OXFORD, Miss.- The Ole Miss football team wrapped up its first fall camp practice on Wednesday, marking the official start of the 2022 season.
Head Coach Ole Miss Lane Kiffin met with the media after Tuesday’s opener to discuss the direction of the team, which is coming off a historic 10-win regular season.
The Rebels made a total of 28 transfers, including 24 portal transfers which ranked as the second-best unit in the country.
Kiffin knows that cohesion is key and could go a long way in determining the Rebels’ success in the future.
“As we told the team at the team meeting, it’s a different time to now in general,” Kiffin said. “You don’t have programs where everyone has been there for years and understands what the expectations are.
“It’s about how well we can get players to buy into the values and principles of our organization and what we do here, because we know that won’t happen overnight. The challenge now is that the faster we can do it, the better off we’ll be.”
NEW FACES, NEW SYSTEMS
The Rebels will have to replace many key members of their historic 2021 campaign, but Kiffin and company are eager to see what new faces can bring to the Ole Miss schedule.
Despite an explosive offense and having finished in the top six in the nation the past two seasons in all-out attack, Kiffin says the players will be the key factor in moving forward, rather than the plan.
“We just have to find the best people to play and the best systems to play,” Kiffin said. “We don’t just run a system no matter what and make the players adapt to it. We look at the players and who is the best to play and then form a system around them. C That’s why year after year we’ve looked different in attack and defense.”
With six defensive players from last season currently on NFL rosters, including sack leader and NFL second-round pick sam williamsthe rebels are looking for the production of their returns and the new faces of the team.
“I think this year in defense you’re going to have a lot because we’ve lost a lot of moving parts and some really key players. We’re going to have some challenges there as we figure out what’s the best way to play and how much linemen, linebackers and defensive backs can do it for us.”
NO RUSH ON THE QB SITUATION
The rebels will seek to replace Matt Coral at quarterback after the two-year-old starter was drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft.
“We’re trying to replace a veteran quarterback who played extremely well and at times put a hurt offense on his shoulders and was able to do it himself in order to win the game,” Kiffin said. “One of these guys won’t be filling that exact role just yet, so you’ll need to have other people around to help out.”
The battle for the starting QB began during spring drills and will continue throughout fall camp.
“I mean we would like to know as soon as possible, and like everything we do here, we have analytics,” Kiffin said. “So the more information we have, the better we can make a decision. We can’t rush this.
“I think competition is good for everyone, especially if both are young, but I think it makes you better, whatever your age. We’re looking for the guy who leads the team and gets the ball rolling. best team… At the end of the day, are you going to return the ball or are you going to score it?”