PRACTICE NOTEBOOK: Tuesday, Aug. 15

Certain coaches have certain rules and almost no coach runs his program the same as another. As was the days of Gerry DiNardo, practice was completely open for media and fans to attend on a daily basis.

It wasn't until the 1998 season, when things began going south, did DiNardo completely close practice.

 

Under Nick Saban, practice was open to the media, but only for a 20-30 minute period at the beginning of workouts. Saban let the media view individual drills, but was highly secretive when it came to team workouts as not to allow the opposition to learn any strategy or tactics.

 

These days, Miles is even more restrictive with the time he allows outsiders inside the walls of the Charles McClendon Practice facility. After the team goes through a period of drills, Miles opens the doors for a 15-20minute period allowing the media inside.

 

Here's the catch. It isn't exactly the same time every day so most of the time, the media is left waiting for the right period when the doors will be opened.

 

One writer asked Miles after Tuesday's scrimmage why he chooses to close practice, while many coaches around the SEC leave the doors open.

 

"So a coach can get in a players face," Miles said. "Or a player can make a miscue and not have it made public knowledge."

 

Also Miles said there are things that go on behind those walls that help in building team unity, which are only effective when they happen within the confines of a closed practice field.

 

"So the team, and those things that happen within the team that build morale through tough lessons, are not made public," Miles said.

 

 

NFL Scouts On Hand

 

A couple of NFL scouts were at Tuesday mornings workout and mini-scrimmage.

 

Representatives from the New England Patriots, New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings watched the practice and later the scrimmage. Miles said the scouts tend to converge on Fall Camp practices when they learn the team is going to scrimmage.

 

"I think they would like to show up on the days of a scrimmage," Miles said. "I think they would want to watch (on a scrimmage day). There is so much you get from a hands on evaluation, height and size, how they interact with their teammates. Obviously, the scrimmage is more preferred."

 

Miles, who spent several years in the NFL as an assistant coach for the Dallas Cowboys, said scouts tend to like watching practices over an actual game.

 

"So many times a scout can get more from a day where they are just practicing (scrimmage) because they are going to see what they look like in a live go, against other good players," Miles said.

 

While it gauges the caliber of your program when NFL scouts visit, it can also serve as a distraction as well. Miles said he allows the scouts to visit during Fall Camp, but limits their visitations during the season for that reason.

 

"I think it can be," Miles said. "On certain game weeks we are not going to allow the NFL scouts there. Considering we are going to close a majority of the fall, the two-a-days will be a good opportunity to see our players."

 

And do the players notice?

 

"Oh absolutely," Miles said.

 

 

Hot Temperatures, Hot Tempers

 

The temperature was a steamy 98 degrees at midday on Tuesday with a heat index of 105. Now into the second week of practice, tempers can grow short as the mercury rises.

 

However, Miles stressed that he is impressed with the condition of his team.

 

"I don't think there is any question the team gets a little put upon in the heat," Miles said. "I can tell you though, this team is in really good shape. They showed that today with a long run at the end of a really hot practice."

 

Miles alluded to the fact that with the beginning of actual two-a-days yesterday, this will no doubt be the toughest week for the Tigers in terms of stamina.

 

"We are starting to get to that point," Miles said. "This is the week where it shows. Two, one, two, one, two; you are looking at serious practice time.

 

"I think this is easily the toughest the week because it is three two-a-days and three single practices culminating with one long scrimmage on Saturday," Miles said. "No question this is the (toughest) week."

 

As for the results of Tuesday's scrimmage, considering the heat.

 

"I'd like to be a little better, but I don't think I have ever said anything else than that," Miles said. "I think every scrimmage I have come out of, if the offense had too much success, it is on the defense. I think we have progressed, gotten better, but this week we have to keep pushing and get better."

 

 

Is the House Clear Yet?

 

Les Miles said Monday he was expecting some word from the NCAA Clearinghouse on the status of four LSU freshmen who have yet to be cleared to report.

 

"No (NCAA) Clearinghouse news to this point," Miles said. "I have been on the practice field the last several hours. I hope to have some when I walk in there (office)."

 

Running backs Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy as well as linemen Steven Singleton and Al Woods remain absent as they await word from the NCAA Clearinghouse on whether or not they will be able to join the team for the 2006 season.

 

 

Nice Shirt Carl

 

At the end of Miles' meeting with the media on Tuesday, WBRZ sports director Michael Cauble treated the press to a little comic relief when he fired off a comical question to coach Miles.

 

"What do you think of Carl's shirt?" Cauble said.

 

Cauble was alluding to Advocate writer Carl DuBois and a very colorful Hawaiian-style shirt he was wearing.

 

Without missing a beat, Miles fired back.

 

"I am telling you what, that is damn sweet," Miles laughed. "I'm serious. I'd like to go to work like that one day. If I coached at Hawaii, I could get away with that."

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