JACKSON, Miss. — Approaching the Millsaps football practice fields Thursday morning, I heard the unmistakable sounds of a workout in progress.
Pads slapping. Whistles blowing. Players grunting. Balls being kicked. A couple hundred fans cheering. But above it all, you could hear one voice, one booming, unmistakably familiar voice above all others.
“ATTA BAY-BEE! WAY TO WORK! THAT’S IT! THAT’S IT! THAT’S WHAT WE WANT! NOW LET’S DO IT AGAIN! JOG, DON’T WALK!”
Ed Orgeron, Coach O, was back at work. By the time I reached the field, 15 minutes into practice, his light gray Saints T-shirt was soaked charcoal. His voice already sounded hoarse.
He was running this way and that, always exhorting, always cajoling. He worked his players hard, but he seemed to work even harder.
Nine hours later, as the second practice wound down, Orgeron was still at it. Still bouncing. Still teaching, still correcting, still running toward his players after every repetition with either a compliment or a strong suggestion.
Where, he was asked minutes later, does all that energy come from?