Coach O on Derek Stingley Jr: “It’s not conclusive he’s going to play, but I believe he’s going to play”

LSU All-American cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. appears to be back one step closer to rejoining his teammates for Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. Southeastern Conference game at Vanderbilt.

During his appearance on Wednesday’s SEC coaches teleconference LSU’s Ed Orgeron said that Stingley, who was rushed to the hospital last Friday night and missed the team’s opening 44-34 loss to Mississippi State, participated in Tuesday’s practice in a non-contact jersey.

“I do believe that he should play,” Orgeron said of Stingley. “It’s not conclusive that he’s going to play, but I believe he’s going to play. It’s a huge lift for us. We believe in Derek. He’s one of our best players, one of the best corners in the country. Especially when you play a lot of man coverage like we are, obviously he’s a force and a difference.”

Stingley’s father Derek Stingley Sr. appeared on Tuesday’s edition of ‘Off The Bench’ on WNXX-FM radio in Baton Rouge and said his son suffered “from a reaction” to something and was hospitalized Friday evening but was discharged the following day.

Here’s what else Orgeron had to say Wednesday:

On the versatility safety JaCoby Stevens brings to the defense

“Obviously the closer JaCoby is to the ball, the more plays he makes and that helps us out. It all depends on the offense that you’re playing. Obviously, that was a spread offense, so we had to put a lot of guys on the field. It all depends what kind of offense you’re playing where JaCoby’s going to be. He’s very multiple. We can use him as a rusher, we can use him in coverage, or we can disguise him. He’s a playmaker. But the closer he’s to the ball the better off we are.”

On Stevens’ leadership and voice in the locker room

“He’s a leader. He’s a strong leader. He’s very valuable and he’s been a leader for us. We’re very proud of him. We gave him the number seven, I thought he made some big time plays last week. Expect him to be around the ball, be vocal in a very positive way and lead this team.”

On the improvement expected in quarterback Myles Brennan’s second start

“I think he’s going to be much improved. He was improved yesterday in practice. Myles made some big plays; he made some big throws down the field. We scored 27 points on offense, so he did a lot of good things. There were some things he can get better at. We’re just used to seeing elite at that position like we’ve seen, and we want him to become elite and he’s working toward that.”

On last year’s trip to Vanderbilt which had plenty support from LSU fans

“I loved it. Our fans go to Nashville to listen to a little country music, have some fun. It was LSU, purple and gold in that stadium. I loved it. I wish it could be like that this year.”

On status of starting left tackle Dare Rosenthal, potential replacement if he’s unable to play

“He did not practice yesterday. I don’t know if he’s going to practice today. We’ll have to see toward the end of the week if he’s available. Right now, I list him as questionable. Cam Wire’s right behind him and started at left tackle yesterday. If Dare can’t go, Cam’s going to start.”

On whether defenses are behind offenses because of practice methods and reduced tackling

“I can’t say. We tackled. You have to give them credit, they had a good scheme. We were short on some corners. We lost Stingley. One of our corners (Jay Ward) had been out for two weeks and he had to play the whole time. We had some young guys in there and we were playing a lot of man. You have to give them credit. That had some pick routes, rub routes. We should have better adjustments according to what we had. We only found out Stingley wasn’t play at 10 o’clock Friday night, so there wasn’t a lot changing the game plan you can do. Obvious more zone would have helped. With the spread offense, it’s like basketball on grass, they’re going to score points. The days of holding people to 10 points in a game are going to be few and far between because the offenses are scoring points, but we have to keep up with them.”

On play of both the offensive and defensive lines

“To be honest, I was pleased with the defensive line play. I thought they had struggled a lot during camp, a new system and new things and they worked very hard. I thought they played very well. Ali Gaye and Joe Evans came out and had some pressure on the quarterback. Andre Anthony put some pressure on the quarterback. They could have played better. The offensive line didn’t play according what I saw in camp. They gave up too many sacks, too many pressures. It was a combination of technique and scheme, so we have to get better there.”

On progress of back-up quarterback competition

“I’m so proud of both of those guys. Max and TJ came in and worked hard. Both of them are able to go in a game. It all depends on what defense we’re going to see. It also depends on what type of team it is. Right now, both of them are capable of going into a game and I think they would do very well.”

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