The most glaring weakness on the Rebel defense last season was an inefficient pass defense.
Out of 14 teams in the SEC, Ole Miss finished 11th in passing yards allowed per game (246.5 YPG).
New cornerbacks coach Jason Jones hopes that figure decreases dramatically this season. While Charles Sawyer and Senquez Golson return at corner for the Rebels, less-experienced corners like Nick Brassell, Carlos Davis, Dehendret Collins and Anthony Standifer should add much-needed depth outside.
Bruisers like free safety Cody Prewitt and rover Trae Elston should also have added depth this time around behind players like Chief Brown and Quintavius Burdette.
Defensive coordinator and safeties coach Dave Wommack was pleased with the progression of reserves during spring and he hopes the trend continues over the summer.
The unit as a whole looked stronger and deeper this spring, but there can't be a drop-off this summer.
The key will be for top reserves to become more comfortable on the field and for starters to continue to fine-tune their skills this summer before traveling to Vanderbilt in Week 1.
If the rising Rebels want to have chances against teams like Alabama, LSU, Texas and Texas A&M in 2013, the pass defense absolutely must be more daunting than it was last season. While the defensive line and linebacker units should present quite the challenge for rushing offenses this year, the ultimate success of the defense as a whole may well lie in the performance of the secondary.