Les Miles met with the media for the first time following the Louisiana flooding and also touched on Saturday's scrimmage, Leonard Fournette tweaking an ankle and Travonte Valentine's progress in playing time.
Miles thanks media, first-responders
Les Miles started his press conference by addressing the flooding in Louisiana including the media working round the clock on the story. The media was praised by Miles for overextending and doing their job, "better than it can be done in times like this." Miles also praised rescuers working around the clock to help people.
"You see police officers, fire fighters and rescuers of all kinds involved. Again, proud to be a part of this community. Proud to call Baton Rouge home."
Caleb Roddy and Russell Gage were two players with family affected by the flooding in the area. Roddy wanted to head out to his home to help, but Miles had to caution him towards doing that.
“I really you give to thought to that.” because you go some place and you can’t get out and then suddenly you become at risk.”
Gage's family is also in a difficult situation in a move-out shelter.
“I don’t know how soon they’ll be back into their house. These natural disasters, they don’t discriminate they hammer everybody.”
As far as the team goes and if it bears any additional pressure going into the season, MIles said they'll address that together.
"It's a great way to come together, but I don't want to put pressure on that. Whether they want to take on the responsibilities that other teams did, which is why we put that (who we play for) up."
LSU teams play for: 1. Louisiana, 2. Team and 3. Self. Miles said in a week or so the team will go about setting those goals for this season.
Valentine ready by first game?
“Thick. Strong. Tough to block. And going to school.”
Les Miles was quick to echo what a lot of teammates have said about Travonte Valentine, which is that he's near unblockable and he's going to be a major force in the defense for LSU.
LSU defensive lineman Davon Godchaux was asked recently about Valentine and said while everyone has to work for a spot, Valentine is ready.
"Everyone has to work for a spot. I had a chance to work out with Travonte and he's looking good. He's the ideal size. The main thing is he matured a lot. I think he's ready to play football," Godchaux said.
Valentine didn't practice in Saturday's scrimmage, but Miles expects Valentine to get plenty of work and be ready for the opener.
"He’s come in pretty good shape and we’re giving him some extra time so he can play.”
Miles wants Valentine to be ready to rock against Wisconsin and that extra time reflects that. Valentine's emergence also allows Godchaux to specifically focus on defensive end with Christian LaCouture's season-ending injury.
Quarterbacks efficient in scrimmages
For those counting, that would match Harris' top completion percentage from last season (70.9 percent vs. Auburn). Yes, it's just a scrimmage, but it gives you a look into the offensive gameplan.
LSU has talked about getting the quarterbacks into more high-percentage passing plays. The scrimmage numbers (yes, it's a scrimmage) reflect that. As a third-year starter, Harris needs to continue to put together these type of days.
“He continues to improve, understands the offense, he has much more poised. He’s putting people in position. He’s acting like our quarterback should act,” Miles said.
As for Monday's scrimmage (20+ plays), Miles had one takeaway.
"I enjoyed his performance today."
Other Miles Notes:
- LSU will hold another scrimmage this Saturday.
- LSU has the luxury of the indoor facility that has allowed them to not lose any practice time with the weather.
- Derrius Guice and Leonard Fournette both had two carries each that totaled about 20 yards on Saturday.
- "When everyone talks gloom and doom, that doesn't help anybody." -Miles on refocusing team.
- "Sometimes the odds don't play in your favor." -on injuries
- Miles is still comfortable with LSU's defensive line depth following a few season-ending injuries.