Football Opens Spring Drills With High-Intensity Practice
Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications
BATON ROUGE – Energy, enthusiasm, and high-intensity were apparent from the opening horn until the final whistle on Saturday as LSU went through its first workout of the spring here at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.
Saturday’s practice session had the Tigers working out in shorts and helmets, but that didn’t slow the energy level for LSU as the team sprinted from drill to drill and displayed spirited competition each snap.
“We had a great first day of work,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “There was a lot of energy out there. Our coaches did a great job of preparing our players for the last four weeks and two hours of meetings we’re allowed a week.”
Saturday’s practice was the first at LSU for new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks Matt Canada, who joined the Tigers in December.
“I was really excited to see (offensive coordinator) Matt Canada out on the field for the first time,” Orgeron said. “I thought he did a tremendous job. I loved his intensity, and I loved his enthusiasm. He demands excellence out there. I thought our offensive staff did a tremendous job.
“We were a little shaky at times, but it’s a new offense and those guys are going to get it. I thought (wide receiver) Drake Davis had a great day. He made some good runs. Obviously, Derrius (Guice) did well.”
The Tigers also welcomed two other new coaches to the field for the first time – running backs coach Tommie Robinson and wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph.
“They were excellent,” Orgeron said of Robinson and Joseph. “I know what Tommie can do. He’s got his own little way to get the guys going. Mickey has been dynamic since he got here. He’s done a great job of recruiting New Orleans he’s done a great job of capturing these receivers. I’m very proud of Mickey.”
Orgeron noted that the Tigers also made progress in special teams with the addition of analyst Greg McMahon.
“We did it with Pete Carroll (at USC),” Orgeron said of splitting the special team duties among the assistant coaches. “We did it exactly like this, and we won two national championships. The advantage we have is that we have a great special teams analyst in Greg McMahon.
“Greg McMahon runs the coaches meeting, and he tells us what to do. It’s his system, and he can’t coach on the field and doesn’t coach in the meeting, but he implements everything we do. He’ll watch the film, analyze it, and tell the coaches what to do. I think it’s a great system for right now.”
Orgeron has split us the on-field instruction of special teams among assistant coaches – Robinson will coach the punt team; offensive line coach Jeff Grimes will coach the field goal team; outside linebackers coach Dennis Johnson will coach the field goal block team and kickoff team; defensive backs coach Corey Raymond will coach the punt return team and Joseph will handle the kickoff return unit.
Overall, Orgeron was pleased with the first day of spring drills.
“They exceeded the energy expectations, all day,” Orgeron said. “They practiced hard and they practiced the way we want them to practice. I thought we got a lot done for it being the first day. We didn’t look like a team who was practicing for the first day, in many instances.
“Putting in a new offense I knew there would be mistakes, but Matt’s (Canada) is going to get them corrected. On defense, it looks like we started where we left off. I’m very proud of that. Special teams were completely different. There were great drills out there, great attention to fundamentals and great transition. Now we need to go watch the film and teach off of it.”
The Tigers return to practice on Tuesday afternoon.