As it turned out, there was more than one thing absent from that squad, but junior Fullback H.R. Greer thinks one of the biggest ingredients for the successes of the previous two years is making a comeback.
"We are a lot hungrier now," said Greer, who was the number one fullback ahead of E.J. Epperson when spring training concluded. "After going through a 4-8 season, we all realized something had to change and the change that was needed was in our approach and attitude as a team.
"We realized you have to do everything the right way all the time with everything you have in you. That's what we did in 2008 and 2009 and it paid off. I can't say that about 2010. We have to earn everything, especially in this league. We are in the toughest division and conference in college football - that's not a point that can be argued - and we have to respond to that by doing everything we humanly can to compete and win."
Greer says that mentality is spreading throughout the team. He saw it in spring training and he's seeing it now in the offseason.
"We realize we will have another small senior class so the juniors have to step up. We respect the seniors, but they understand we all have to come together and we all have to pitch in with leadership roles. I have been trying and I have seen it with Jason Jones, D.T. Shackelford and other underclassmen, juniors, have stepped up.
"And we have some excellent senior leaders, not talkers but guys who do it the right way, like Brandon Bolden, Kentrell Lockett and Bradley Sowell. I love the way those guys work and lead the way for the younger guys."
For his part, H.R. has tried to continue to improve himself since spring.
"I sat down with Coach (David) Lee. We talked about team goals and then we attacked what I need to do," explained H.R. "He wants me to get to a certain weight (240, he's 236 now) and watch a lot of film on Miami's fullback he worked with in the past.
"We set goals on short yardage runs, receiving and footwork. I made the Iron Rebel poster, but I'm trying to get stronger every day and Coach (Don) Decker tells me my movement is good at my weight. As long as he is happy, I am happy."
In some offenses, the fullback is not used extensively, but Greer realized in spring that is not the case with Lee's scheme.
"It's a Pro Style offense where the fullback is important. I have to know what everyone else is doing and I will be expected to block, run, catch the ball and help direct traffic," noted Greer.
The Rebels have been exposed to tougher workouts this offseason, as mandated by Coach Houston Nutt in his offseason demands for harder work, more intensity and more accountability on and off the field.
"We are working a lot harder this year. The volume is greater. We are doing more reps than in the past," he stated.
H.R. believes in his offensive teammates, even though the Rebels seemed to be short at wide receiver and no clear-cut winner came out of spring at quarterback.
"As long as we keep pushing ourselves and working," said the football version of a gym rat, "we will be good. At quarterback, it doesn't matter who wins the job from my perspective. All three of them are working hard and are being unselfish and team-oriented in their preparations. They respect and like each other - may the best man win.
H.R. realizes the need for the Rebels to be more physical and he knows that starts up front.
"I thought our OL got a lot more physical in spring and part of it is that they know what to do and aren't showing any hesitation. That's a big deal on this level - knowing what to do instinctively," he allowed. "They know the ins and outs of the offense and it's made a big difference in their confidence and production."
H.R. has stern competition at fullback in Epperson.
"E.J. is a great player and teammate. He's got all the skills," noted H.R. "We are going to be a good 1-2 punch, which will help the team out, which is the most important thing. There's room for both of us, absolutely."
7-on-7 passing drills have been going on for over two weeks, way ahead of where the 2010 team started with that phase of development.
"This year, it's more well-attended and more organized," said Greer, which gets back to the original point of better attitude. "Everyone is in."
H.R. Greer is somewhat a throw back in today's world.
He believes you can measure what you get out of something by what you put into it.
Right now, in June of the offseason, he's pleased with what he and his team are putting into getting ready for the 2011 season.