Home Leadership Ole Miss DTs Coatney and Jones take on larger leadership roles

Ole Miss DTs Coatney and Jones take on larger leadership roles

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Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu talks about the upcoming 2018 season at SEC Media Days.
Hugh Kellenberger, Clarion Ledger

OXFORD — “I don’t know if ya’ll heard him speak at SEC Media Day,” Matt Luke said of defensive tackle Josiah Coatney Thursday, “… he’s a guy, when he says something, the guys in the locker room listen.”

Coatney was one of three players Luke chose to bring with him to the nationally televised Southeastern Conference event last month. There, Coatney also addressed the topic of leadership. He said he and Luke have talked about developing leadership as one Coatney’s main goals this season, and how strong leadership can be the difference between a tough loss and a win.

“Change the record, change the season, change the team,” Coatney said. “[Leadership is] something people really overlook nowadays. And they just think all the plays, all these other things, and all the other intangibles are going to get you the win. But leadership is the number one thing we’re working on this season, and it’s definitely something I want to work on myself.”

Ole Miss’ defensive line, specifically, lost two leaders when defensive ends Marquis Haynes and Breeland Speaks were snatched up in the 2018 NFL Draft. So far, it looks like the job of filling in for them on the field will fall to senior Victor Evans and either freshman Ryder Anderson or junior Qaadir Sheppard. As for their leadership roles, returning starting tackles Coatney and Benito Jones began shouldering more of that type of responsibility at the end of last season.

Defensive line coach Freddie Roach said he believes all of the returners “have the opportunity to lead this team.”

“Now they understand the standard,” he said, “that it’s not about what somebody puts on Twitter, it’s not about what someone says about you.”

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