BATON ROUGE -- Due to saturated fields from last weekend’s heavy rains, the LSU football team remained indoors Tuesday but went through a spirited two-and-a-half hour practice that featured the Tigers going in full pads for the first time this spring.
“Up to this point, I think the practices have been really productive,” LSU head coach Les Miles said. “We got pads on for the first time today and got a lot in. Some heads are spinning, but I think there are some really good signs. I like the way the defense is performing. They got a lot in, but they’re really accommodating the installation (of the new system) and they’re good.”
Miles elected to go indoors to avoid any possible injuries on a saturated field.
“The fields were just soggy. I didn’t want to chance injury in any way. Saturday we were inside, as well. It makes a difference in punting the ball. Special teams certainly are an issue when going indoors. We threw it and ran it on offense and defense, so it wasn’t an issue.”
However, the Tigers sustained an injury over the weekend when fullback Stevan Ridley hurt his right knee. Miles acknowledged Ridley will likely miss the remainder of the spring but should be back in time for fall practice.
“Stevan Ridley had a knee injury in the first practice or second practice outside. I don’t think he’ll be with us for the rest of spring. I think he’ll be ready for August. We’re looking at Drayton Calhoun a little bit at running back. With four tailbacks, we’re in pretty good shape. Again, with Richard Dugas stepping in a little bit at fullback and Charles Scott I think we’ll be OK in the two-back set.”
LSU’s defense already has four practices under its belt under new defensive coordinator John Chavis. Chavis, a 20-year veteran in the Southeastern Conference coaching ranks, has brought an enthusiastic approach and attention to detail. The style has allowed key secondary players Chad Jones and Patrick Peterson to flourish Miles said.
“There’s a really strong enthusiasm there and I think the veterans are enjoying the installation and the approach,” Miles said. “The (coaching) hires have been good. You look at some guys who are prospering like Chad Jones, who is making a heck of a difference in the center of our secondary.”
“There’s more emphasis on one-on-one. Patrick Peterson is ready to play at a different level. I think the secondary, being veteran, is ready to take some steps and play excellent. They will be something special.”
LSU will take a break Wednesday before returning to practice Thursday and concluding the second week of spring ball on Saturday. The annual spring game is set for Saturday, April 18 at 5 p.m. in Tiger Stadium.