Baton Rouge -- Here are some things that stood out from the 20-minute session that the media was allowed to observe.
- - The defensive line is growing thinner by the day. Josh Downs and Lavar Edwards were not at practice today due to apparent high ankle sprains. Chancey Aghayere was at practice, but he didn't dress out. Ken Adams, KeKe Mingo, Michael Brockers and Bennie Logan made up the first four.
- - Defensive line coach Brick Haley really liked what he saw from former linebacker Justin Maclin on the sleds. "You're growing up Mac!" and "Good hips Mac" were a couple of the complements the sophomore-to-be received.
- - Freshman defensive tackle Anthony Johnson is making waves, dominating in the Big Cat Drill before moving into first-team reps in the Mustang package – a dime personnel where defensive coordinator John Chavis gets his speed rushers and extra defensive backs onto the field.
- - Karnell Hatcher was running alongside Ryan Baker as the two linebackers in the Mustang package. Hatcher said after practice that he would be a constant alongside Baker when Chavis brought in extra defensive backs and went to only a pair of linebackers.
- - The defensive backs went through some ball drills, and one noticeable trait in the entire talented group was their hands. All of the defensive backs showed some great ball skills and hauled in just about every ball - save one Ron Brooks drop. This unit is going to draw a ton a pre-season hype, and they certainly look the part in practice. They all seem to glide effortlessly and use their hands to catch the ball just as a wide receiver would do. They also seem to have a little more cohesion from top to bottom than the other position groups. All of them know their talent and how far they can take it.
- - High school quarterback turned college wide receiver Sam Gibson has been with the defensive backs for about a month now, and he’s really warmed up to the idea of making the safety spot his future. He told me after practice that he is taking reps with the second-team behind Craig Loston, and that he recorded an interception off newcomer Zach Mettenberger in each of the past two scrimmages.
- - Evan Washington was back working with the offensive line after suffering an injury that helped push the coaching staff into Chris Davenport’s position change. Before injury Washington was running as the second left tackle behind Chris Faulk, a spot Davenport occupied for three practices. On Thursday Davenport remained with the offensive line, though the former five-star defensive tackle said that Miles wanted to do a second sit down post-spring to discuss his progress and future.
- - Kenny Hilliard missed practice, leaving the running back group as Spencer Ware, Alfred Blue, Michael Ford and Jakhari Gore. Gore said after practice that Miles has been pushing to get him more looks after his strong scrimmage last Saturday.