Miles Puts Tigers Through First Spring Scrimmage

LSU's Jared Mitchell had a 60-yard TD catch
LSU's Jared Mitchell had a 60-yard TD catch (@LSUsports) (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- Les Miles put LSU through their first scrimmage of the spring here Monday as the Tigers held a brief 30-play workout at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.

The scrimmage featured the 1’s and 2’s squaring off for approximately 15 plays each. The Tigers also spent time on special teams, focusing on the punting game as well as field goals. The scrimmage was capped with the two-minute drill for both the 1’s and 2’s.

Among the highlights of the scrimmage was a 60-yard catch-and-run TD by Jared Mitchell along with a 40-yard interception return for a score by Ron Brooks during the two-minute drill.

“This was our sixth day of spring practice and we are making progress,” Miles said. “We had a light go (scrimmage) towards the end of practice today. I saw some things that we did well and some other things that we have to work on.”

Miles said both quarterbacks are making progress and that redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee “had a pretty good day throwing the ball.”

Defensively, tackle Marlon Favorite had a sack for the Tigers, while safety Chad Jones added a tackle for a loss. Jones continues to split time between two sports – football and baseball – this spring. On days when LSU has football practice, Jones is with the football team; on other days he’s with the baseball squad.

“Chad practicing football this spring is going to help him become an every down player for us,” Miles said. “There will be plenty of baseball left for this spring once football practice is over.”

The Tigers will take Tuesday off before returning to practice on Wednesday afternoon. LSU will have its first full scale scrimmage of the spring on Thursday afternoon before the squad takes off for a week for spring break.

LSU returns to practice following spring break on March 26. LSU wraps up its spring with the annual Spring Game, which will be held on Saturday, April 5 in Tiger Stadium.

Les Miles Post-Scrimmage Quotes

Opening statement
“It was our sixth practice. It was a light go. We went about 30 tackle snaps with some live football at the back end of the practice and we enjoyed it. As you might guess, some things were good, some things weren’t so good, but I enjoyed the crispness of the tackling. We did some good things on both the run and pass on offense. We had a couple of great punts and a couple of field goals were hit. It was a nice practice. We got a lot accomplished in my opinion.”

On any individual players who performed well...
“Not yet, not really. I think the most carries any running back had was two so there aren’t any total yards to look at.

“I would say QB Jarrett Lee probably completed more balls than any quarterback. He had a good day. CB Ron Brooks had a pick for a touchdown and WR Jared Mitchell caught a screen pass for a touchdown.”

On if WR Jared Mitchell is getting more comfortable in the offense...
“It’s interesting. He had a nice go today. He made a great catch before the screen and then made everybody miss on the screen and it was tackle football.”

On the improvement of QB Jarrett Lee...
“I think both quarterbacks (Andrew Hatch and Lee) are coming along. I wouldn’t make too much of it. I wouldn’t make too little of it, either. [Lee] completed the ball and threw it a little bit better than any of the other quarterbacks.”

On if he’s pleased with the offense...
“I like the way it’s going. I think the defense had a good go. It’s early, certainly, and there’s a lot to correct. The defense looked good and I liked some things about the offense. I think we punted and kicked pretty well. I liked it.”

On if any punter or kicker stood out...
“I think [Punter Brady Dalfrey] hit the ball pretty well today. And then probably K Josh Jasper.”

On if senior DE’s Kirston Pittman and Tyson Jackson are like coaches on the field...
“We’re not paying them yet. They’re going to have to wait until they graduate and then come back to coach. They know what’s going on out there. You can always tell when a veteran’s out there – he helps younger guys get lined up, etc. – and they’re certainly shown great leadership.”

On the recovery of DT Charles Alexander...
“I think he’ll take some snaps here coming up after spring break.”

On his thoughts about CB Chris Hawkins...
“He’s certainly a tremendous athlete that has a lot of skill, but he’s developing.”

On why the team didn’t scrimmage on Sunday...
“Because of the want to focus on this week. Get them another work out in and get them some fresh legs rather than have the scrimmage at the end of the week, have it at the beginning.”

On what the team did on Saturday instead of practice...
“We ran them. I like to make a point in the academic area at times. I think this was a good time to do that. It’s just that we pursue excellence both in the classroom and on the field.”

On S Chad Jones’ decision to focus on football during spring practice...
“I think it’s going to help him be an every-down player. I think he has that ability and we want that for him. I think he’ll have plenty of baseball left and the end of spring practice and he’ll be able to go over there and swing bats.”

On how difficult mental preparation is for young players...
“Knowing it and being able to do it on command are two different things. Sitting in a classroom and being able to repeat what a coach says is one thing, but to then do what the coach says and do it with an aggressive demeanor, that’s a little harder to do. I think there’s always that time when young guys have to come of age.”

On if seeing former players around the complex makes him nostalgic...
“I enjoy seeing those guys. It’s more that they’re part of this program and they always will be. Our endeavor now is on to next year with what we have and how to improve it. Those guys (former players) won’t be around here this fall and I enjoy looking over there and seeing the old timers. I enjoy that every year, though. It’s more the person that we’re missing, not the player.”

"They’re time is through though, and I don’t think there’s any nostalgia on the coaching end that makes you think ‘Boy, if I could just have him back for a few snaps.’ We enjoy the people, we really do. It’s nice to see them. It made me smile.”

"We’ve got our team. We’re moving on, it’s 2008. It’s a new task with the same goal and desire to achieve at this level, but with different guys. That’s what makes it fun. It’s a challenge.”

On whom he thinks will be the leaders of the 2008 team...
“There’s leadership on this team. We like the veterans, certainly Kirston Pittman and Tyson Jackson on defense. On offense, Brett Helms, Herman Johnson and Ciron Black -- I think there’s plenty of leadership here.”




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