Nick’s Notes: A look at Tuesday’s Ole Miss football practice, press conference
OXFORD, Miss. — The Ole Miss football team is less than two weeks away from its September 6th season opener against Louisville at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Media was able to attend a small portion of practice Tuesday as well as the post-practice press conference. This year’s team has great energy. We watched as they stretched, warmed up, and had a short walk-through indoors. They then moved outside, away from the watchful eyes of reporters.
Here are some of the highlights from today’s presser that included head coach Lane Kiffin, wide receiver Dannis Jackson, and safety Keidron Smith.
Kiffin was asked if the team has turned its attention to Louisville yet.
“Tomorrow we’ll get more to the opener and preparation for that. It will be extra work. We still need to develop guys, especially our young players and figure out where we’re going to play people, but obviously we’re getting a little closer to that. We’ll have to combine the two this week. It’s always a tricky week. Yet, school starting so less time with them, so we’re just going to have to maximize that..”
Head coach Lane Kiffin
The Rebels’ coach was asked again about how he felt regarding the defense’s performance in Saturday’s scrimmage after having watched the film.
“They played well. They didn’t miss tackles and didn’t give up explosive plays — which carried over to today’s (Tuesday’s) practice,” Kiffin commented. “Outside of seven-on-seven, I don’t think we scored today offensively. That’s really good.”
Kiffin was also questioned about the Rebels’ depth, noting the defense is healthier than the offense.
“I think that’s position by position. We are limited in a number of positions with injuries. I would say positionally (on the) offensive line, we have very low numbers so it’s been hard to development guys there. Same with receiver. Same with tight end. Running backs, we’re healthy and feel pretty good there. Our secondary is pretty healthy. Feel like we’re developing some guys there and Linebacker and d-line. So really, our defense is pretty healthy but our offense is not.“
Lane Kiffin on the Rebels’ depth
Wide-receiver Dannis Jackson has been getting more opportunities at the slot receiver position. The Rebels are looking to the junior to help fill the void left by the departure of Elijah Moore to the NFL.
“Physically, I feel great. I think we’re going to have a great season at receiver. We have a lot of playmakers.”
WR Dannis Jackson
The Sumrall, Miss. native also discussed how he’s improved and what will help him be an elite receiver for the Rebs this season. “Just being accountable, knowing my assignment and being able to line up and get there fast and do what I have to do, and the rest just comes,” he said.
Jackson was asked if Matt Corral looks any different to him from a year ago. “Matt Corral has always had a strong arm — we know that,” he explained. “But he’s improved over the year with the things he’s learned.”
Keidron Smith talks move to safety
Former cornerback Keidron Smith has taken on a new role, that of safety. The change to safety from his cornerback position should help the defense and add depth at the position.
“They brought in a lot of corners (via recruiting). I thought it would be selfish for me to stay at corner. I’ve always been eager to play it. I jumped on this.”
Keidron Smith on the move to safety from corner
Smith has done a great job transitioning to his new role. He was asked how he’s adjusting to the safety spot. “The first day it was kind of tough, but throughout the days I started getting more comfortable and after a while it’s just natural.”
We will continue our coverage as media availability will be on Thursday and Saturday this week.
(Feature images of Keidron Smith (20), Dannis Jackson (5) courtesy of Josh McCoy, Graphic: Nick Filipich )
Nick Filipich was born and raised in Biloxi, MS. He is an Ole Miss alum with a degree in Sports and Recreation Administration. A sports junkie with a great passion for all things Ole Miss, Nick played baseball and football in high school — which is where he discovered his love for sports. He is an avid Braves and Saints fan, and in his free time enjoys spending time with family, friends and his black lab, Dixie.