Faulk ready to protect

Slidell native Chris Faulk understands that LSU football is a year round interest for the residents of Louisiana. Faulk, along with followers of the Bayou Bengals, has been counting down the days until fall practice opened. A warm, humid August morning greeted the Tigers onto the practice field, but Faulk was pleased with his group's level of effort.

"From what I saw today, we had a great day of practice," said Faulk of the offensive line. "We are always striving to get better, but I think we're going to be a great unit.

"Coach Miles and Coach Stud work with us. They told us throughout the summer what they want us to accomplish and we want to do that.

"I feel like as a group we all want it and I feel like the sky is the limit for us."

Faulk reports that he worked extremely hard this off season to improve to prepare for the rigors of SEC play.

Now a junior, the talented tackle is quick to share the credit for his development with the players he competes against on a daily basis.

"I know every day when I put on my pads and walk outside, that I have to go against Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery," said Faulk with a smile. "I know if I can't block those guys in practice, that Coach Miles is not going to put me out there on the field.

"By going against those two guys, it just betters me. They both have great talent and sometimes can be unstoppable.

"I know how to hold my own in there with them now."

The Tigers were able to keep their quarterbacks on their feet with regularity last fall.

With Zach Mettenbeger taking over under center, Les Miles and his staff are expected to dial up the deeper pass routes more often this season.

Maintaining pocket integrity will be key.

"I feel like I am better in my pass protection this year," said Faulk. "We're going to be passing the ball a lot more and I am looking forward to that.

"I felt like pass protection was something that I needed to work on going into this year.

"I did a good job with that when I was in high school, so I have had to sort of reach back into my old days and do it again."

Last fall the offensive line had to prepare to protect two different types of quarterbacks.

While Jarrett Lee was more of a pocket passer, Jordan Jefferson liked to get outside the pocket and create.

Faulk reports that the offensive line is better as a unit, because they know how to shift gears depending on backfield personnel.

"Our job as offensive linemen is to protect the quarterback," said Faulk. "If he wants to stay back there or if he wants to step up and run, our job is to protect him through the whole play.

"We are going to stay on our block and do all we can to protect the quarterback no matter who's back there."

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