Spring Practice Report - 3/13

LSU completed its fourth practice of the spring Thursday. Les Miles met with the media afterward, and TSD has all the notes and observations from practice plus the quotes from the head coach's press conference.

LSU conducted its fourth practice of the spring Thursday. The Tigers came out in pads for the second time, which allows the team to show that physicality and contact lacking in the early sessions.

Les Miles met with the media after practice wrapped up. We'll have the notes on what he had to say after our complete practice report from Thursday's action. LSU will have a partial practice Saturday before the first scrimmage of the spring, so stay tuned for more coverage of LSU's spring practices.

All the notes and observations from Thursday's practice can be found below.


With the Tigers in full pads Thursday, they kicked things off the traditional Big Cat drill to get practice going. Miles would say after practice that the defense has won an overwhelming majority of those Big Cat reps. That certainly was the case, and Kendell Beckwith was a big winner in his rep against Desean Smith on Thursday.

After the Big Cat, LSU broke for individual position drills, where there were some notable players missing in action. In addition to Jermauria Rasco and Corey Thompson, who will both likely miss the entire spring camp, Danielle Hunter, Kwon Alexander, Kevin Spears and Avery Peterson were all out Thursday.

The injury bug was particularly hard on the wide receivers, as LSU was left with just three scholarship receivers to work with the quarterbacks. Spears has missed two consecutive practices, and Miles said Peterson suffered a hamstring injury in Tuesday's session.

LBs Duke Riley, Deion Jones received some extra reps Thursday
Without some key bodies at the WR position, there was a noticeable dropoff in success in the passing drills today. LSU spent a lot of time working on the deep ball, which has been something the LSU QBs have struggled with this spring. While Anthony Jennings has looked the best of the three scholarship QBs, he received a lot of coaching from Cam Cameron today as he failed to connect several times with his receiver.

Cameron really wants Jennings to take big steps in his dropback, giving him time to let the route develop and read the defense. That would also help alleviate any pressure coming from the line, but it's something Jennings continues to work on. Cameron seems to be very patient with his young quarterbacks though, and said many times "this is why we do this" to prevent any from feeling the frustration.

In Hunter's absence on the defensive line, Justin Maclin stepped in with the first-team opposite Jordan Allen. On the inside, Frank Herron has been working exclusively with the tackles this spring. Miles said they're giving him a look at that position, and it's obvious filling out the DT rotation is a big focus for LSU this spring.

At linebacker, Deion Jones and Duke Riley saw added reps with Alexander sidelined. Lamar Louis, who has moved from the inside to the outside, actually spent the portion of practice open to media with the defensive backs working on pressing receivers. His new position will come with a lot of responsibility in defending the pass, and the coaches spent Thursday giving him some added instruction in that area.


Below you'll find some select quotes and from Miles' post-practice press conference Thursday:

On having patience with the young quarterbacks…

"We're handling the process of offense, all those things that make quarterbacks. It takes some time. The good news is we're putting every attention to giving them experiences they'll need to have when they get to Saturdays in the fall…

"The quarterback is a position of toughness, a position of mental dexterity, a position of communication and athletic talent. All of those things have to show up. It takes some time. That's why the experienced quarterbacks look better than the not so [experienced] but both are coming quickly and I like our movement."

On the competition at right guard, which has mostly seen Evan Washington and Fehoko Fanaika battling for the spot…

"We're going to need everybody. One day you put Hoko in there and have a look at him. One day you put Evan in there and have a look at him. Then you have a look at [Ethan] Pocic, see what he looks like there. We're looking at a number of combinations, but we're not willing to say who's the starter and who's not. We're making sure everybody's multi-trained."

On what he's seen from the running backs this spring…

"The two tailbacks were very productive in today's practice as we'd expect them to be in the fall as well. [Terrence] Magee's having a very fine spring as is [Kenny] Hilliard. We went to [fullback Melvin] Jones to give some big-back carries as well, and he's looking good. We're enjoying the development of the running backs. We're doing the things we need to do there to keep our two-back attack very strong."

On the development of his wide receivers…

"No question [Travin Dural and John Diarse] are playing very well. The tight ends are playing better as well in the receiving end. To a point, we're getting some guys ready to play on Saturdays, and there will be a good quality receiving corps coming in [this summer] that will really pursue playing time."

On finding some players to take over the return game (Miles mentioned Magee as a candidate)…

"There are a number of guys that can catch it. There's a likelihood we'll have those fast guys in that spot, and there are some guys that'll show up in June that will have some opportunity to do some return damage."


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