Monday, August 27, 2007

Strong Making a Move

It appears the Rebel coaching staff has decided to move former Mr. Football, Chris Strong to the trenches. The coaching staff evidently feels he will be better used at tackle instead of middle linebacker. I imagine they will use a variety of defensive stunts with Strong. The other interesting move is that Tony Fein and Jonathan Cornell have switched spots, which moves Cornell to staring MLB and Fein in the race for starting outside linebacker.

Update 8/28
Chris Strong moved back to middle linebacker at practice today. As noted, I expect him to see action at both positions. However the recent Powe news will probably switch plans up a little bit.

With the news of Powe, the Rebels really need good news on Ted Laurent in the next day or so. Laurent will be used in the trenches on the DL and has great potential.

OXFORD — Ole Miss has decided that freshman Chris Strong is best suited for the defensive line — for now.

Coach Ed Orgeron said today that Strong will play at defensive tackle during the season opener at Memphis. Strong, the state’s reigning Mr. Football, spent most of preseason practice at middle linebacker.

“We think that right now he will play defensive line against Memphis,” Orgeron said. “Not to say that he can’t play linebacker, but for right now, that’s where we’re going to put him.”

Strong’s weight — Orgeron said it’s 282 pounds — is a big reason for the move. So is the every down availability of junior Peria Jerry, who had off-season foot surgery and has had minor injuries this preseason.

With Strong’s move to the trenches, Ole Miss also announced other changes.

Sophomore Jonathan Cornell and junior college transfer Tony Fein have switched positions.

Cornell, who spent most of the preseason at weakside linebacker, will now man the middle.
Fein has moved to the weakside and Orgeron said he’ll fight for a starting job with Jamie Phillips and Brandon Thomas.

“We’re trying him out there,” Orgeron said. “We’re not necessarily saying that he’s going to start there. We’ve got three days this week to see if he can handle that new job.”