Ole Miss Holds First Practice Of Freeze Era

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March 23, 2012

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OXFORD, Miss. – The Hugh Freeze era of Ole Miss Football got underway Friday, as the Rebels held their first practice of 2012 spring drills.

Training in helmets and shorts, the team worked for just under two hours under sunny skies, and Freeze was pleased with how the players responded in the first of the 15 spring practices.

“I think we won the day,” said the first-year coach. “In our team meeting today, we asked them to give us 15 days of great attitude and effort. By no means will we be perfect, and we certainly weren’t today. There were a lot of mistakes that need to be cleaned up, and we’ll evaluate the film on that. But as far as attitude and effort and we’re putting in a new offense, defense and tempo and trying to make it as chaotic as we can, I thought they responded pretty well.”

One adjustment for the players is Freeze’s up-tempo style of practice, where there is very little time between drills.

“I was pleasantly surprised at how they handled the tempo,” he said. “Coach Paul Jackson has done a good job with his weight program, and our whole philosophy there was the same tempo – 45 minutes of working out and 45 minutes of conditioning. You’re in and out. I try to make that same promise. When we finish the script, that period is over. But give us great tempo.”

Offensively, Freeze was complimentary of junior receiver Philander Moore, saying “he caught a lot of balls and finished the play.” Freeze also noted the play of the running backs.

“I thought our backup tailbacks looked decent at times,” he said. “I thought Jeff Scott had a pretty good day. He needs to finish every play.”

On the other side of the ball, Freeze was pleased with the defensive line, which must replace three of four starters from a year ago.

“I thought the defensive line stood out,” he said. “I thought they played with good pad level. They were in sound gaps. It was good to see the defense rally around each other when they made a play.”

The second of Ole Miss’ four open practices for fans will be Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the practice fields. Use of cellular phones and cameras are prohibited for fans at practice, and fans must remain in the designated area. Fans are not allowed between the practice fields.

For an updated schedule of practice times and locations, please refer to the 2012 Spring Practice Schedule button located in the left side of the OleMissSports.com football home page. All information is tentative and subject to change.

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