By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Rising junior Nathan Stanley, the oldest quarterback in a four-man race at Ole Miss, calls the competition a dead heat.
The Rebels completed their second day of spring workouts Tuesday. They’ll take today off and put pads on for the first time on Thursday.
Stanley doesn’t fully reject his three years in the program as giving him some sort of advantage, but with new offensive coaches and a new system, he says it isn’t much.
“Coach (David) Lee is bringing a whole new system in, and it’s leveled everyone out,” he said.
Stanley is the first quarterback going through repetitions, and got the most snaps in the team portion of Tuesday’s work, completing 3 of 8 passes.
Following Stanley in the rotation were Barry Brunetti, Randall Mackey and Zack Stoudt.
Stanley, Brunetti and Mackey got two series of downs. The workout ended before Stoudt got a second series.
Lee gave high marks to Mackey, the junior college All-American who redshirted last season, on Monday, saying Mackey threw the most accurate and catchable ball.
Nutt seconded that after the second day.
“Mackey had an outstanding day. Zack Stoudt threw some very good balls, and Brunetti took off on a 25-yard run,” Nutt said.
Mackey had nine snaps in the team work and was 3 for 3 passing, all of it in his first series of downs. He was picked off by safety Damien Jackson with his only pass attempt the second time through.
More running plays were called when Brunetti had the ball, though Mackey’s unit had a nice gain on an option when he pitched to Jeff Scott.
“They all got a little better today,” Nutt said of his quarterbacks. “Many more completions today.”
Lee, the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, on Monday felt his group as a whole didn’t do well enough making reads.
Another difficult in trying to judge quarterbacks is the lack of experienced receivers.
Inconsistency is a buzz word among the receivers. One of Stanley’s incompletions was a drop.
“We’re trying to figure things out, and when you’re not sure of what you’re doing, you play hesitantly,” wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Gunter Brewer said.
With so many players getting snaps and so much focus on each snap for players, not much chemistry has developed in the passing game’s early stages.
“None. We’ve got four quarterbacks going, and we’ve got eight or nine receivers going. We’re just trying to find guys that will show up and continually make plays,” Brewer said.
“You see good things out of every guy at times but not a lot of consistency yet.”
Contact Parrish Alford at 678-1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.