PRACTICE REPORT: Veterans in action Thurs.

Rain, rain, go away. While that may be what the LSU coaching staff may want, the players aren't feeling the same sentiment. While it is typical for the weather to be the "hot" topic (pardon the pun) during the first week of fall camp, the heat has taken a back seat to precipitation.

It has been steamy enough to make things uncomfortable for the players, but the rain has been the big story this week.


All three afternoon practices have been moved indoors because of the wet stuff. And finally, the veterans' got to work out on the new field turf inside the indoor practice facility as Thursday morning practice session got moved inside. While there were sunny skies over the Baton Rouge area this morning, some three inches of rain fell Wednesday night making the practice fields all but impossible to use.


The afternoon practice is tentatively slated for indoors as the freshmen seem to be headed inside for the fourth straight day.


As for the morning workout, the media was allowed five, six-minute periods to watch the Tigers. A lot of attention has been placed on viewing the offense, due mainly in part to the number of injuries to skill players on that side of the ball.


We got a good look at the running backs, most especially Alley Broussard and Justin Vincent, in full speed drills. Vincent seems back to 100-percent and appeared a step faster than he did a year ago. Also, the senior running back looked a bit lighter than the roster indicates at 223 pounds.


Broussard ripped and ran, but still looks to be a bit sluggish. He showed bursts of explosiveness, but appeared to labor a little after 10 to 15 yards.


The rest of the time was spent getting a close up look at the defense. The defensive line may have lost three key, impact players, but they have plenty more from which to choose. Just from watching drills, Glenn Dorsey's size mixed with agility is amazing for a player that big. Some think he can take over for Williams AND Wroten and not miss a beat. While that seems a tall task, he definitely has the poise of a guy that can give it a run.


It will be interesting to watch the battle at defensive end. While Chase Pittman most probably has one end locked down, it should be an all-out war on the other side between Rickey Jean-Francois, Tyson Jackson and Tremaine Johnson. Jean-Francois has bulked up from a season ago and is as physically imposing as anyone on the field. A real beast! Both Johnson and Jackson look to be in top physical condition with Jackson appearing a good bit bigger than he has in the past.


Moving inside to tackle, if Marlon Favorite is as gifted a defensive lineman as he is rapper, the Tigers should be in good shape. Favorite may not be the tallest guy on the field, measuring just a little over 6-feet-tall with his cleats on, he definitely has Booger McFarland-like tendencies.


As we said reported yesterday in our feature on Glenn Dorsey (check the archives), LSU coach Miles is very high on Charles Alexander – and we know why. Miles said Alexander is the most athletically-gifted big man on the roster for LSU. Standing 6-3 and 294 pounds, Alexander gives the Tigers an even mix of size strength and agility that will remind people of Claude Wroten from a year ago.


The Tigers exhibit so much depth on the defensive line that a number of players should rotate in an out of the game – D-Line by platoon. Others include Rahim Alem (the artist formerly known as Al Jones Jr.), Lyle Hitt, Tim Washington, Ryan Willis and even true freshman Al Woods (when he arrives).


Don't let the prognosticators fool you by saying the defensive line is a weak spot on this team. LSU is L-O-A-D-E-D.


Stepping aside from the defensive line, the LSU defensive secondary is equally stocked with talent. Everyone knows about the talented safeties LaRon Landry and Jesse Daniels as well as Chevis Jackson, Jonathan Zenon (check the archives for the latest feature on Zenon), Daniel Francis, Sammy Joseph… the list goes on and on in the secondary.


But here's a player to watch – Curtis Taylor.


Taylor has flown under the radar since arriving at LSU, but this may be his year to shine. Standing 6-3 and 204 pounds, Taylor is as LSU basketball coach John Brady describes as "LONG." Taylor has the size and build to be an impact player in the secondary. WE will definitely keep an eye on Taylor as August progresses.


Linebacker Luke Sanders was the only player in a green "no contact" jersey today. However, it didn't look to be all that serious as he was participating drills.

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