It’s 5:30 p.m. and the phone rings . . .

by

Sorry, that presidential ad just cracks me up.

Anyway, I had just returned to Tupelo at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday when my cell phone rang. It was Sylvester Croom. Interesting, I thought. In the three seconds it took for me to answer the phone, 1,000 things went through my mind as to what he possibly could want.

Well, in a nutshell he was calling to apologize for being so abrupt with his post-scrimmage interview. No need to apologize, I thought. But he wanted me to know he had somewhere to be and didn’t want to be late.

He also wanted me to understand the scrimmage wasn’t as poor offensively as he might have let on. Now note, it wasn’t great, but he was quick to point out the play of the receiving corps, especially Jamayel Smith and Audrey Bell.

He also wanted to clarify that Jamie Jones wasn’t going to overtake Jamar Chaney at middle linebacker. Still, he’s practiced well enough that he’s going to get some serious playing time. That can only be good.

As for the offense, remember three things. First, it was the first scrimmage of the year. Second, MSU scrimmaged a week earlier than normal. And third, junior running back Anthony Dixon barely played. But I will be honest. I expected more. But as sophomore quarterback Wesley Carroll said, at least now there is real film to look at to see where improvements need to be made.

I have a feeling that film will be the focus at practice this week as the team prepares for scrimmage No. 2 on Saturday, one we won’t be allowed to attend.

As for today’s stories . . .
Offensive struggles irk Croom.
• All-SEC safety Derek Pegues says he was being selfish with his actions of skipping classes, which led to a one-game suspension to be served in the season opener against Louisiana Tech.

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13 Responses to “It’s 5:30 p.m. and the phone rings . . .”

  1. db33 Says:

    Gregg,

    Did it look like the same old same old Bulldog offense? Usually a FB on the field. No misdirection running. No spreading of the field. Just some occasional shotgun?

    Did we run screen passes to the TB’s? Did the QB take the snap, either from under center or the ‘gun, and simply turn sideways and fire it out to a WR? That’s a bread & butter play. Just dump it out there and let a quick player make a play.

    That’s what I’m looking for. Zig when the defense things zag. Zone reads. Reverses. Does this staff watch film of other teams?? Do they know what being creative means? Have they even considered a, gasp!, trick play?

  2. Gregg Ellis Says:

    There was a lot of that. But the defense also blitzed a lot, too. Again, Dixon barely played and I know that makes a difference.

  3. jcdawgman18 Says:

    I’m telling you, Dixon not playing does not excuse everyone else, but it does have a major impact.
    BTW, our defense is really deadgum good. Let’s not forget that. I seriously doubt our offense will ever, ever “beat” them in a scrimmage. I know of very few offenses in the conference that could, too.

  4. carwwest Says:

    i know AD not being in there made an impact but what is going to happen during the season??…. 8 in the box every single time if we dont have any innovation or passing game just like last year…..and i know you are supposed to able to take advantage of 8 in the box in the passing game but it also works the other way around…..still very disappointing….but there is still time, …i guess…
    anyways, gg, how did elliott look running the ball??….is he actually more explosive or is he more like AD and ducre??

  5. Gregg Ellis Says:

    Double W (that’s what I’m going to call you now), I thought he was a little sluggish and perhaps even tentative at first. But with each carry, he looked more and more comfortable, to the point of impressive with his last touch. There really wasn’t a burst of explosiveness like I expected, but he made people miss. Then again, he never got out in the field where he could go wide open. In the sprints, though, he was always first in his group.

  6. dawgbones Says:

    I stopped by and saw the scrimmage Saturday (you walked by me Gregg when I was talking to someone, never could find you after that) and what I saw was a limited number of plays as to play calling. The biggest problem that I saw is offensive line depth. The 2nd team O-line looked okay with the run but not good with pass rush. Tyson Lee will have to roll out to be effective in the passing and I thought he was effective when he did so. In the pocket he was either sacked or the ball batted down. His size will make it very tough to throw out of the pocket, but he made some plays when rolling out and I thought he led the best drive of the day that stalled on 4th and goal with a pass batted down (in the pocket). No QB option stuff of any kind which I know Tyson can run. Carroll looked decent but not releasing the ball quick enough, even when not under pressure. He has to get his timing better. Receivers made some good catches. Elliott was very tentative running up the middle. I think his major playing time will be short passes out of the backfield. He is not a good blocker (yet). AD looks extremely fit. I believe he has lost more weight than the paper said. His two touches were good runs with good holes by the O-line. Carlson and McAdams were their usual inconsistent personalities Saturday. They drew some anger from Croom. I can’t believe how small that Arnil Stallworth looked lined up at FB, I thought he was bigger. On defense, secondary looks good. On special teams, I predict that Tay Bowser will get a couple of blocks this year on field goals, he is unbelievably quick and long at getting to the kicker. D-line and linebackers swarmed the ball well and gang tackles were apparent. I don’t think Chris Relf will ever make it. He even looked sloppy at taking the snap, while not fumbling, it never looked clean and slowed him a fraction of a second at getting out from under center. He has a lot of work to do if he is ever going to compete. The Meridian QB with his size and reported talent will beat him out if he doesn’t get a lot better.

  7. carwwest Says:

    russell (meridian QB) from what i have seen already looks like he has more natural throwing ability than what we have lined up right now….dont get me wrong, i think carroll can be effective but im pretty sure my old flag football QB had as strong as arm if not stronger…..i was wondering about lee in the pocket….it seemed the only passes he completed in the spring game was when he was rolled out….
    thanks for the words on elliott gg…..the kid is still young and if what you said about him getting better with every carry then i think he will be ok after a few games….
    still need a passing game though…..

  8. farley662 Says:

    I didn’t think Mr. Personality cared what you scribes thought about anything?

  9. Gregg Ellis Says:

    Sure he does. They all do. Some just admit it.

  10. farley662 Says:

    I still don’t like him

  11. carwwest Says:

    ok im lost…who is mr. personality??

  12. farley662 Says:

    Croom. Ya know, the whole I don’t care what anyone thinks attitude he always has?

  13. carwwest Says:

    thats what i thought….just making sure….

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