November 26, 2007

Fein's ready to move forward

In the days since Ed Orgeron was fired as the Rebels' head coach, some of the veteran players have begun to step up.

It's a time of anxiety and uncertainty as the Rebel players wait for word on who their next head coach will be.

But Tony Fein, along with some other Rebels, is trying to send a clear message.

"I'm not going anywhere," Fein said. "I am Ole Miss."

Fein said Peria Jerry has vocally stepped out to his teammates.

"Peria already made it known that he's going to be staying," Fein said. "A guy like that, a big leader and a great player on our team, guys can rally behind him."

The decision to fire Orgeron didn't catch Fein off guard.

"Word spread like wildfire through the team," Fein said. "I don't know if I was all that surprised, but I was in a little shock that my coach just got fired.

"It wasn't anything that I thought was impossibility."

Fein attended a meeting Sunday night between Boone, Rebel staff and players.

"He told us he'd be looking for a coach that will get us going in the right direction," Fein said. "We deserve to have an opportunity to compete and have a chance to win a SEC championship. And he said he's going to go out and look for that caliber of a coach for us."

And if Fein, had his say, he knows the kind of coach he'd like to see hired.

"(I'd like) a coach that'll do what suits Jevan best and a coach who's maybe more of a player's coach - a coach that'll get some excitement back in the program and with the players," he said.

Growing up in Washington, Fein's familiar with Rick Neuheisal, a candidate for the Ole Miss job.

Fein said his teammates have been asking him questions about the ex-Washington and ex-Colorado coach.

"I had some friends who played at Washington growing up. Everyone loved him. He was really a player's coached. I wouldn't be opposed to it," Fein said. "I've heard the rumor mill. I'm not really going to get excited about any of the names I've heard until Mr. Boone tells us some names. You can't get too excited I guess."

But while Fein's not getting caught up in speculation, he said he thinks the Rebels will unite and move forward.

"We haven't had an organized meeting just between us yet, but I'm sure that's something that will be happening soon," Fein said. "The team will get together, make some decisions and see what guys are looking at."

"There's some excitement with the new coach and to see what's on the next page."

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