Football Completes First Day of Split Practices
Sr. Assoc. Athletic Director/SID
BATON ROUGE - Heavy rain sent LSU indoors on Thursday as the Tigers held their first day of preseason workouts with a pair of split-squad practices at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.
The veterans - along with three true freshmen - practiced during the morning session, followed by the rookies and selected veterans for the afternoon workout. The three freshmen who joined the varsity for the morning workout included fullback Travis Dickson and wide receivers Armand Williams and Kadron Boone.
The Tigers will have three days of shorts and helmet practices with shoulder pads being added on Sunday. LSU's first full pads practice will take place on Monday morning.
"It was a good first day," LSU coach Les Miles said following the afternoon session on Thursday. "The morning practice went pretty fast and we got a lot of reps in. It's obvious that there are some guys that have had great summers and guys that have paid a tremendous price.
"At the afternoon practice we saw that this is a very talented class of newcomers and guys that have real skill and ability. I told this team and these newcomers that if they stay after it and they commit they could be something special. I like them all and I like the class. It's a nice start."
Miles said some of the veterans who practiced during the afternoon session did so as a way to help instruct and lead the younger players through their first workout in an LSU uniform.
"It's no more than an opportunity for some of the veterans to teach young guys and to get the best teaching out of the two practices," Miles said. "We moved some veteran guys to the p.m. practice to help teach and we moved some young freshmen to the a.m. practice to be taught.
"There will probably be some other freshmen that will spend some time at the a.m. practices as well. I told those guys that there is no determination being made in terms of places. Basically it is just the best way to teach and have more snaps available, and the best opportunity for those guys to get an introduction."
"I noticed (Jefferson's) understanding for the things we are asking him to do as well as his cadence being a lot sharper," Miles said. "I think (Jefferson) is much improved and I think Jarrett Lee has improved. He made some plays; he is much improved.
"I think today Russell Shepard had as good of a practice as he has had here. He is much improved and I can tell he is better since the summer. Rueben Randle is the same, they are both in better shape, understand what to expect."
Friday's schedule calls for the veterans to again practice during the morning, followed by the rookies in the afternoon. Both of Friday's practices are scheduled to take place outside.
CB Patrick Peterson
On being used for kick-off and punt returns ...
"I have to be in tip-top shape playing both special teams and defense. It is going to be tough, but as a player I want to be great so I am taking that challenge upon myself. During the summer I asked coach (Tommy) Moffitt to get me ready for the season because it is going to be a long ride."
On what he had to learn playing special teams ...
"Basically just following through the blocks. My blockers are my guardian angel and they have to lead me to the end zone and make those key blocks. I have to keep cutting and get us to the end zone."
On how cornerback Morris Claiborne is adjusting ...
"Mo is going to be amazing. He does all the little things so well and that is what we want to start off with first. Start off with the little things then work up to the big things. He has so much confidence and I just have to get him ready for this first game. Once he gets this first one under his belt he will be one of the regulars."
QB Jordan Jefferson
On what he learned at the Manning Passing Academy ...
"They really talked about having leadership qualities, leading your team, having chemistry with your receivers and a lot of different things that would help us throughout the season."
On if he feels he is a better leader ...
"Yes sir. It really started off with experience and just having that experience really helped me out a lot. Now I know what to look for, what to do and how to communicate with my players and my coaches better. Having two years of experience can really help you out a lot."
On the difference in passing drills with new coach Billy Gonzales ...
"It is very different. He really pinpoints on the small things that will really help our passing game and our receivers out. I see a major difference in our receivers and they are working as hard as they can to up their game and push themselves."