Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rebel Update from Fall Practice

The Ole Miss receivers, led by veterans Michael Wallace, Shay Hodge and Dexter McCluster, are supposed to be one of the Rebels' main strengths this season.

But during Monday's first day of practice, that didn't appear to be the case. Easy catches bounced off hands and routes weren't crisp.

After that practice, the team had a film session and coach Houston Nutt said he jumped all over the receivers.

"We talked ugly to them last night," Nutt said. "The film just doesn't lie."

But on Tuesday, the receivers responded.

Hodge and sophomores Markeith Summers and Lionel Breaux made nice catches as the offense looked markedly improved during the second day of camp.

While the receivers were improved, Nutt said better offensive line production helped.

"(The defense) jumped all over us yesterday," Nutt said. "But today we didn't have that."

Punting problems
Ole Miss ranked close to the bottom of the Southeastern Conference in punting last season, and through two practices, not a whole lot appears to have changed.

Senior Rob Park, junior Justin Sparks and sophomore Bryan Powers are locked in a battle for the position. All had decent moments on Tuesday, but nobody in the trio has showed much consistency.

Sparks held the position for much of last season, averaging 39.7 yards per punt.

"They responded better today," Nutt said. "But they need to be quicker getting the ball off and more consistent."

Odds and ends
Safety Johnny Brown (hamstring) was able to go through some individual drills, but sat out large chunks of practice...

The Rebels will practice today at 5:20 p.m. on campus. The team will put on shoulder pads after going with just helmets the past two days.

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