Media Day Notebook | Ole Miss Sports

Update 11:14 a.m.

Offensive coordinator David Lee says Barry Brunett is clearly ahead in the quarterback race right now and that Randall Mackey is closer to Zack Stoudt than to Brunetti.

Here’s Lee on some areas in which Mackey needs to improve.

“It’s just familiarity. When we don’t block everybody, and we have some hots (pass routes), he’s missed some of those. Sometimes it’s a read. When a receiver is open he’s read it as closed. Things like that he should be doing better with. He did not look very good yesterday. He’s got to get the mental part right, because he can hit what he’s throwing at. Last spring he was the best at doing that.”

Here’s Lee on Brunetti.

“I would say Barry is ahead now. I like him. I felt his presence in the spring game. That’s the best way to put it. I didn’t have that feeling all spring long, but it ways heavy on me.”

More on the race.

“I want to see our quarterbacks get better. Unfortunately, we don’t have four preseason games. We’ll take the scrimmages coach Nutt gives us, and then everything we do out there is charted, the 1-on-1, the 7-on-7 … everything we do his charted.”

In his podium speech this morning, Houston Nutt was adamant that there will be no major overhaul of his 4-3 defensive philosophy.

Here’s DC Tryone Nix on the scheme question.

“It’s not that at all. We want to put our best 11 on the field, and there are a lot of calls that require the safety to roll down in the box. Every year they talk about the safeties being our leading tacklers. It’s not different than that. Our scheme is designed to spill the ball to the safety.”

In early practice there has been a good deal of rolling that safety down, which is also known as a 4-2-5 defense, an alignment that puts a fifth defensive back on the field.

That wouldn’t be shocking given the inexperience and thin numbers at linebacker.

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Some quick notes from Houston Nutt’s portion of media day. More to come later in the day.

Nutt on running some 4-2-5 looks in early practices: “I like open practices, I really do, but I don’t like for everything to be talked about. There are a lot of things we’re looking at, but we’re a 4-3 team. We like two safeties, two linebackers, but you always have to prepare for injury. We are thin at some positions, and you always try to give your team the best chance to win.”

On tailback Jeff Scott, now a sophomore: “He will have a tremendous role, how much more (than last year) depends on him. He has tremendous speed. He’s a game-changer, a big playmaker. He took that ball 80 yards against Auburn. Not everybody can do that.” Nutt says Scott has had a good off-season and has changed his body. He’s up to 175 from 158.

Nutt on the current role of injured D.T. Shackelford: “He has to be part of our 105 (players). We could have added another player, but nobody’s going to fill the shoes of D.T. Shackelford. We want him at every meeting, every drill. He’s been coaching C.J. Johnson, Sederius Bryant and Keith Lewis just as hard as he can coach them.”