Tiger Rag made the cut.
First and foremost, it was the first visit to the coach's new digs in the recently-completed Football Operations Building. Upon entering Miles' office, it was pretty obvious who had home field advantage. Designed by former coach Nick Saban, a man who had a knack for utilizing many forms intimidation, the current Miami Dolphins head coach's thumbprint was left prominently on the LSU football program's crown jewel.
Saban spared no expense in designing this impressive fortress of intimidation all the way from the plush accommodations, to picturesque windows overlooking the Charlie McClendon Practice Facility, to the marble floored bathroom adjacent to the spacious office all the way to a private balcony facing Skip Bertman Drive.
Needless to say, in a word, wow!
At any rate, Miles was very gracious in welcoming the media into the inner realm and opened up the impromptu press conference with a lengthy opening statement covering the Tigers position by position.
To hit some of the high points from our sit down with Les, we will begin with the quarterback situation.
- Miles said JaMarcus Russell is progressing nicely after undergoing wrist surgery, but would likely see no action in spring training whatsoever. However, the 6-4, 250-pound junior will enter fall camp as the starting quarterback.
In the meantime, backup Matt Flynn and redshirt freshman Ryan Perrilloux would battle it out throughout the spring splitting the reps with the first and second string 50-50.
- Along with Russell several other players will miss the majority of spring drills.
The Tigers are depleted at the running back spot as Alley Broussard, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, will likely take on the same role as Russell as a bystander. Justin Vincent, who tore an ACL in the Peach Bowl win over Miami, is out for sure.
Safeties Jesse Daniels and LaRon Landry have little to prove in the spring and will sit out for the majority of drills coming of minor surgeries. Daniels underwent shoulder surgery while Landry had an ankle scoped.
- The Tigers will go into the spring lean at running back, so lean fullback Jacob Hester will move to tailback for the time being to help take some of the load off redshirt freshmen Antonio Robinson and R.J. Jackson.
- Some players will be getting some looks at new positions including Carnell Stewart, who moved from the defensive line to offense. Alonzo Manuel made the switch from defensive end to tight end while former linebacker Quinn Johnson is going to get a look at fullback.
- Miles said he was putting major emphasis on the kicking game as the Tigers hope to try and take some pressure off Chris Jackson. Jackson, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, handles LSU's kickoff and field goal duties as well as the role as punter. Miles says he looks for backup punters Patrick Fisher and Bradley Dalphrey to battle this spring. Plus, he intends on placing seldom-used backup kicker Andre Boagni in the role as kickoff specialist. Colt Davis will still handle extra points and short field goals.
- Filling major holes on the offensive and defensive lines is a major issue this spring and Miles already has some ideas of who is going where. The offensive line should play out something like the following (from left to right): Herman Johnson, Will Arnold, Brett Helms, Brian Johnson and Peter Dyakowski. On the defensive front, Glenn Dorsey will step in for Kyle Williams while Marlon Favorite and Charles Alexander are the likely picks to follow in Claude Wroten's foot steps. Ryan Willis and Tyson Jackson should step in to fill the vacancy left by Melvin Oliver and Chase Pittman returns at the other end.
- Jonathan Zenon projects to be the replacement for Ronnie Prude at a vacated cornerback spot. He will lineup opposite Chevis Jackson. Miles said Daniel Francis is the nickel/dime back and will list as the third cornerback.
- Track and field made a couple of players choose their fates this spring. Trindon Holliday, a grayshirt from last year's class will practice football as well as run track for coach Dennis Shaver's Tigers. Xavier Carter, on the other hand, will skip spring drills and concentrate on track. Miles said he has too much at stake on the track to participate in spring practice.
Spring Camp Notes: Sitting down with Les
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