The spotlight has been off coach Les Miles' team so far this spring as several of the Tigers' frontline players are skipping the bulk of spring drills with injuries. Quarterback JaMarcus Russell, running backs Alley Broussard and Justin as well as both starting safeties Jesse Daniels and LaRon Landry are expected to miss most of, if not all, of spring practice.
News has been scarce from the Tiger camp, but rumors surfaced this week concerning Broussard's future with the team. The junior tailback missed all of last season after tearing his ACL during a scrimmage last Aug. 13. Reports were that Broussard was near-ready to go, after some light reps during the first week of practice it seems the bruising back has experienced a setback.
"His knee is not where it needs to be," Miles said. "He has been out there trying to do a couple of things, but it (knee) has not responded well."
Miles said Broussard felt good earlier in the week but might have tweaked the injured knee again toward the weekend.
"He hasn't said anything to me, but when he was leaving the field the other day he told one of the trainers it is the bets his knee has felt," Miles said. "I was hopeful that was a good sign. But the last 24-48 hours, it has been a different story."
Broussard was not present at Saturday's workout.
"He had something he had to do in
Miles did, however, deny any claims
that Broussard may be contemplating transferring from LSU. A local radio talk
show host said late last week a couple of Broussard's former teammates said the
6-0, 235-pound running back was entertaining the idea of leaving
"Not with me," Miles said about any discussions with Broussard about leaving. "Not at all. Certainly those things are talked about, but I would definitely have sat down and talked to him about something like that.
Miles said Russell may begin some light drills next week, but doesn't expect him to be a factor at all this spring.
"He won't start even a soft toss until next week sometime," Miles said.
As for the other injured Tigers, the prognosis for each is different case by case, but he expects all players to be ready to go by August.
"It is all on an individual basis," Miles said. "Some players will be back by the end of the spring. Others will not. Some players will be back in green jerseys. But the guys that are not taking part in workouts right now will no doubt be back with us by August."
As for the workout Saturday, it was LSU's second day in full pads. However, it was the first day for live action. Miles gave little details as to the specifics, but said only that there is room for improvement.
"It was our fourth day of practice (second in pads)," Miles said. "We were much improved but we are a long way from being a quality football team. We worked hard in the heat today. We had a nice little live segment. Overall, it was a good, hard work day.
"We were in full pads for the first time on Wednesday, but today was the first time we were live, hitting, blocking and tackling," Miles said.
The second-year LSU coach said he didn't expect too much on the first day of full contact, rather examined the basics.
"Competitiveness," Miles said. "Flying around, making tackles. Contact, We saw all of those things today."
He did talk about the secondary, which is operating this spring without either starting safeties.
With the loss of several keys leaders from last season's team, Miles and his staff are on the lookout for a new crop of players to lead the team. He said junior defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey is taking a very active role so far.
"We have to have leadership at every position," Miles said. "It can't be just one guy. Glenn Dorsey has started off the spring with the idea that he is not just going to be a good player but a leader as well. There is a number of guys who can step up as leaders, but like a lot of things it is too early to tell. We will just have to see how the rest of the spring goes and see what these guys grow to be."