July 27, 2007

Orgeron: Handing Schaeffer job was wrong

HOOVER, Ala. This time a year ago, Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron was getting substantial attention for naming quarterback Brent Schaeffer the starter before Schaeffer had arrived on campus.

Schaeffer failed miserably, completing only 47.1 percent of his passes with 10 interceptions and just nine touchdown passes as the Rebels finished 4-8.

"I wish I wouldn't have done it," Orgeron said. "I did it for recruiting purposes. That was a ploy, but I probably made a mistake in doing that.

"You learn. I made some mistakes as a head coach in my first two years, and hopefully I'm correcting those things."

Orgeron said that Schaeffer had an "inconsistent lifestyle," and didn't handle the responsibility that comes with being the starting quarterback.

Asked to define "inconsistent lifestyle," Orgeron didn't hold back.

"It was just, you know, attending class, meetings, being the leader nothing that is any law-breaking activity or anything," Orgeron said. "He's been on his best behavior. I just think, being the quarterback, you have to have some leadership qualities.

"Whether it's attending class, attending tutors, whether it's going to weight workouts, how you act in meetings, how you make adjustments, how you treat coaches, everything you do counts.

"If you're the quarterback at the University of Mississippi, you have to grade 100 on all those things to be the type quarterback we expect."

Last spring Orgeron said former walk-on Seth Adams outplayed Schaeffer and will be considered the starter when August camp begins.

However, Orgeron said he would grudgingly consider a two-quarterback system and suggested that Schaeffer can conceivably emerge as the Rebels' starter.

"Brent is a great athlete," Orgeron said. "He has a very strong arm, but he's a very inconsistent player.

"Seth is not as good an athlete. Seth is always there. He makes great decisions on the line of scrimmage. I think that he can have a great year in a short, controlled passing offense.

"His mobility is not such that you'd be afraid as a defensive coach. Guys may come after him a little more than they would Brent. But I think he brings a style that we can be consistent on offense and we can trust him."

Olin Buchanan is the senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at olin@rivals.com.

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