LSU LB Duke Riley (above)
LSU Practice Notes
- Defensive lineman Frank Herron was back at practice today in a yellow non-contact jersey and defensive back Saivion Smith was again in a yellow practice jersey today.
- Offensive lineman Will Clapp and Toby Weathersby sat out practice along with running back Leonard Fournette and tight end Foster Moreau.
- On "Competition Tuesday," Orgeron continued to run back and forth from different position groups telling players to win 1-on-1s and bringing the energy.
- LSU quarterback commit Lowell Narcisse was at practice today and walking around. Narcisse told Tiger Blitz last week that he's solid to the Tigers and Orgeron and the staff told him he's still the guy they want to lead the Tigers to a national championship. Narcisse is continuing rehab on a torn ACL suffered in his season opener.
LSU new-look offensive line taking shape
With LSU having center Andy Dodd available for the Florida game, LSU coach Ed Orgeron gave offensive line coach Jeff Grimes the green light to make changes to the offensive line. Orgeron's mentality of the position coaches managing their own positions has really been an emphasis.
Tuesday in practice, the first team consisted of K.J. Malone, Maea Teuhema, Dodd, Josh Boutte and Ethan Pocic. Garrett Brumfield worked in at guard and so did Chidi Valentine-Okeke at tackle, but with the second team. With Clapp and Weathersby expected out, this seems like the group Grimes will go with against Florida in the two viewing periods media got to see.
Mixing and matching is nothing new to LSU's offensive line this season. The team has been banged up from the start with Clapp's ankle injury hindering him against Wisconsin, Boutte missing the Jacksonville State game, Weathersby getting injured against Mississippi State and more bruises from the Auburn game. Against Missouri, LSU saw Clapp and Boutte go down, leading to Donavaughn Campbell getting time in the second half.
Pocic could of course, end up back at center, where he says is his more comfortable position, but it's obvious that Grimes likes what Pocic brings on the edge at 6-7. It'll be interesting to see what the final group ends up being against the Gators and Grimes may not be done tweaking. With no more media viewing for the rest of the week, that'll be something to watch on Saturday.
Defense among tops in the country under Aranda
First-year defensive coordinator for LSU Dave Aranda has his unit playing like many expected it to when LSU hired Aranda away from Wisconsin. The unit has given up five touchdowns in the first five games and players lauded Aranda's skills as a teacher in training camp.
Not much has changed on the defensive side of the ball outside of signals under Orgeron and Aranda continues to impress players like linebacker Kendell Beckwith.
"I've enjoyed it. I love working with him. It's kind of like we all understand each other. He don't stop coaching even on Saturdays. He's up close and asking what we're seeing and talking through fits and things," Beckwith said. "He's not the type to down talk us. He just does a great job communicating."
Beckwith's review of the defense is glowing from what he's seen and how the defense has played.
"I think we've been playing pretty good. As long as we don't give up touchdowns, we're going to win. Our goal is to get off the field and not even to hold people to field goals. We can, but we're trying to be the best defense we can be," Beckwith said. "That's our thing. It'd be good if we don't give up field goals, but giving up field goals is a win."
Cornerback Donte Jackson and Beckwith said the team has tightened up and was sharp mentally for Missouri.
"Coach Aranda is a great coach and defensive mind. He's making sure we do what we do. It's everybody being more locked in," Jackson said. "We're taking it upon ourselves to be the heartbeat of the team. Any loose screws or missed coverages, we can't let that happen. We just knew the opponent we were having."
"We were just on point with a lot of things. We didn't really give up many busts. I feel like we just played the way we always play. We didn't miss tackles," Beckwith said. "It's just us coming together and being on the same page."
Growing sentiment that Orgeron could earn the job
It's been reported that LSU might sign Ed Orgeron on to be the full-time coach if he continues to win and especially if Orgeron leads LSU to a victory over Alabama. That's something Tiger Blitz heard before Les Miles was fired from sources that said Miles must win the Auburn game to retain his job and if not, Orgeron would be named the interim coach.
Former LSU quarterback Rohan Davey appeared on "After Further Review with Matt Mascona" on ESPN 104.9 today and talked about what success looks like to him for Orgeron.
"Success is you getting the underclassmen to play. Success keeping the same momentum with recruiting," Davey said.
Now, Davey, who was coached by current Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher while he was at LSU, said that LSU should give Fisher a look for the job as well.
With Orgeron bringing former players back for things like the Tiger Walk and allowing them back in practices, Davey said that's gone a long way for just the little things that former players like to see.
Orgeron pushed the right buttons with his team his first week on the job, but also with former players and the entire state of Louisiana. Someone "homegrown" like Davey put it, would be welcomed for the Tigers.