A good bit of time was spent watching the offensive linemen get after it and the first drill we saw them in was one where they worked on staying low and arm placement. The drill was done using a steel rack with a bar going down the middle that kept them low. O-line coach Greg Studawara was heard screaming "I want to see a lot of punch and grab. Punch and grab."
Jarvis Jones got some praise from coach Stud and what a specimen this kid is. He is so thick up top but his legs are not nearly as big compared to the others which makes you think this kid still has a lot of growing to do and he's already added over 50 pounds since he committed to LSU back in 2007.
After that the linemen went to the sled and worked on using their hands and driving the sled.
The next period was spent with the offensive line working as a unit where it was working on the tackles pulling to the other side and some zone blocking.
The first team o-line from left to right was Ciron Black, Herman Johnson, Brett Helms, Lyle Hitt, and Joseph Barksdale.
The second team going the same direction was Ernest McCoy, Ryan Miller, T-Bob Hebert, Josh Dworaczyk, and Jarvis Jones.
One note of interest regarding the o-line was Will Blackwell is now wearing No. 61 but it was hard to see if he was working at guard or tackle because the third team didn't do any of the drills while we were allowed in.
On to the quarterbacks and receivers where Jarrett Lee continues to look like he is way ahead of the others at throwing the ball. His passes have a lot of zip on them and he appeared much more comfortable than the last time I saw him at practice.
The quarterbacks and receivers were working on their communication and recognizing coverages as some of the trainers and grad assistants lined up as defenders.
Lee and Andrew Hatch looked like the timing was better with the receivers as they were both on the money on most of their corner routes that covered around 35 yards and their slants.
When watching the two signal callers sling the ball, Hatch's passes have a little more wobble to them and Lee's throws look so much more effortless.
Demetrius Byrd looks to be the leader of the receiving corps and D.J. McCarthy asked him several times about making a read and what he was supposed to do and he responded instantly with an answer that made McCarthy nod his head in agreement.
Jared Mitchell wasn't out there because of the baseball game against UNO tonight and the order of the wide outs after Byrd was Brandon LaFell, Terrance Toliver, Chris Mitchell, R.J. Jackson then Ricky Dixon.
The quarterbacks later hooked up with the running backs where they were running some wheel routes and then they started working on some counter draws with the order of backs being Keiland Williams, Richard Murphy, Charles Scott and then Stevan Ridley. It's obvious Quinn Johnson is the No. 1 fullback and he looks like a man out there with the guns he has for biceps.
Practice started out for the defense with the back seven scrimmaging the offensive backfield. Coaches were stressing the importance of taking the right angle for the tackle. Charles Alexander was not with the first unit on defense, because he was wearing a limited-contact green jersey.
However "Big Cheese" was still very vocal, cheering on the starters and encouraging the second and third strings. Kelvin Sheppard continues to hold a starting spot alongside Darry Beckwith at linebacker, and this afternoon saw Shomari Clemons getting the bulk of the first-team work with the other two.
For the first time that TSD.com has been out at practice, Jacob Cutrera was heavily involved in drills, but was also wearing a green jersey.
Defensive units then split into individual drills. The defensive linemen hit the sleds, where Charles Alexander took charge as the leader of the group. Alexander seemed a little slow out of his stance, and is still wearing a leg brace, but showed great enthusiasm. If he was the vocal leader, Marlon Favorite took a more laid back approach.
Favorite sang songs and joked with fellow linemen during breaks in the action but don't read anything into it because he was still focused and paying attention to the coaches the majority of the time. The line focused primarily on breaking blocks, running multiple drills teaching technique for escaping offensive linemen. Coaches focused on the importance of maintaining tight motions in order to retain power. Tremaine Johnson in particular earned high praise for his explosiveness during the drills.
The defensive backs worked on coverage and interceptions. Harry Coleman and Chad Jones saw extensive work covering receivers. The secondary also ran an interception drill, in which players were instructed to time the ball with their jump and catch it at its highest point. The highlight of the drill was a particularly impressive leaping interception by Jones. As the only returning starter in the secondary, Curtis Taylor seems to have a cool, confident demeanor about him. He seems to know the incoming starters will be looking to him to lead by example.
The linebackers put their pride on the line as they went one-on-one with the offensive backfield in some drills. The object was to fight through a block and get to a tackling dummy representing the quarterback. Kelvin Sheppard went against Keiland Williams and eventually got through after Williams dropped the block before the whistle, drawing the wrath of the coaches.
Next up, Harry Jones went against Charles Scott. Scott not only finished the block but put Jones on his back, drawing slaps on the back from his fellow tailbacks. Ace Foyil and Richard Murphy went against each other twice in a row with each winning one contest. Murphy showed great toughness in blocking a larger opponent.
That's all for today but we will have more on practice as the TigerSportsDigest.com staff is off to interviews with players and Les Miles.
Additional Notes of Interest:
Chris Davenport was there at practice and he got to town around 12:30.
The Tigers will practice again tomorrow and then will take Friday off before a scrimmage on Saturday.