Dixie Hollins: Pinellas Progress Report

Over the next couple of weeks, the Times will offer a comprehensive report on each team and its progress during spring practice.

Published May 26, 2007

Coach: Mike Morey (10th season)

2006 record: 3-7

Key losses: OL Ryan Burke, DL Marques Burkes, DB Jamar McKinney, WR Keith Staton

Key returners: QB Josh Brown, RB Jaron Cole, DB Ja-Far Fortt, DL Chris Sanborn

Spring skinny: The Rebels were a young team that took some lumps last season. But it got a huge confidence boost after beating Sarasota in their spring game. Dixie Hollins has a stingy defense, which prevented the Sailors from recording a first down in the first half. On offense, the Rebels will continue to use their ground game to wear down opponents.

Gamebreaker: Brown is a deft ball-handling quarterback whose speed, moves and quickness make him dangerous as a runner. He's also showing he can beat defenders with his arm. In the spring game against Sarasota, Brown threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Cole on the game's first drive.

Key questions: Can an offense that was shut out twice last season produce enough points? Will the Rebels be able to get past a tough road schedule that includes games at St. Petersburg, Largo and Dunedin?

Schedule: Aug. 31: Osceola; Sept. 7: Northeast; Sept. 14: at Boca Ciega; Sept. 20: at Gibbs; Sept. 28: Palm Harbor University; Oct. 5: Seminole; Oct. 12: Off; Oct. 19: at Largo; Oct. 26: at St. Petersburg; Nov. 2: Pinellas Park; Nov. 9: at Dunedin.

Bob Putnam, Times staff writer