Posted at 8:46 pm on August 9, 2017

Ed Orgeron: “Everything is in on special teams as far as the basics”

Inside: Battles continue for place kicker, kick/punt return jobs

Drake Davis (Courtesy of LSU Sports Information)
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By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor

Amid the behind-closed-doors installation of Matt Canada’s brand spanking new offense, it’s almost easy to forget LSU coach Ed Orgeron’s staff is also undertaking a complete reboot of every aspect of special teams.

Much has been written about the innovative way LSU is managing the game’s third phase this season. Orgeron and five assistant coaches are divvying up special teams units under the supervision of analyst Greg McMahon, who’ll coach the coaches.

Getting those units reorganized has apparently been a focal point through the first two weeks of camp. Orgeron said special team periods are treated exactly like those for offense or defense.

“We’ve spent a lot of time on special teams,” Orgeron said after practice Wednesday. “Everything is in on special teams as far as the basics of special teams. Those guys are doing a tremendous job under the tutelage of all our coaches.”

Orgeron told reporters that LSU kickers went 10-for-10 on field goals in a recent practice as the battle continues to decide who’ll replace Colby Delahoussaye.

The coach didn’t divulge how those 10 kicks were divided up between Connor Culp and Jack Gonsoulin, but reiterated that both remain firmly in the mix for place kicking duties.

“Both of them are really doing a nice job right now kicking field goals,” Orgeron said. “It’s neck and neck. We haven’t figured out who is going to be out guy.”

LSU is also still holding a competition for who’ll kickoff this season. Both Culp and Gonsoulin are battling with incumbent Cameron Gamble. Orgeron has said he favors kicking the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs.

Orgeron also offered a glimpse into who LSU is deploying in the return game.

Drake Davis “has been doing a lot of it,” according to Orgeron, with Derrick Dillon and Donte Jackson also doing some.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire will also get a look in the return game, Orgeron said, though he’s currently being held out of practice for a couple days after sustaining a hard hit in practice.

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James Moran has been the associate editor of Tiger Rag Magazine since 2014. He covers LSU football and baseball and is a graduate of the LSU Manship School of Journalism.

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