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Etling the starter, Godchaux returns to team + practice recap

The Tigers were back on the practice field on Tuesday afternoon for LSU's first full practice under Ed Orgeron. Tiger Blitz was there and has notes and reaction to another high-energy practice. Plus, we added notes from Orgeron's SEC teleconference

Etling named starter at radio show

Among the many things that Ed Orgeron talked about in his radio show, which included special teams, the offense, crawfish etouffee and his lack of an accent around Louisiana, he addressed the quarterback position.

"Danny is our quarterback. I think Danny Etling has earned his spot as the starting quarterback," Orgeron said from TJ Ribs. "I think he'll get better as the season goes along."

Orgeron said he doesn't expect wholesale changes, but likes to take his "shots" down the field. At Miami and USC, the offenses opened up the ground game by throwing the ball deep early. Orgeron said he'd like that to continue at LSU.

When asked about him potentially being the full-time head coach and if he sees any offensive coordinators that he likes, Orgeron said he was focused on the players, but might have dropped a little nugget that he's think about a certain Alabama offensive coordinator whose contract is up.

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Orgeron announces Godchaux to return

LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron said that starting nose tackle Davon Godchaux will return to the team on Wednesday now that charges against him were dropped on Tuesday. Orgeron wouldn't commit to Godchaux playing against Missouri on Saturday, but did confirm Godchaux will practice.

"He'll return to the team today. We'll take it day-by-day. We'll make sure we have all of the information available before we make any other decisions, but he will be with the team today."

Due to inconsistent statements, Godchaux's statement and physical evidence at the scene, the East Baton Rouge district attorney declined to file charges after a "tussle" with his girlfriend after she attempted to leave his apartment with their child.

"One team, one heartbeat" as LSU prepares for Missouri

Orgeron talked on Wednesday's SEC coaches teleconference about Missouri's offense that can stress your defense with the passing game as well as the running game. Orgeron said when you line up and try to stop the run, Drew Lock can pick apart your team through the passing game.

By trying to keep the team fresh, giving the team an energy boost and while still getting work done, Orgeron hopes that'll all pay off on Saturday. LSU's offense will see some tweaks. Orgeron says a lot of that will come from what he's learned at Miami and USC under Jimmy Johnson and Pete Carroll.

As Orgeron prepares for this Saturday, he said he'll take a moment before the game and think about his late father, the coaches that have helped him and all the players he's coached before taking the field at Tiger Stadium on Saturday night.

Major pieces missing from practice, Fournette update

LSU was without starting offensive linemen Ethan Pocic and Toby Weathersby as well as Leonard Fournette for practice on Tuesday. Pocic was out watching practice, but Weathersby and Fournette were missing.

During the limited media viewing, linemen worked in a group with K.J. Malone, Will Clapp, Andy Dodd, Josh Boutte and Maea Teuhema. The lineman worked on working to the second level before breaking to work with 1-on-1s with the defensive line.

Fournette is still nursing a lingering ankle injury that was reaggravated late in the Auburn game after a dropped pass. Fournette has been battling a ankle issues for almost the entire preseason and season. As for Saturday, Orgeron didn't share much. 

"It's up in the air right now," Orgeron said of Fournette's status for Saturday. "Will be a game-time decision. Obviously, for any injury, we won't play him."

Fournette was not at practice Monday or Tuesday.

True freshman Saivion Smith was also missing. Smith watch practice on Monday in shorts and a sweatshirt under his jersey.

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New era, less pressure

One major change has been how the staff approaches practice for the Tigers. The staff runs to each drill, yells about energy, is encouraging and everyone seems looser because of it.

Orgeron sets the tone as you can hear him across the field during drills, but he also runs to and from drills. Simply put, Orgeron practices what he preaches.

A weight has been lifted off this team. As one person put it, "Why not us?" is now the attitude versus the pressure and negative energy that weighted the team down for achieving what it's talented enough to do.

Philadelphia Eagles rookie Jalen Mills (below) was in attendance on Tuesday to watch practice. Mills stood off to the side during practice, but a former player being allowed on just any day was a new thing according to LSU officials.

Even a scout from the Atlanta Falcons, who played the New Orleans Saints the night before, was out at practice. Previously, there were only select days that former players, scouts, etc. could come out to practice.

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Defense: Team working fundamentals

Whether it was Dave Aranda, Dennis Johnson, Corey Raymond or Pete Jenkins, the defensive staff was stressing fundamentals.

Aranda and the linebackers worked on a lot of hand-to-hand combat with special attention to exact hand placement for the linebackers.

Raymond worked on being able to slide side-to-side and turn and run with receivers in practice. The main focus though was keeping defensive backs' footwork as tight as possible.

For the defensive line, Jenkins stressed pad level as the main reason why linemen won or lost in 1-on-1s.

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