Q&A with Michael Clayton

LSU's sophomore wide receiver comments on the state of the LSU passing game.

Q: What are your thoughts on the offense. Coach Saban said you did some things to improve, not necessarily in that game, but for the rest of the season?

A: Right. We had a good week of practice and we came out and played hard. We talked about dominating the whole week. The opening kickoff, that's what we did from the start. It just set the tone for this season. After the wake-up call at Virginia Tech, we had a couple of guys step up and become leaders now. It's just going to help us for the rest of the season.

Q: The talk around town has been about the dropped balls. Are the receivers maybe thinking about making the play after the catch and looking up field?

A: I think it's a little bit of everything -- maybe not concentrating and trying to do too much at times. It's just something that's going to come with time. We need more practice. I thought we caught the ball fairly well this game (Citadel). I had the fumble that was kind of a fluke. The receivers just have to make players. We're going to make plays in time, and it's going to come. We're getting better every week.

Q: You guys haven't thrown the deep ball yet. The longest pass play has been 17 yards. Is it not in the game plan right now or are you just working on what you can do right now?

A: We've thrown the ball deep at times – not quite yet like last year. We've thrown it deep but haven't executed it well yet. Execution comes in time, and we're going to get it.

Q: Where has the offense progressed over the last two games? Have you seen some improvement from the passing and the catching?

A: Definitely, physically and mentally. Our attitude in the past two games has changed from being lackadaisical to domination. Coach Saban has stressed "dominate, dominate" and that's what we go out and do. Once you get your mind right, you're body physically goes out and gets on a roll.

Q: What do you have to do to prepare this week – maybe not necessarily to play against an opponent but to play to the best of your ability?

A: Study. Look at film, tests. Find out everything I can about their DBs and use all my skills to the best of my ability.

Q: Do you still feel like you have something to prove to your coaches and your teammates?

A: Not necessarily prove anything. I think we've proven we can get the job done. It's just a matter of hammering out some of the mistakes that we made, and that's just it. Once we get that together and on a roll, we're good to go.

Q: Do you think the team is on the right track toward capturing the element that was present on the team during last year's winning streak?

A: I think that state of mind comes with winning. Once you win a couple of games then lose a couple of games that you shouldn't have lost, you develop that mindset that you're not going to be beat anymore. I'm not going to say we haven't played enough games to feel that way, but there are a handful of guys on this team that do feel that way. It's going to be a matter of time before we (all) get that feeling back.

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