Billy Embody - SCOUT

Ed Orgeron pushing the right buttons with LSU football team

LSU opened practice for the media for the first time in-season in years as interim coach Ed Orgeron took over. The team conducted a 30-minute, high-energy walk thru and Tiger Blitz has notes from it.

It's clear that LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron is already pushing the right buttons.

The team dropped its Monday walk thru from about 90-120 minutes to 30 minutes, which was high-energy and pushed the players while getting work done.

Orgeron jogged back and forth between the two sides of the fields. When offensive lineman Will Clapp talked about Orgeron's energy earlier on Monday, that's what he was talking about. Orgeron brought the energy start to finish.

"Let's go, let's go, let's go!" Orgeron yelled. "Push it baby!"

Clapp said that for lineman, it's a welcome change to be a little fresher for gamedays.

"I'm for it. I'm getting older now. More time in the meeting room to become more cerebral as a team. We're going to get off our feet more and be faster on Saturdays," Clapp said. "The whole goal is to win on Saturdays." 

One source told Tiger Blitz that the new schedule is about "peaking on Saturdays." The source went on to say that the energy in the indoor practice facility for the walk thru was something players never experienced before.

For LSU, it's all about protecting players' bodies so injuries like Clapp's ankle injury before Wisconsin doesn't happen again. 

Danny Etling didn't say any players were worn down, but acknowledged Coach Orgeron's new style is one the team is going to follow.

"I've never known anything, but practicing like that. Coach O knows what he's doing. He's had a lot of success and we've got to trust him. We're going to keep moving forward with him as our head coach."

Any question about how the new schedule being liked by the players? Just take a look at the post-practice reactions. Players are buying.

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Defense: Gilmore sliding around with Godchaux out

With the suspension of Davon Godchaux following his arrest on Monday morning, Greg Gilmore slid back inside to where he was working at times in fall camp before the arrival of Travonte Valentine. Coaches ran players through plays with the 1's facing the 1's on one side of the field. Gilmore was flanked by Frank Herron and Lewis Neal.

One thing to watch with this lineup is how Herron's conditioning is. The defensive end appeared winded at times, but with a steady rotation of Rashard Lawrence and others giving him a breather, the drop off from having Godchaux with the unit might be covered up a little more.

Valentine, who continues to work himself into shape, was still running with the second string for Monday's walk thru along with Lawrence and Glen Logan. That second group worked on the opposite side of the field from the first string group during the walk thru, with Dave Aranda and Dameyune Craig running players through plays.

Outside of the changes along the defensive line, Kristian Fulton saw time as the backup nickel back to Dwayne Thomas with Kevin Toliver and Saivion Smith apparently sitting out the walk thru. Tre'Davious White and Donte Jackson were the outside cornerbacks and Jamal Adams and Rickey Jefferson remained as the first string secondary. 

Billy Embody - SCOUT

Offense: It starts with the huddle

It was the simple things that offensive line coach Jeff Grimes wanted fixed on Monday afternoon in the walk thru. 

"It starts with the huddle!" Grimes yelled as he made the Tigers come back after breaking a bad huddle, reform it, call the play again and break it with energy.

The offense ran through plays including the drop by D.J. Chark on a crossing route from Danny Etling in the Auburn game to correct mistakes, but the Tigers did it with tempo all walk thru.

Once the team came together with the defense, each offensive play was finished all the way to the endzone. The concept of finishing was pushed by the LSU coaching staff.

The offense was without center Ethan Pocic, tackle Toby Weathersby and running back Leonard Fournette. That didn't stop LSU from getting work done and moving some pieces around on offense.

From left to right, K.J. MaloneWill ClappAndy DoddJosh Boutte and Maea Teuhema worked as the first unit. Garrett Brumfield worked in with the second unit and Clapp did so at center. 

Running back Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams both saw larger work loads in practice with Fournette out.

This was a walk thru so don't read as much into this. One thing Orgeron stressed was "freshness" of players and keeping veterans like Pocic, Weathersby and Fournette out was more to help them recover. Fournette suffered an apparent ankle injury late in the Auburn game, but did return. 

Billy Embody - SCOUT

Offense: Don't expect a different look, but different philosophy

Don't expect a complete offensive overhaul with Steve Ensminger running the show. Etling said that while it could happen, he hasn't had a chance to really talk with LSU's new offenisve coordinator.

"Not going to give anything away. You see the guys in the NFL learn playbooks in a week," Etling said. "We don't know if anything's going to change at all. It's different with a different coach and a lot of different things going on. You want to maintain your focus and push through it."

One thing you can expect is that Ensminger is a perfectionist tight end Foster Moreau said. Ensminger might not have been able to show all he brings to the table with Cam Cameron and Les Miles handling offensive direction.

"Once he expects you to know it, you better know it or you're going to get chewed out," Moreau said. "He's a brilliant offensive mind. Paired with Coach Cam and Coach Miles and there's a lot of play calling heads, a lot of ideas exchanged between them. He has an offensive coordinator's mind and he can't really shut it off."

Moreau said not to expect any new install this week. The Tigers have everything they need, but the whole team has to be on the same page.

"No. What I think we can do is if spreading the ball around is what we need to do, what we can do is every skill player from any position — I know the tight ends can do it, I know the receivers can do it — run any play in our play book. That's something that Coach Cam stressed in the offseason is not just being a team about talent, but also being a team about football IQ."

With Fournette in the backfield, Moreau wants the Tigers to still use Fournette often against the opposition.

"While we could spread it out, we can also run the rock with the best running back in the country toting it."

Etling was shocked to hear the news of Miles' firing, but didn't take long to refocus with Missouri coming up.

"I took some time to let it all soak in. It kind of caught me by surprise. It wasn't fun to hear that, but Missouri isn't going to come any slower because we're going through a lot. They don't care. I started to get back to Missouri."

Billy Embody - SCOUT

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