Ole Miss football is hardly, if ever, a known quantity. With each new season arrive a slew of injuries, off-field controversies and just enough late-game magic to keep fans coming back for more. With that said, there is one thing fans of Rebels football can count on year after year: pass-heavy offense. This year will be no exception.
New offensive coordinator Phil Longo, the technician previously behind college football’s most explosive offense in the nation, Sam Houston State, has remained relatively tight-lipped on the specifics of his system. Longo’s players, on the other hand, have certainly dropped a few hints. Expect a fast and furious offense built on simple play-calling and unparalleled chemistry.
“With the new Longo offense, we’re trying to move the ball fast,” sophomore wide receiver A.J. Brown said. “The speed of the game is going faster now. We’re moving a lot faster.”
Brown, who caught two touchdowns in 11 games last season, should play a larger role in Longo’s offense this season. An Under Armour All-American and the fifth-ranked receiver prospect coming out of Starkville High School, Brown’s work ethic and humble attitude have solidified his role as a leader this year.
“I didn’t look at the negative aspect of it (referring to the injury),” Metcalf said. “I looked at it as a time to grow and perfect my mental game.”
Brown and Metcalf have grown close since arriving in Oxford, bonding as brothers both on and off the field.
“Shea and I played at the opening together on the same U.S. Army team, and we’re every morning before workouts trying to perfect it, trying to get extra work in,” Metcalf said.
With hungry receivers and fresh tactics, the Rebels will not have problems putting points on the board next season. And while it remains to be seen whether or not the defense can step up from an abysmal 2017, Rebels fans can rest easy knowing Patterson should have plenty of open targets to throw at next fall.