April 4, 2013 9:35:29 AM
OXFORD -- A rainy spring day in Oxford drove the University of Mississippi football team into its Indoor Practice Facility for most of its practices Wednesday morning.
"I thought it was a little sluggish to start with," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said of the two-hour workout, his team's ninth of the spring. "I wasn't thrilled with the energy that we had. It's kind of that time in spring ball where the tough has to get going. We're beat up a little bit, but everybody is during spring ball. I thought it picked up as practice went on."
Injuries have kept quite a few Rebels on the sideline in the last few practice sessions, especially at offensive line and receiver. Freeze addressed the depth issues with reporters after practice.
"We have to be realists - we're still a little ways away from having the depth (you need) in this league," Freeze said. "We were so fortunate last year. We played three receivers pretty much the whole year and five offensive linemen pretty much the whole year. That's rare that that happens. And we're seeing it now in the spring. We're getting some injuries and it changes your team pretty fast. We're still a couple of recruiting years away from having the depth we need at some of these spots, so we've got to be smart with how we practice."
Offensive linemen on the sidelines Wednesday included Aaron Morris and Darone Bailey, who are being held out the whole spring, and Patrick Junen, who sprained a toe during Monday's practice.
Receivers who were held out Wednesday included Donte Moncrief, Terrell Grant, and Korvic Neat.
Despite that, the offense performed well in a second-down scrimmage scenario during the workout.
"That was a good second-and-7 scrimmage," Freeze said. "I thought Jaylen (Walton) made some good plays. I thought Barry (Brunetti) had some good decisions. The one's won quite a few of their second-and-7 series. I thought that was some improvement, for sure."
Cornerback Senquez Golson has been solid throughout this spring, his first full-time with the football team. He played baseball last spring.
"He's talented," Freeze said. "There's still some maturing that has to take place, but he's not by himself. We have several like that that need to be more consistent in all the little things. But he certainly has come a ways for us. I'm pleased with his performance (this spring)."
The Rebels will hit the practice fields again at 4 p.m. Friday (location TBD) for their 10th spring practice. They will scrimmage at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. All spring practices are open to the public. Use of cell 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 2013 Spring Practice Schedule button located on the left side of the OleMissSports.com football home page. All information is tentative and subject to change.
Spring ball will culminate with the 2013 BancorpSouth Grove Bowl at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 13. Admission to the game is free this year.
A number of activities will surround Grove Bowl week, including that Saturday morning's Chucky Mullins Award Ceremony, which will be a breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at the Jackson Avenue Center (old Wal-Mart building). Tickets are now available for the event by visiting the OleMissSports.com ticket site or calling 888-REB-TKTS.
n Rain forces Alabama inside: At Tuscaloosa, Ala., the University of Alabama football team moved Wednesday's two-hour workout inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility due to steady rain in the area.
It was the sixth practice of the spring for the Crimson Tide who worked in full pads as they prepared for the first scrimmage of the spring Saturday.
"It was a good day of practice," Alabama junior tight end Harrison Jones said. "It was good to get back on the field and get in the swing of things -- just start getting that rhythm on the field again."
Jones, a junior from Germantown, Tenn., is one of several experienced tight ends who will be looking to fill the role of three-year starter Michael Williams and h-back Kelly Johnson in 2013.
"Michael (Williams) played a huge role in our offense last season, that's no secret," Jones said. "Our identity has changed with new players and a new team, and new people are going to have to step up and make plays. That is something that you deal with at almost every position, every year. That is just part of the game, especially in college. It is something we are taking on as a tight end unit, to fill that spot and make the plays that he made."
Alabama will practice again Friday before playing a closed scrimmage Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama's 2013 A-Day Game is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The A-Day Game is once again free to the public and will be televised live on ESPN2.