Patterson Eager to Throw to Rebel Receivers

Photo by Greg Pevey, Rebel Nation Magazine™

Shea Patterson Ready to Take Control of Offense

By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSports.com

Oxford, Miss. – When Shea Patterson and his teammates tap the Chucky Mullins bust on their way out to the field Saturday afternoon, emotions will be plentiful. Above all else, he thinks there will be a sense of relief.

“I think it’s a huge relief for us,” Patterson said. “All that we’ve gone through in the offseason and all the work we’ve put in, we’re ready to show everybody what we have to offer. Just really excited to play.”

Patterson knows it is his team now. With a full offseason to prepare with that mindset, he is ready to be a leader.

“That’s going to be a big part of my comfort level,” Patterson said. “Anytime you can get more reps with the ones and get that game chemistry, it’s going to help us as a whole. We’re very excited about.”

The sophomore quarterback will have the luxury of throwing to one of the most talented receiver corps in the country, a group that he’s grown even more comfortable with this offseason.

“That really reached its peak in the summer when I started getting all the ones (reps), and in the spring as well. Just getting that game-time chemistry with my receivers,” Patterson said. “As a whole, right now, we’re very comfortable. Our comfort level is huge right now, and that’s what excites us right now.”

It would be difficult not to marvel at the talent at the wide receiver position, and Patterson has gotten a front row seat to watch them grow. He has also played a role in their development. There are so many different guys with versatile skill sets to offer.

“I think we have the best receiving corps in the country, so it’s hard to point out two who’ve really progressed through the offseason and the summer,” Patterson said. “Damarkus Lodge, Van Jefferson and A.J. Brown in the slot, that’s new to him.”

Brown’s new position in the slot is a byproduct of the talent Ole Miss boasts at the position. First-year wide receivers coach Jacob Peeler and offensive coordinator Phil Longo are trying to figure out ways to get them all on the field.

“It was something we started doing late in the spring,” Peeler said. “We moved Van around a little bit and A.J. too. A. J. is one of those guys that is a mismatch anywhere you put him on the field. You put him at wideout, he will be a mismatch on the corners with his physicality. Then you put him in the slot and he is a better athlete than most guys you put on him.”

Peeler knew about a lot of these Rebel receivers before he got to Oxford because of how highly recruited they were. It’s one of the factors that drove him to take the job at Ole Miss. He is now reaping the benefits on a daily basis.

“There is not a day I walk off the field and am not amazed that I get to coach these guys,” Peeler said. “They are so talented.”

It is Patterson’s team now, and he has a stable of athletes to throw to on the perimeter. He says now it is about becoming a leader on this team. He,  the rest of the 2016 class and the entire team. Just as they have done with everything thrust in their path.

“I think as a whole — the guys ahead of us and below us — I think this thing that’s happened to us, we could have run from it,” Patterson said.  “But I think we attacked it as a team, as a whole. I think we’re going to come out better as a team from this. Everybody’s staying positive and taking it week to week.”

Follow Ole Miss Football on Twitter (@OleMissFB), Facebook and Instagram. For more information, visit www.OleMissSports.com. – RN

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