LSU Les Miles
Photo by: LSUsports.net, LSU Athletics Publications
Miles Puts Tigers Through Abbreviated Practice
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Published: March 21, 2009, 12:00 AM (CT)
Updated: October 29, 2009, 03:37 AM (CT)
by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports), LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE LSU closed out the second week of spring practice with a 48-play “thud” scrimmage here Saturday at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.

Saturday’s workout was the sixth overall practice session for the Tigers during spring training. LSU will take Sunday and Monday off before returning to the practice field on Tuesday. LSU’s first full scale scrimmage is slated for next Saturday.

“The practice was a good one,” LSU coach Les Miles said following the workout. “We had a long practice, but a short go. We scrimmaged for 48 plays with the first and second teams and looked good. You can tell it’s early in the spring. We’re not sharp. We’re not ready to play. But I can tell you that there’s a lot of enthusiasm.

“I liked the way the defense played today. I felt like they played with a chip on their shoulder. I think the offense struggled a little bit with a new center and didn’t quite have the rhythm they normally do, but yet there were some big plays on the offensive side as well. I liked the go.”

Saturday’s scrimmage had the Tigers working on specific areas on both sides of the ball and featured the 1s against the 2s on both offense and defense. LSU worked on 1st and 10 situations, 3rd and 5 and 7 situations as well as short-yardage opportunities. The Tigers also dedicated a period to the 2-minute drill.

“This was our first scrimmage of any length and it’s the shortest of (the) four,” Miles said. “Less than one half of this practice was devoted to scrimmage. We looked at some special teams as well, and I like our punter. I think Derek Helton had a nice first day. I don’t think he’s ready to punt in the opener, but I think he will be soon. It was a good day.”

Miles said he like the play of the defense during the scrimmage and he singled out the play o f Chad Jones in the secondary and the defensive line as a whole.

“Today, I really liked the way the defensive front played,” Miles said. “They showed up with some scheme that in the past they may not have had. It looked good. In the secondary, I think Chad Jones is pretty comfortable back there at safety.”

Miles said all four quarterbacks got reps during the scrimmage.

“There’s a lot of competition,” Miles said of the quarterback position. “We’re allowing the young guys to gain reps at the expense of the older guys’ development. Both (Jordan) Jefferson and (Jarrett) Lee look like they’ve been in the system and look like they’re ready to play and will be ready to play quickly.

“Both young guys (Russell Shepard and Chris Garrett) are still a ways away, and both young guys made plays today. They made some nice throws and some nice runs. I’m pleased with the progress. I wish there were more reps. That quarterback position, I could have another practice for the young guys.”

LSU Spring Football Pratice
Les Miles Quotes
March 21, 2009

Opening Statement...
“The practice was a good one. We had a long practice, but a short go. We scrimmaged for 48 plays with the first and second teams and looked good. You can tell it’s early in the spring. We’re not sharp. We’re not ready to play. But I can tell you that there’s a lot of enthusiasm. I liked the way the defense played today. I felt like they played with a chip on their shoulder. I think the offense struggled a little bit with a new center and didn’t quite have the rhythm they normally do, but yet there were some big plays on the offensive side as well. I liked the go. Again, it’s our first scrimmage of any length. It’s the shortest of four. Less than one half of this practice was devoted to scrimmage. We looked at some special teams as well, and I like our punter. I think Derek Helton had a nice first day. I don’t think he’s ready to punt in the opener, but I think he will be soon. It was a good day.”

On who played center during the scrimmage...
“I want to say certainly P.J. (Lonergan) and Will Blackwell. I think with a live go, we kept T-Bob (Hebert) out. Those were our two centers for the majority of the day.”

On if the defense is ahead of the offense so far during spring practice...
“Yes it is. It’s a competitive spring. Today, I really liked the way the defensive front played today. They showed up with some scheme that in the past they may not have. It looked good. In the secondary, I think Chad Jones is pretty comfortable back there at safety.”

On the performance of Pep Levingston this spring...
“He’s had the most productive spring he’s had around here, and I think he’s making a case to be that guy at defensive end. He’s always aligned and comes to play. I just look forward to this year for him. Like I say, I think he’s making a great case to be the guy.”

On why Trindon Holliday and Drayton Calhoun were wearing green jerseys today...
“Trindon (Holliday) for the reason that he’s going to run track and try to win a national event here in the outdoor track season. In fact, both guys are fine. Drayton’s got a little nick, but he’s going to be able to go. We just didn’t want him whacked.”

On if the quarterbacks are further along this spring than last spring...
“They really could be further ahead. There’s a lot of competition. We’re allowing the young guys to gain reps at the expense of the older guys’ development. Both (Jordan) Jefferson and (Jarrett) Lee look like they’ve been in the system and look like they’re ready to play and will be ready to play quickly. Both young guys (Russell Shepard and Chris Garrett) are still a ways away, and both young guys made plays today. They made some nice throws and some nice runs. I’m pleased with the progress. I wish there were more reps. That quarterback position, I could have another practice for the young guys.”

On the development of Tim Molton...
“Tim (Molton) has the potential to be a very very good receiver. It’s consistency and day after day and him fighting that fight with youth that everybody fights just to be exactly right. When he gets that, he’s going to be a heck of a player.”

On what he likes from the defense so far this spring...
“The adjustments are a little easier. The ability to play more reactive football and more aggressive football is there. They come after us. We can bring four to one side and they can outnumber the blockers. It’s good.”

On what attracted him to John Chavis as a defensive coordinator...
“Here’s what I saw when I played him is how well they stopped the run and how difficult it was to predict. The first year, they were a little bit more twist in the game. The second time we played them, there was more man, and I just knew we were going to dice them up when they played that man. They then played a little bit more cover two and a little bit more zone. So, I’ve seen them evolve to three different styles and it gives you a pretty good overview.”

On the development of the secondary this spring...
Brandon Taylor was sick today and didn’t get to go. He sat out with the flu. We’re seeing Patrick Peterson, Brandon Taylor, Chris Hawkins had a pretty good day today and was visible. I think the secondary is coming along pretty nicely. Ron Brooks is getting an opportunity. I don’t know whether he’ll be at corner or at safety, but he’s really earned the opportunity to get a great look.”

On what leaders are emerging through spring practice...
“I like Ciron Black. I like Lyle Hitt. I think Al Woods, Drake Nevis, those linebackers Kelvin Sheppard and Jacob Cutrera are really playing and having a good spring. I don’t know that there is more leadership (on the defense), but I think the defense is a little ahead of the offense at this point.”

On LSU basketball’s first-round win in the NCAA Tournament...
“I’m rooting for Trent Johnson, and we’ll see how that team does. I’m excited about them. Butler historically, if you’re a Midwest guy, is always responsible for a first-round loss in the NCAA. Nobody wanted them. I can tell you right now that first-round win was a big one. There were several times in that game where Butler was just playing Butler, just working slow into the big man. I thought that was a great job by the Tigers in basketball. Congratulations to that team.”

 

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