Football
SPRING CAMP REPORT: Tigers work on up-tempo offense
3/27/2014 5:38:47 PM

By LUKE JOHNSON
Tiger Rag Editor

LSU busted out a two-minute drill during the final portion of the practice open to the media today, and it gave us an opportunity to see some things that we haven’t been able to until this point of the spring.

Anthony Jennings worked with the first team offense during the drill, and he looked sharp. They mixed the run and the pass and Jennings completed each of his throws. The wind was at his back, there was no defense and the routes were all short ones, but that’s an improvement from where he was last week.

But the biggest takeaway was watching his command of the team during the drill. Again, it was a controlled situation against air, but he had the guys getting on the line and he was getting the snap off quick. This is an area where he has a considerable advantage over Brandon Harris, at least right now.

Harris ran the second team and there was plenty of confusion as he ran the drill. I’ll still chalk this up to it being his first spring camp, and it didn’t help that he had guys who weren’t sure where to line up, but he’s obviously a step behind Jennings in this regard.

Quantavious Leslie was running with the first team at wide receiver. We’ll have to ask Les Miles during the next media session if he’s gained ground on John Diarse, but it appears that way. Diarse, who was in shorts for the last practice, was back out there today running routes in a green non-contact jersey, while Avery Peterson was still sitting out the drills that required running. Kevin Spears was absent again.

Evan Washington was working with the first team at right guard and Logan Stokes was working with the first team at tight end. The second team unit featured Fahoko Fanaika at right guard and Dillon Gordon and DeSean Smith both on the field at tight end. Smith worked some out of the backfield, though that might be due to the complete lack of scholarship skill position players available at the moment.

Here’s how the defensive backs lined up during drills: First unit – Tre White, Rickey Jefferson, Jalen Mills, Jalen Collins. Second unit – Ed Paris, Lionel Williams, Dwayne Thomas, Rashard Robinson. I’m not sure how the safety position is going to play out – we haven’t seen Ronald Martin nor Corey Thompson this spring and Jamal Adams will be participating this fall. But I like what I’ve seen from Mills and White, who both started out as corners.

Ed Paris was lit up by Marvin Jones in the goal line tackle drill. It’s not wholly fair – Paris gives up at least 40 pounds to Jones – but even as a big defensive back, he’s going to be giving up a lot of weight to some fullbacks and tight ends in the SEC.

Brandon Harris also carried the ball during one rep, going up against Rickey Jefferson. Harris actually gave him a good pop and scored. I’d call it more of a poor rep from Jefferson, though. Harris is a slender kid, and I don’t picture him running many people over in his career.

Sam Montgomery was at practice today, and even participated in a few drills while wearing his black tank top and shorts. Judging by his twitter feed lately, he’s attempting to show NFL clubs that he’s not the player the Houston Texans drafted last year. Monty didn’t look like he was in the best shape out there, but at least he’s working. It’s still surprising to me that his NFL career has turned out the way it has so far.

If you’re scratching your head trying to think of what Sam has done in the NFL, it’s because he hasn’t done anything – other than getting released in the middle of his rookie season for being a knucklehead. He signed with Oakland in December of last year and was cut three days later. Count me as one who hopes he gets his head on straight at catches on with someone, he was a fun one to cover.

By HUNT PALMER
BBI Senior Writer

It was windy and drizzling out on the Ponderosa this afternoon, but the Tigers began their workout outside. The Coaches Clinic was today, and the fields were littered with high school coaches from around the state.

The only development I took anything from in the first two contact drills was that Brandon Harris scored a touchdown in the goalline drill, and Anthony Jennings ran over to congratulate him. I love that. Competition is good, but animosity can divide a locker room. It looks like those two get along.

When the teams split for individual drills, it was incredibly slow. Every position group was walking through. No pads were popping. Nothing was moving quickly. The QBs were working on progressions as slowly as possible with other QBs walking through routes. The WRs were running through tackle dummies. The OL was working on footwork. As were the running backs.

Finally the QBs began throwing a few routes. All the reports I read about Tuesday throwing session were positive. I can add to that today. I thought Brandon Harris threw the ball very well. He's clearly making the strides your figured were coming. I still hate the way Jennings floats the ball, but that's never going to change. Hayden Rettig zipped the ball nicely. The only drop I saw was from John Diarse. I still don't know that I trust those hands right now. Diarse and Leslie were in green. Avery Peterson was out there but limited. It's disappointing that the QBs probably won't have anyone to throw to in the spring game.

At the end we saw the first offense run some hurry up against no defense. Jennings led the team. Evan Washington was the right guard, and Dural and Leslie were the WRs. Logan Stokes ran at tight end.

When the second group ran through, DeSean Smith and Dillon Gordon were on the squad, one playing fullback when the other played TE. I kind of like that. I also like that they're pretty clearly working on some up tempo offense. This wasn't a two-minute drill because they ran the ball a bunch. I think the tempo offense will be a wrinkle this year, and not just every once in awhile when they want to hurry up just to run a toss.

Tashawn Bower, Mickey Johnson and Lamar Louis were among the defenders in green. Kendell Beckwith was not. He was a full go. 

I hope the young DTs are as good as they look. I continue to be impressed with Quay Bain. Herron looks very good in the pads, too. As we know, that means very little. That'll be the main thing I watch in the spring game
Posted by: Luke Johnson | Submit comment | Tell a friend



Categories: 2014  |  Football  |  Luke Johnson

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