Tuesday Practice Report

The Tigers returned to the practice fields on Tuesday for their 13th practice of the spring and the team was decked out in full pads. The media was allowed to observe four periods on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday's spring game.

Note: David Helman observed the defense while Jeremy Kenny was with the offense.


The only thing of note from the defensive drills was that LSU showed the dime package with Patrick Peterson and Jai Eugene splitting reps at one corner spot with Chris Hawkins on the other side. Chad Jones was at free safety and Karnell Hatcher was at strong. The two extra DB’s were Danny McCray and Brandon Taylor.


Ron Brooks was not in the dime package that we saw, but I wouldn’t read anything into that meaning that regarding the battle between Brooks and Hatcher at strong safety.


I got to see more fire from John Chavis today, but more on that in a minute. Harry Coleman was back with the unit today, and the 'backers worked on reading the quarterback for an interception. Perry Riley went first in every drill, followed by Kelvin Sheppard, Coleman, Ryan Baker and Ace Foyil. Jacob Cutrera was going toward the end of the line in most of his repetitions.

I didn't see Coleman yesterday, but I was enormously impressed with how quick he broke from one position to the next when Chavis directed him to. He could be very scary as a linebacker with the length and speed he has.

The highlight of the LB’s day was when Shomari Clemons picked off a pass in a different INT drill and held it out like a loaf of bread while he reversed field. Chavis knocked the ball out of his hands and asked "Do you know how to tuck the ball away? Well then show me!"

Needless to say, Chavis wasn't happy.

Coleman got a lot of one-on-one time with Chavis, but it wasn't negative. It seems they're trying to bring him along quickly before the spring ends.

The defensive line did a lot of sled work today, but none of it was a unit. The group took turns hitting the sled in groups of two and three, but never as a full four. The defensive ends and the defensive tackles spent a good portion of time apart from each other. Rahim Alem and Chancey Aghayere did a good amount of work together with the giant mittens that Coach Haley has brought to practice. Haley himself spent a good part of the day going over schemes with the DTs.

The best bit to report from the D-Line's practice was Alem and Jonathan Nixon were flanking Lazarius Levingston and working with coaches on what appeared to be a three-man front. It could be nothing, but it's well-noted that Chavis likes to use four linebackers at times. Only time will tell I guess.

On offense, Charles Scott returned to practice today on offense, but Jhyryn Taylor was still missing. Terrance Toliver also missed today’s practice, and T-Bob Hebert continued to practice in a green non-contact jersey.


Watching the quarterbacks for the majority of practice it’s clear that Russell Shepard still has a lot of developing to do in his passing game. He’s cut down on the number of errant passes he throws, but there are still more than a few. He also has yet to develop a good sense of timing, often waiting too long to throw the ball. While the receivers worked on their 5 yard out routes today, Shepard threw the ball too late and led his receiver out of bounds on just about every rep. Same thing with corner routes in the end zone. He fared a little better on timing with the crossing and slant routes, but he was still holding onto the ball a little too long.


Speaking of crossing and fade routes into the endzone, it was interesting watching the two different approaches to these routes from the two quarterback lines. On one side, Les Miles was watching Jordan Jefferson and Shepard closely, and encouraging them to put more air under these throws. On the other side, Jarrett Lee and Chris Garrett were rifling the ball to the receivers at the back pylon.


As for the receivers, the absence of both Toliver and Taylor meant Chris Mitchell and Chris Tolliver were the only scholarship receivers in the X-position line.


The running backs worked extensively on running option routes out of the backfield, where they had to read the linebacker and cornerback and decide whether to run a slant, a curl, or an out based on how those defenders were reacting to the play. Charles Scott, Keiland Williams, and Richard Murphy were the top three backs in order of appearance, while Drayton Calhoun was running fourth.


The offensive line was practicing on the back field and was out of view for the majority of the time. None of the regular starters appeared to be missing, but once again, the media didn’t get a good look at the O-line in the four periods we were allowed to watch.

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