Notes and observations from Monday's Practice ...
Lots of green “no contact” jerseys after the scrimmage, most of them on defense: OLB Sam Williams, FS Jalen Julius, OLB Luke Knox, DB Montrell Custis, DL Sincere David.
Some of these were already hurt, and I’ve probably missed some others.
Didn’t see Jon Haynes (hamstring) or Qaadir Sheppard at all. …
During the pursuit drill in which we saw all 11 spots the defense went this way: Austrian Robinson, Benito Jones and Ryder Anderson along the three-man front.
Charles Wiley and Brenden Williams at outside linebacker, Lakia Henry and MoMo Sanogo on the inside.
Keidron Smith and Jaylon Jones were the corners, CJ Miller and Armani Linton the safeties.
The big move after the scrimmage is Henry, the nation’s No. 1 juco inside linebacker, working with the first team.
It’s good for Miller and Linton to be getting these reps, but I’m guessing Haynes and Julius will be the safeties. …
The second team defense had Josiah Coatney, KD Hill and Tariq Tisdale along the front, true freshman Brandon Mack and Vernon Dasher at OLB and Jacquez Jones and Donte Evans on the inside.
Willie Hibbler was dressed but left the practice early.
Evans, who played less last year as a sophomore than he did as a freshman, has consistently gotten good reviews this camp. A defense that requires him to cover less ground and plays to his physicality could be just what he needs to help this team. We’ll see.
Myles Hartsfield was one corner with the second group, and I didn’t catch the other.
The safeties were AJ Finley and Jay Stanley, both freshmen.
There was a time later in the eight viewable periods that defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre wasn’t happy with his second team defensive backs.
“Give me another safety,” he yelled, plus some other things. Kam White trotted off the field, and Stanley ran in. He lasted one play before MacIntyre got mad at him, and Finley went in. …
On offense freshman quarterback Kinkead Dent was not at practice after suffering a concussion in the scrimmage. The orders of reps with the quarterbacks went Matt Corral, Grant Tisdale and John Rhys Plumlee. …
Senior tight end Jason Pellerin (concussion) also remains out. In his absence running back D’Vaughn Pennamon was getting some reps at tight end, an interesting move.
Rich Rodriguez says he’ll use 3-4 running backs. My guess is that ends up being three and that the top two will be Scottie Phillips and Snoop Conner. I think there will be a package for Jerrion Ealy as well. Rodriguez has had good things to say about Pennamon, who his working his way back from a knee injury that forced him to sit out all of last season. Getting Pennamon reps at tight end could be a way to get him the ball in space and be on the field with other running backs. Rodriguez last week praised Pennamon’s “natural” running style. Stay tuned on that move …
I’ve written a little bit about Tupelo freshman Tavario Standifer, who has had a good camp, an apparently had a good scrimmage, according to a witness. Standifer may be lining himself up for work on special teams, which is no small achievement this year as the Rebels have more scholarship players.
Someone with knowledge last year told me that often it was a struggle to fill out those teams last year. “Sometimes we were just playing bodies out there.”
That’s not what you want with units that might be on the field for a combined 25 or 30 snaps.
It will be interesting to see if that results in improved special teams play this season.
Punt return, for instance, has been a weapon for Ole Miss in recent season but has been more about catching the ball without turning it over.
Elijah Moore, Ealy and Braylon Sanders were deep on punt returns Monday. Earlier in camp the group included freshman Jadon Jackson.