Tigers Get Some Scrimmage Work

Les Miles met with the media Saturday evening to discuss his team's first scrimmage of fall camp

“I liked the first go,” Miles said. “It was a half practice and half scrimmage with probably 50 plays total,  25 for the first team and 25 for the second. Of those 25 about 12 were 1’s vs. 1’s, and the rest 1’s vs. 2’s. Special teams got another 16 snaps. It was really a pretty good go early in camp.


“Personally I thought we were sharp on offense at times. A little mistake here or there would cost us in performance. The defense in my opinion played well. They’re still putting it together. If I had to characterize it today I think the offense won, but it was still a very competitive go.”


With the first scrimmage of fall camp now in the books, Miles seems to be pretty pleased with the level his team is at, as well as their desire to continue improving.


“Our team is growing,” he said. “Our team understands that it’s not sharp at times, it’s sharp all the time. Making sure you pay attention to detail and get it fixed. Your business must be done as well as it can be done. It’s a team and you’re responsible to us.


“That football team ran around 16 40’s at the end of the scrimmage. Certainly a very long run for a team in great shape and that team is in pretty good shape. They ran hard the entire time. I like their fight, their commitment to team. I like this team. Certainly it’s early in camp and there’s a lot to improve on, but they appear very willing.”


One area Miles would certainly like his team to improve on is the aforementioned little mistakes that tend to hold teams back.


“The mistakes that were made on offense stems at most from the deportment of the play,” Miles said. “We got a procedure penalty for a receiver not being on the line of scrimmage. But in terms of running and catching we’ve made some real improvements. The quarterbacks were much more efficient. We blocked well. I think the offense overall performed well, but in a game those things(pre-snap penalties) certainly have to be eliminated.”


As for his quarterbacks, Miles thinks Tiger fans will notice a large improvement at the position compared to last season.


“Jordan Jefferson played most with the first team, I think he was 9 of 14,” Miles said. “He made a mistake on coverage and threw a pick to Patrick Peterson, but the rest of the time he looked pretty good. There are a couple small things he needs to correct, which he will. Jarrett Lee was not as good by percentage, probably 7 of 14. In my opinion he operated the offense pretty well, 2’s vs. 2’s and 2’s vs. 1s, with no glaring errors to note.


“Russell Shepard played about six snaps at quarterback, one at running back, and two at receiver. On a throw he wanted to go to a guy that was covered, but overstayed his welcome in the pocket and got sacked. But all three guys performed well. Chris Garrett came in and got 8 to 10 snaps and played well also. I think we’re much improved at quarterback.”


Another position surrounded by question marks heading into the season is fullback, where Miles singled out three players for their work in today’s scrimmage.


“James Stampley looked very well, played very strong,” he said. “I liked Richard Dugas. The young freshman Allen got a couple carries and looked ok. The first two blocked well. I don’t know how many snaps the young one got at blocking.”


The headman was also pleased with the play of his receivers in today’s scrimmage, as well as a few other players.


“Terrance Toliver, JoJo LaFell, and Reuben Randle all made nice catches today and look like good receivers,” Miles said. “Chris Mitchell and RJ Jackson both again made plays in this scrimmage. Charles Scott had a couple nice carries. Russell Shepard had a couple nice carries. Danny McCray had a couple crisp tackles; I enjoyed seeing his performance.”

According to LSU Sports Information, cornerback Patrick Peterson created the only turnover during the scrimmage, intercepting a Jefferson pass and returning it 40 yards. Coleman had a sack for a 7-yard loss, to go with four tackles, while Sheppard, Michael Brockers and Sam Montgomery each had sacks for the defense. 


On the defensive side of the ball the linebacker group saw a rash of injuries hit this past week in camp. But instead of worrying about the guys that aren’t playing, Miles is more focused on the ones that are playing and the depth being built at the position.


“Sheppard and Coleman both played," said Miles. "We rotated some young guys in and got them a lot of work.


“You don’t like to have Jacob Cutrera and Perry Riley on the sideline, but you put in some guys behind them and make the adjustments for the scrimmage. It adds to the depth of the team as we look forward to the season. I like the fact that KeKe Mingo and some of these guys are getting reps. I think in the long run we’ll be a better team.”


As for the kicking game, Miles indicated that Josh Jasper was 3 of 4 on field goals, but also mentioned he is being pushed by Drew Alleman who is hitting the ball well in camp.


Miles also indicated that Rahim Alem was held out of today’s scrimmage for minor bumps and bruises but is expected back at practice on Monday along with Cutrera and Riley.


As for Craig Loston, who was again spotted at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility this evening, Miles says there is still no final word on his status, but he hopes to have one next week.


“He(Loston) has a final to take, and anticipates doing well,” Miles said. “We’d like to have him back here next week some time.”


The Tigers will have Sunday off before getting back to work with another two practices on Monday.

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