Tuesday Practice Videos
Indoors with the Tigers - RBs, WRs and the D-Line
Receiver Rueben Randle and position coach Billy Gonzales work, at left, during 2010 spring camp. Yesterday, the duo was at it again, only Randle and his Tiger teammates were in full pads (photo by Maggie Bowles).
By BEN LOVE
Tiger Rag Editor
LSU football was back in action Tuesday afternoon, forced inside by rain for the first time during 2011 spring practice.
Still, through the change in scenery, the Tigers were in full pads for the ninth of 15 spring work-outs. Considering they were coming off a Saturday scrimmage, this represented a bit of a change. Typically, the team would go shells (shoulder pads and helmets) after a scrimmage to save the players’ legs somewhat.
But everyone was full speed ahead at the indoor facility Tuesday, minus a few notable absences.
Defensive end Lavar Edwards missed his fourth straight practice dating back to the beginning of last week. His interior D-Line mate, Josh Downs, was also missing in action Tuesday. At player interviews following practice, it was rumored both players are dealing with ankle injuries.
Rising senior linebacker Stefoin Francois was also not working out with the team, nor was he seen in street clothes anywhere. At the current time, nothing further is known on Francois.
With three defenders out, there were a number of changes in the front seven in terms of who got reps with the ones (giving fans a decent idea of who’d be counted on to step up when injuries occur).
With no Downs inside, redshirt sophomore Bennie Logan (6-3, 280) manned the defensive tackle slot next to Michael Brockers. Filling in for Edwards (who, don’t forget, is warming Sam Montgomery’s spot until Sam’s back) was KeKe Mingo (6-5, 237), something we’ve saw all last week in practice.
What was probably the most interesting, though, was redshirt sophomore Tahj Jones (6-2, 205) practicing alongside Kevin Minter and Ryan Baker at the Sam spot. Now, there’s one important caveat to remember: Jones typically runs third behind Francois and Karnell Hatcher. On Tuesday, Hatcher was in a green no-contact jersey, so that’s most likely what pushed Jones into first-team action during individual drills. (No update yet on Hatcher’s injury, but it was likely sustained in Saturday’s scrimmage.)
Aside from that rash of injuries and absences, it was business as usual. The quarterbacks and receivers worked out together, primarily focusing on the deep corner route (SEE FLIP VIDEO BELOW). The running backs worked on ball security (SEE BELOW) and the defensive backs were put through some interesting hand-eye coordination drills in which position coach Ron Cooper pulled out a few tennis balls and got the DBs shuffling and scooping.
Some other notes before the videos: It’s becoming clear some of the younger receivers are better route runners than others. Among the guys who excel in that category are James Wright (No. 82) and Kadron Boone (No. 86). It comes as no surprise then that these two, along with rising junior Chris Tolliver, are the first names on the depth chart once you get past starters Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard … With Bennie Logan taking first-team reps in Downs’ absence, it again reinforces the notion that Freak Johnson and Ego Ferguson are still having to prove themselves at defensive tackle. This shouldn’t come as a shock, though both players had obviously leapfrogged Chris Davenport, which almost certainly precipitated his shift over to the offensive line … Jordan Jefferson flashed some decent touch on a lot of the deep corner routes (SEE BELOW), something that doesn’t come quite as innately to Zach Mettenberger, whose ball is often times on more of a frozen rope. Mett’s still coming along, but right now is taking reps third behind Jefferson and Jarrett Lee … Finally, just a quick programming note for one of the videos below, on the “Corner Routes” clip, be sure to check out Russell Shepard’s sweet sideline grab just more than halfway through.
1. QBs to WRs, Corner Routes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JPuxwy6tYA
2. WRs work on getting off jam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGp6zpqh4n8
3. RBs run through dummy gauntlet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCRYaSDuVXo
4. D-Line shades right and left: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGKldC1w_nk
Editor Ben Love is Tiger Rag’s lead reporter on LSU spring football. Reach him at email@example.com.