Etling takes some time off, Teuhema battling injury, defense adding disguises?

LSU Football players met with the media ahead of their Monday walk-thru. Danny Etling talked about his preparation, Maea Teuhema touched on the offensive line shuffling and being hurt plus more.

LSU QB Danny Etling (above)

Etling seeing benefits of quarterback friendly offense, talks preparation

LSU coach Ed Orgeron said on Monday that offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger has done a nice job of making LSU's offense more quarterback friendly for Danny Etling. That has allowed Etling to thrive with high-percentage throws and set up the offense for success.

"We want to make short, easy throws to Danny, easy reads, give him an opportunity to do things that he does well. The things that he doesn't do well, we don't do them," Orgeron said on Monday. "But I think Steve Ensminger has done a tremendous job with Danny. Danny's a leader, he's tough, and he's earning the respect of his team."

Etling says the entire offense is installed, but each week brings a wrinkle for what LSU wants to do to opponents.

"The more and more I can learn, the more I can absorb. I've been working very hard so I can grasp everything we're trying to put in the gameplan so I don't have to cut anything out," Etling said. "You learn a lot just watching the game film. I've learned a little bit more and I'm just going to grow with it."

This weekend with the open date, Etling went home to Terra Haute, Indiana to relax a bit, which is something Etling doesn't do often.

"A little bit. Every time I go home, I get to get into a different frame of mind and just trying to relax and put everything to the side. Once you kind of touch back down in Baton Rouge, you're back to it. It's always nice to get away and take a little breather."

The extra time allows a quarterback time to watch the raw film and pickup little things before getting into deeper breakdowns as he goes through the week.

"I was just able to get through all of their original films and then really starting breaking stuff down tonight (Monday)," Etling said. "It's always good because you get a feel for how they call plays, how they gameplan, what their strategies are, why they play the way they do."

At Purdue, Etling worked too hard he said and watches film with a purpose rather than just trying to watch as much as possible.

"I've been able to narrow down each day what I need to accomplish that day as far as learning about their defense and it's a lot easier to watch the film being able to understand more about defenses. Now you're trying to watch their defense versus defenses as a whole."

Offensive lineman Maea Teuhema said that since Etling has taken over as starter, his communication has improved with the lineman.

"Whenever he has a question or we have a question, we go to each other. He just talks to us and communicates with us," Teuhema said. "Just the way he works, he's a good guy. He's always in the film room letting us know what's going to go on."

As far as getting some normalcy back to the team, Etling said between football and school, he doesn't have much time to focus on what's happening on the outside.

"I'm very ready for a normal week of practices without many distractions. I will say, I don't normally listen because I don't have time," Etling said. "I wasn't really aware of the hurricane until Thursday and then the game got cancelled so I said, oh man. I was caught by surprise. "

Defense experimenting with different coverages

The LSU defense on Monday came out ready to work and Dave Aranda appeared to be working in some new coverages following team meetings.

For example, on a few occasions, Tre'Davious White ended up playing deep center field as the secondary rotated on plays. Those type of disguises are what LSU fans expected when Aranda was brought in to run LSU's defense.

Disguises like that can confuse opposing quarterbacks and change defensive matchups on the backend for things, which can lead to poor decisions from quarterbacks.

Players like Kristian Fulton continue to be worked in at the nickel spot and gain more experience. Dwayne Thomas also continues to get reps at the nickel spot too.

Defensive back Saivion Smith continued to be in a yellow jersey meaning non-contact.

Offensive line changes looking permanent, Teuhema nicked up

Orgeron said on Monday that the offensive line continues to go through changes as offensive line coach Jeff Grimes is allowed to tweak the lineup, which appears set to be (from left to right) K.J. Malone, Teuhema, Andy Dodd, Josh Boutte and Ethan Pocic.

"We have some guys, some guys can play left tackle, center, right guard, and he does a tremendous job of that. We have some young guys that are chomping at the bits to play, but you never can tell how well they are going to play until they get into live action."

Teuhema said Grimes' preparation for the group is the reason why the team is able to move around to different positions.

"It means our coach knows what he's doing and he makes sure everybody knows every position so we can be ready," Teuhema said.

Teuhema said there isn't much to switching positions, but the outside factors of where you're playing is the difference.

"You just gotta do your thing. There's more space at tackle so I gotta be more flexible and mobile. With guard, I guess you're in the middle of everything so you get more help on both sides. Whenever we have good defensive ends, we put in a chip for running backs for our tackles."

Teuhema said he's still battling a high ankle sprain sustained in fall camp. The move inside should help him with his play as he doesn't have to worry about that ankle as much.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Absent from Monday's walk-thru was Leonard Fournette, Foster Moreau, Will Clapp, Toby Weathersby and Tiger Blitz didn't see Jazz Ferguson out there either.
  • LSU seemed extremely loose out there on Monday for the team's walk-thru. There was a lot of high-faving and smiles around the team. 
  • LSU continues to work on shifts offensively like having full backs as the outside receiver before motioning them into the backfield. The team has also worked on blocking the backside defensive ends with receivers. Those tweaks will put pressure on defenses and give linemen more help.

LSU OL Garrett Brumfield

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