PRACTICE REPORT: Aug. 7 - Morning

On a relatively cool morning with low humidity, the Tigers began their first practice for the upcoming season Sunday morning at the Charles McClendon Football Practice Facility.

The workout featured a split squad, with only veterans reporting this morning and freshmen following this afternoon.

With only 14 incoming freshmen, a selected few returning players will practice with the freshman squad in the afternon. Some of the notable veterans who will practice this afternoon include wide receiver Xavier Carter and corner back Keron Gordon.

During the six periods allotted to the media, JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn rotated during passing drills. Although both quarterbacks' throws were on target, Russell's showed a bit more touch and finesse than Flynn, supporting his case for the starting role.

One concern for the Tigers during the off season was the status of Skyler Green and his bothersome ankle. However, Skyler looks toned and in shape for the upcoming season. Also, his ankle did not seem to give him any problems as he made his cuts down the field.

Although Flynn and Russell looked impressive this morning, the quarterback everyone has been talking about is Ryan Perrilloux. Because the freshmen report this afternoon, he was not present this morning. But Larry Dauterive, Perrilloux's coach at East St. John, was spotted conversing with Les Miles throughout the practice.

Miles said Saturday after the team reported that the Tigers returned in good shape. Only two players failed to pass the conditioning test. As a whole, the team looked to be in good physical condition.

Wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Craig "Buster" Davis appear to be in the best shape of their career. Shyrone Carey looks as if her might have dropped a few pounds and appeared a bit more elusive in team drills.

On the offensive line, Nate Livings was quick off the ball and – like last summer – looks to be the most physically fit of the starting five up front.

As far as coaching goes, Miles is much different from Nick Saban taking on more of an administrative role, Miles merely watched workouts, much different from the hands-on approach of Saban. All the while, the first year head coach cruised the offensive side of the field.

As calm as Miles appeared, defensive coordinator Bo Pelini possesses the same fire many were used to under Saban. Pelini, along with assistant coach Bradley Dale Peveto, were extremely hands-on with the defensive linemen and linebackers.

Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher and passing game coordinator Todd Monken seem to work well together. A concern of some with the possibility of the two coaches stepping on one another's toes, Fishers worked mainly with the quarterbacks and Monken with the wide receivers.

On the construction front, the new Football Operations Building looks close to being done as coaches and players are hoping to have the facility finished in the next few weeks. The exterior appears finished, leaving only the interior to be completed.

As for the West Side of Tiger Stadium, only three of the ten sections of seating have not been put in place. The press box and luxury suites below Upper West Side have yet to be enclosed and looks less optimistic for the season opener in four weeks.

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