Tigers held first full squad practice on Monday night
BATON ROUGE - The Tiger football squad took to the field as a complete unit on Monday to complete their first full team practice on the fifth day of fall training camp.
Offense and defense were suited up in full pads as they completed what is referred to as the acclimatization period for the team. The first four days of practice saw split squad workouts with new faces and veterans split up between morning and afternoon practices. A light practice is scheduled for Tuesday, and a scrimmage is scheduled for on Saturday for the first time this camp.
“It was great to come together as a full team for the first time,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “We used the first four days to bring the freshmen along with their own practice and you can already see what a difference it made.”
“When you look at how you practice in the beginning (of camp), you look back and say a guy like Lloyd Cushenberry is a guy who came in here and didn’t understand what we wanted to have done, and now in my opinion, he’s a guy that can come in take snaps and play a significant role. I can say that about a real majority of our freshman class. What we have to do is find out those guys who can make differences and put them in positions to do that.”
While there wasn’t any “live” tackling on Monday and there won’t be any on Tuesday, the intensity will start to ramp up come Saturday’s scrimmage. Coach Miles said the first “Big Cat” drill of training camp on Monday night is all part of his strategy to build to more aggressive play during camp.
“(Today) was very similar to practicing in shells,” Miles said. “We didn't tackle today, and we didn't go live. We have admonished players for contact that's not prescribed. We try to determine the style of contact that the drill needs. The key word is live. If we’re going live, we’re trying to tackle, and even still, we aren’t trying to aggressively tackle or block anyone into the dirt.”
Among the standouts according to Miles have been junior offensive lineman K.J. Malone. Malone has been holding down the left tackle spot while sophomore Maea Teuhuma recovers from a lower leg injury. Miles says Malone’s contributions so far have been key to getting the offensive line ready for action.
”The advantage of not having everyone healthy is that you build real depth,” Miles said. “When you get the five (offensive linemen) back, now you have three guys that can step in and play when you need them to. That’s a real advantage to us and there will be a time in a game or several where you will need those guys to have that ability and experience.”