The team was in full pads and after warm-ups they participated in the Big Cat drill again. Battles of note were Joseph Barksdale beating Sam Montgomery, Chris Davenport plowing through Evan Washington, Mitch Joseph beating Tahj Jones, Kevin Minter beating Dominique Allen, and Ron Brooks shoving back Reuben Randle.
Starting with the tight ends, Deangelo Peterson, Chase Clement, and Mitch Joseph all appear to be in the hunt for the number one spot on a pro set formation. Peterson obviously lacks some of the blocking power but is too valuable of a weapon to not have in the game. Mitch Joseph looks to be the best blocker out of the group and Chase Clement is a combination, but he is still learning.
The tight end group worked on the shutes for the first time in our allotted practices and focused on hand placement and getting under the pads of the defender. It also appears that Tyler Edwards is going to be a weapon as a receiving tight end one day and it is only a testament to LSU’s overall quality at the position. Later on in practice, Coach Miles gave the group some attention by going over their first step in a base block assignment. All of the tight ends looked good catching the ball on drag routes today.
The quarterbacks worked on slant/go routes and had a little trouble with the touch passes today. Coach Crowton stressed an emphasis on the pump fake, looking off the safety and eventually getting the ball out quickly in concurrence to which route the receivers were running. He also challenged the quarterbacks to push the boundary of the field by trying to put the ball further out away from the defender, but still in bounds. When the group started working on the shorter passes, Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee really excelled by leading their targets.
While the quarterbacks were having trouble with the touch passes, the receiving corps did not help out too much today. There were several drops by Chris Tolliver, Terrance Toliver and Russell Shepard. Coach Gonzales did not look happy with the production on the in-route and moved on to the cut drill where receivers work on their footwork while making 45 degree cuts.
Once again, the defense worked on three universal drills rotating groups at each air horn. While the defensive backs were working on the downhill tackle drill with Coach Robinson, Craig Loston caught an earful for “slacking off” and after the drill was over, Coach Robinson informed Coach Cooper of what was going on. During the next tackle drill, Loston put Dexter Alexander out of practice and into the training room. The players were asked what happened, and a couple of them responded, “Craig knocked him out.” It is obvious that Loston only needs a little motivation to perform up to his gaudy expectation.
Once again, Morris Claiborne looked very smooth in all of his drills and paired up with Jai Eugene which made it easy to see the differences in their style. It seems that Eugene is still taking too many steps on his turn and run drills, which slowed him down quite a bit compared to Claiborne. Making the move back to safety was Rocky Duplessis, and he actually looked pretty good today
The linebackers were without Kelvin Sheppard for unknown reasons, but the group took in Coach Chavis’ distance tackle drill and focused on moving their feet. Towards the end of our session, Chavis had the guys working on man coverage with the offensive player taking the linebacker deep. The past few practices have been about working in open space as opposed to moving downhill in the box. Coach Chavis expects a lot out of his linebackers and is obviously getting them ready for every situation that they might see on Saturday.
LSU will return to action on Thursday for one final practice before Saturday’s spring game that is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN2.