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Derek Mason answers media questions prior to the Ole Miss game

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Also, new depth chart!

NCAA Football: SEC Football Media Day Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Mason took to the podium for his weekly press conference ahead of Saturday’s game at Ole Miss. We summarize his remarks below:

  • Derek Mason started by talking up Ole Miss. At this point I’m convinced he says the same things about every opponent and every opposing coach, it would be news if he trashed the opposing team or coach to open his press conference.
  • This team is energetic and moving in the right direction. Mason saw “glimpses” of solid performances on Saturday.
  • The pass rush was the biggest improvement on the defense last week, and it’s been an area of emphasis. Mason likes the improvement that Elijah McAllister has made in that area. We need to be more effective on third down to get off the field.
  • Right now, we still have enough rotational depth in the secondary.
  • How do you go about preparing for a team that uses multiple quarterbacks? “I think we’ll see (John Rhys) Plumlee,” who reminds Derek Mason of Shea Patterson (Ed. note: is this supposed to be a compliment?)
  • Ole Miss has talent all over the field offensively. (Ed. note: no, they don’t.) You’re going to see some split zone, counter, shots down the field, etc.
  • Riley Neal is making “incremental progress.”
  • There have been a lot of passes a long way across the field for short gains. (Note: this was a hallmark of the Dorrell-fense.) “You have to be on the field to take the shots down the field.” We threw a damn flea-flicker in the last game. Guys have to be on the same page. Riley needs to make sure that footwork, timing, and continuity push the ball where it needs to go.
  • Adam Sparks asks Derek Mason about the California bill. Mason elects not to answer that and claims not to have read the bill. But there are “things that need to happen” before we start talking about a specific bill.
  • “There’s a similar bill in Tennessee being produced by Brian Kelsey.” Ed. Note: of freaking course it would be Brian Kelsey.
  • What does Alston Orji have to do to get on the field more? “Be a little better.”

And, here’s your new depth chart:

At this point, it feels like most of the changes we’re seeing on the depth chart are the result of injuries, either players who were injured being taken off the depth chart (e.g. Dontye Carriere-Williams) or players coming back from injury who haven’t reclaimed their starting spot yet (e.g. Feleti Afemui.)