Summer Film Session: Big Cat, Part 2
More one-on-one contests from LSU spring practices
Tight end Chase Clement (88) drives pass-rushing defensive end KeKe Mingo back during the Big Cat drill this spring as Coach Thomas McGaughey (far left), Sam Montgomery (in green) and Anthony Johnson (56) look on (photo by Jay Potter).
By RICHARD FISCHER
Tiger Rag Assistant Editor
We’ve reached another Tuesday in the summer, and that means it’s time for the next installment of TigerRag.com’s summer film sessions.
Every Tuesday from now until SEC Media Days in late-July (July 20-22, to be exact), we’ll run out a series of videos from this past spring’s LSU practice sessions.
Last week we looked at Part 2 of our video series on quarterbacks, checking back in on Jordan Jefferson, Jarrett Lee and Zach Mettenberger during the latter part of the spring practice sessions.
The week prior we broke down the deep LSU secondary, watching film on the Tigers’ cornerbacks and safeties from spring drills.
Before that, we went on positional hiatus, instead watching players compete in the Big Cat drill.
We’ve also taken a look at the LSU wide receivers being put through a series of drills and catching passes from the three LSU signal callers.
Finally, in our first Tuesday installment, we dissected the Tiger quarterbacks for the first time during spring practice sessions, watching the QBs work in the earlier portion of the spring.
Today, we’ll pick back up with more of the Big Cat drill, turning the focus back to who is pushing whom around on the Ponderosa.
Below is Editor Ben Love’s write-up on the Big Cat drill from our first film session of the one-on-one drill:
Not much needs to be said to introduce this drill or the purpose behind it.
It ain’t too deep.
Basically, an offensive player is pitted against a defensive player and each is tasked with pushing the other back while staying inside the framework of some cones. The narrow lane is supposed to prevent players from being elusive as this is designed to be a head-on-head drill. It not only measures brute force and strength, but also serves as a reminder to keep the legs pumping to move a guy once contact has been initiated.
The Tigers have been running the Big Cat for a little over a year now, and it was originally Les Miles’ response to his team “not winning enough one-on-one battles,” in his own words. In the time since, the drill has led off a number of practices, sandwiched right in between stretching/warm-up time and individual drills (by position).
One last note: Miles does a pretty good job in most of these videos of calling out the combatants’ names, but for a general rule of thumb the offensive player is to the left (or bottom part of the screen) and the defender is to the right (or top part of the screen).
Check out today’s film session footage on the best of the spring’s Big Cat drills, Part 2, complete with notes and observations following each clip. For identification purposes, players’ numbers are listed within those “Notes” sections.
Video 1: Big Cat drill (3.22)
Tuesday, March 22
NOTES: This is the third day in which the media were allowed to view the Big Cat drill during spring practices. As with the first few Big Cat days, the players are in shells (shoulder pads and helmets). In the first four contests of this video, the tight ends are battling the defensive linemen. Then a pair of smaller Tigers round out this session. Here’s how it went down …
1. TE Chase Clement (88) takes down DE Chancey Aghayere (87)
- This is definitely the most dominant victory in this session.
2. TE Deangelo Peterson (19) draws close to even with DE Jordan Allen (98)
- We’ll give Allen the slight victory with his second effort, but this is the closest contest in this video.
3. DE Justin Maclin (54) overpowers TE Travis Dickson (41) after an initial stalemate
- Nice to see the “speed” defensive end showing a little strength - even against a tight end that was briefly moved to fullback last season.
4. DT Dennis Johnson (97) gets underneath TE Nic Jacobs (84), but Jacobs regains leverage and pushes Johnson back
- Great effort from the tight end to regain momentum against the larger man. Jacobs really turned some heads during Big Cat this spring.
5. S Craig Loston (6) drives back WR Jarrett Fobbs (5) fairly easily.
Video 2: Big Cat drill Pt. 2 (3.22)
Tuesday, March 22
NOTES: Immediately following the first video, the Tigers pick up where Loston and Fobbs left off. You hear coach Les Miles reminding the offensive players (white jerseys) to keep their hands inside quite a bit. Now here’s the action …
1. S Eric Reid (1) drives WR Armand Williams (81) back a bit before losing his balance
2. LB Tahj Jones (58) trips out of the blocks against RB Connor Neighbors (43)
3. FB James Stampley (35) consistently pushes back LB Luke Muncie (52)
- Nice to see the fullback staying with his block, even going around an axis.
4. LB D.J. Welter (31) gets underneath snapper Alex Russian (85)
- This appeared to be quite the stalemate with Welter slightly getting the upper hand.
5. RB Michael Ford (42) pushes back LB Karnell Hatcher (37)
- Ford looks quite dominant here, but Hatcher does recover a bit after the initial push.
6. WR/RB Jakhari Gore (3) drives through LB Seth Fruge (56)
- In what Miles calls “The matchup of the day” Gore shows tremendous leg strength even though he’s outweighed by about 25 pounds.
Video 3: Big Cat drill (4.5)
Tuesday, April 5
NOTES: Four days before the Spring Game, the Tigers did battle within their patented circle once again. In this edition, we see LSU’s receivers taking on defensive backs following more dominance from Nick Jacobs. Let’s get to it …
1. TE Nick Jacobs (84) makes easy work of DE Justin Maclin (54) even though he wasn’t the lower man
- Jacobs puts Maclin in a headlock of sorts, which is when coach Miles blows the whistle. This really wasn’t a fair fight from the get-go when you look at the measurements.
2. WR Armand Williams and DB Ronnie Vinson (28) deadlock each other
3. After a false start, S Eric Reid (1) and Kadron Boone (86) have a nice battle
- We’ll give the slight nod to Reid, but Boone hangs tough. Afterwards, Miles gives some one-on-one advice to Reid.
4. WR James Wright (82) pushes back CB Tharold Simon (24)
- You can hear DB coach Ron Cooper telling Simon to “Bring your feet” afterwards. Simon’s feet barely moved during the contest.
5. S Derrick Bryant (36) dominates WR Jarrett Fobbs (5)