New-Look Ole Miss Staff Taking Advantage of Spring Practice
March 7, 2017

By Dylan Edwards,

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss’ football team is in the third day of installing the new systems of coordinators Phil Longo and Wesley McGriff. It’s easy to see how this year’s spring can be beneficial to the players by getting a head start on mastering the playbook before the fall.

It’s not as often thought about how this spring is also beneficial to Ole Miss’ retooled coaching staff that head coach Hugh Freeze assembled in the offseason. Including Longo and McGriff, the Rebels have five new assistant coaches that are using this spring to become acclimated to the Ole Miss players and program.

Especially for the three new position coaches - defensive line coach Freddie Roach, linebackers coach Bradley Dale Peveto, and wide receivers coach Jacob Peeler – they had to learn the new system of the coordinators and work with new coaches while getting to know their players.

“I don’t meet a stranger,” Roach said. “I’ve been here, there, all over the place. You learn to adapt. That’s what I’ve always been good at.”

Of course, these coaches were hired because they fit both personally and schematically in what Ole Miss wants. For instance, Peeler comes from Cal’s spread offense and was initially familiar with most of the things Longo wants in his offense.

“I’ve never worked with Coach Longo before, but I feel like I have,” Peeler said. “We speak the same language. What he calls something I might call it different, but the fine details of the coaching points are very similar.”

For Peeler in particular, this job means more than coaching at a major SEC program. This is a homecoming of sorts for the Kosciusko, Mississippi native.

“I’m a Mississippi kid,” Peeler said. “I feel like I’m home. I wake up everyday, and it still hasn’t completely set in that I’m at Ole Miss. I grew up going to that stadium, going to Tad Pad, going to baseball games with my parents. It’s a surreal moment for me. I’m truly excited to be on this staff.”

While Peeler was at Cal last season, the other members of staff have invaluable experience competing against the rigorous SEC West. Obviously the returning staff has experience with it, but the new coaches on the defensive side of the ball all arrived from SEC West schools. McGriff was at Auburn, Roach at Alabama, and Peveto at LSU.

“Anytime you have a staff that have been in the same conference, you know the common opponents because you’ve played against them and gameplanned against them,” Peveto said. “There’s no doubt that helps because we know the league.”

The new coaches are still that, new. However, they already seem to understand what makes Oxford and Ole Miss so special.

“I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed being here at Ole Miss and how much I’ve enjoyed Oxford. It’s a very passionate place,” Peveto said. “I’m pinching myself right now. It’s a great place with great people. I feel very fortunate and lucky and very humble to be here.”



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