Thursday Practice Notes
Tigers prep for Saturday’s spring game with an open practice
LSU head coach Les Miles allowed free admission to any LSU student to watch practice Thursday, and because the fans could watch it in its duration, the media could as well.
In preparation for Saturday’s spring game, the Tigers went just helmets with no pads, and it was sure a different mood than we’re used to in regular practices. Coaches and players were laughing and joking around, and there definitely wasn’t the same intensity.
With that said, they still got to work.
Beginning with individual drills, Adam Henry was seen coaching up the WRs and reminding them to come back to the ball and to tuck it high and tight immediately after the reception. The WRs staggered their order so the ones you would expect to catch the majority of the passes this fall would run routes when Zach Mettenberger was throwing.
As for the offensive linemen, they couldn’t get as physical without pads, but they did the best they could against dummies.
A pair of players with dummies would line up against offensive linemen, and the offensive linemen were tasked with making a split-second decision on how to block the defender depending on their original position and first move after the snap.
At one point, offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa was heard saying, “Every time a guy lines up there, it should be detrimental to his health. He should get the stuff (he didn’t say stuff) knocked out of him.” Then after realizing that a group of students and media heard him, Stud added in a joking tone, “Just to be clear, no bounties on no one. Just physical football.” Clearly it was a different mood altogether.
Special teams had an entire field to themselves and after kicking and punting, they began goofing around for the students. Brad Wing (holder) and Drew Alleman (kicker) even brought back the behind-the-head-flip as a form of entertainment.
Then, the Tigers went 7-on-7 followed by a non-tackling scrimmage.
On the first play of the scrimmage, Mettenberger and James Wright combined to burn Tharold Simon on a double move. Give credit to Simon though for showing his make-up speed and contesting the ball in the end zone, because with no safety help, he should get beat on that play quite frankly. Simon would get his revenge though. More on that later.
Jarvis Landry also caught a touchdown pass in 7-on-7, beating Ronald Martin to the outside on a flag route. Again, however, plays like that are real easy for the offense with no pass rush on the QB.
LSU’s linebackers, Lamin Barrow and Luke Muncie especially, looked a bit vulnerable in pass coverage (They were the starting outside backers as Tahj Jones is out).
But those deficiencies above were the exception rather than the rule. The defense really made the 7-on-7 drill difficult on the offense with plenty of great coverage. Mettenberger was forced to dump the ball down to the backs more times than not.
Note that all of Jeremy Hill’s reps were at RB today. None at FB. Plus LSU did show a look with Spencer Ware and Alfred Blue in the backfield at the same time from a shotgun formation. Michael Ford wasn’t out there as he is battling a minor nagging knee.
Then, the Tigers went to non-tackle scrimmage mode. LSU showed its first glimpses of Mustang this spring (at least for the media). Bennie Logan stayed on as the nose tackle with Micah Eugene and of course Tyrann Mathieu as the gunners. When Mathieu moved inside to play gunner, Jalen Collins was opposite Simon on the outside (maybe an indication that Collins has won the third cornerback job) and Ronald Martin played safety with Eric Reid in the back. Remember that Craig Loston is out for the remainder of spring practices with a dislocated toe. Heck, Martin may be a better fit for passing situations anyway.
Eugene also got some first-team reps at safety. Looked like they were running nickel when that happened.
Then as the scrimmage was wrapping up, Simon finally got his measure of revenge I eluded to by jumping a Mettenberger WR screen and taking it to the house. It’s very possible he knew the play was coming, so don’t fret about Mett. He looked great today.
Then, Les Miles invited several students onto the Ponderosa (both male and female) to do several drills including catching punts, throwing passes into a net and running an obstacle course. They surely proved that football isn’t as easy as LSU makes it look Saturdays in the fall.
The practice ended with Miles asking the about 250-300 students in attendance to take a knee around him, and he gave them about a 45-second pep talk, thanking them for their support.
“We play for you, whether you know it or not,” he said.
The spring game is at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Tiger Stadium. It is not televised, but you can find full coverage right here at TigerRag.com and BayouBengalInsiders.com.