New Offensive Coordinator, Same #WRU

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By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics


Head coach Hugh Freeze has branded Ole Miss as Wide Receiver University since arriving to Oxford. Despite the new faces and system installed, It appears that tradition will continue into 2017. 


The receivers shined on perfect spring day at the 2017 Grove Bowl at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium as the offense edged the defense 31-29 Saturday. 


Led by A.J. Brown, Van Jefferson and D.K. Metcalf, the trio combined for 15 receptions, 357 yards and three touchdowns. The most improved offensive player of the spring, senior Marquell Pack, flashed his speed and hands, making a diving catch for an explosive play. Freeze was proud of the performance of his receiving core but expects more out of his defense.


"You want to high-five your receivers and say 'Man, great job.'," said Freeze. "But we can't give up explosive plays. So it's very difficult for a coach to leave a scrimmage every felling really good."


The outing did not come easy for the talented group. Offensive coordinator Jeff Longo's new system took some getting used to, but the receivers showed they are buying in to the process.  


"In those first seven or eight practices, you see a ball land, and the receivers aren't on the same page," said Freeze. "But there's a partnership there. (Longo) has great confidence that they're going to make plays in those 50-50 balls. He's going to put them there. It just takes reps. They have to have a ton of reps together this offseason to make sure they're on the same page."


Quarterback Shea Patterson looked comfortable delivering the ball, completing 70 percent of his passes for 341 yards and a pair of touchdowns despite the limited play calling.


"He's settled in and everybody knows that," said Freeze. "He gives them a confidence. It's taking him a little while too, because everything is new. All the verbiage, the type of drops you have to take, the checks in the run game, you have to learn all that. Today the call list was small, and he had a good understanding of it. I thought he was really efficient, and that gives people around him confidence."


With Jason Pellerin's move to tight end, Jordan Ta'amu fills in as the second-string quarterback this spring. The transfer from New Mexico Military Institute was able to get it going, scoring a touchdown through the air and the grown for the offensive unit. Ta'amu's 74-yard heave to Jefferson cut the lead to five, and a 1-yard sneak into the end zone gave the offense the lead. 


Although it was business as usual for his offensive unit, Freeze looks forward to the challenge of learning a new system for the first time.


"The challenge is I have to learn all of the new terminology so that I can be involved. That's been a challenge because I've used my terminology since high school, but we needed it. It was time for us to have a change in signals and terminology, so that has been good for me too."


WRU and the Rebels kickoff the football season at home September 2 against South Alabama. 

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    Tiffany J. Moore said:

    This is amazing with what he have done so far! Hope that he'll achieve more in the future!

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    Fiftyyears fan said:

    How can you have five straight top 25 recruiting classes and look as bad as Ole Miss has this year. Easy lack of coaching fundamentals. Look at Mason at Vandy, nothing but 2 and 3 star recruits out of high school and he developers players that want to win. Hugh freeze has 3, 4 & 5 recruits and he expects them to win because of what they were in High School. Mr. Freeze you have not been teaching the fundamentals of football or winning in life. Mr. Freeze you have quit on your players because you have some false expectations of what they are instead of what you can develop in them. Either do your job or quit. Oh yea, please quit running your smoke and mirrors offense, everyone has figured it out. Run a physical offense that can open up holes for your running backs and then your pass attack want require 12 are 14 four and five star receivers. Mr. Freeze you have problems and you need to know that you are not smarter than the rest of the coaches in the SEC.

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    Karen Holden said:

    Not every pass can be caught. Too low, too short whatever. Not every Kelly pass is perfect. Records were broken by receivers also. But they sre not going to catch every ball thrown. The loss to Auburn was not one players fault. You win or lose as a team.

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    Trent browning said:

    Hey I was just wandering if these are the only 2 olemiss players signing. If there are more signing please respond to me ASAP. Also wondering if neil everett will sign any autographs. Thank you very much

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