all.
Charles Sawyer was listed at safety, but he worked at corner today. He's big and physical and not slow, and I've heard that the coaches like him. I see him as a dark horse to get some real PT. His dreads are sick, too. That helps.
The ball kept gravitating towards Marcus Temple today. He had two seemingly lucky picks in the scrimmage. I hope he continues to get faster so he won't be stuck at nickel corner his whole career.
Overall, catching was improved today, and the secondary probably made fewer mistakes biting on fakes. Still, I worry about practices looking rusty, especially when the pads are still off. I'm optimistic, but I can't be too wooly until I see the offensive line actually block somebody.
Feel free to add some more observations, or let me know if there's someone you want me to look our for in the coming days of practice.
OLE MISS NATIONAL CHAMPS 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!