By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
Coach O met with the media this morning to discuss the progress of the team over the first week of fall practice. Here is his opening statement and a few answers to some questions that were asked.
"I'm very pleased with the mindset of our football team with eliminating distractions. We are paying attention to the weather. We are still practicing. If anything gets to dangerous for our football team we will not practice. But it looks like we will be able to practice all week. We'll take it day by day. This is a big teaching week for us. We are still a ways away from playing a game. Our coaches are teaching our players are still learning. Our coaches are doing a tremendous job. Today was a red zone day. It is the fifth time we have installed this red zone with us obviously adding to the package. But everyday is a daily theme of different situations that we install and get better at. I think this team is practicing very well. We are staying free for the most part. We haven't had many injuries which I'm very proud of. Our team is in good shape. Our quarterbacks are looking good. Obviously we are strong at receiver. Tight end group is looking good. Offensive line is coming together. Bo's defense is flying to the ball. I feel good about our team right now. But obviously we have some improvement to make and a ways to go."
When asked about how he looks to make sure the players on the team stay safe during their off time on the weekends when they are away from football......
COACH O - "We have to make a sacrifice if we want to play. Protect the team. There will be some opportunities they they are have. On Friday and Saturday nights their off. Get their girlfriend, go on a date, do what you need to do. Take care of your business and go home. Just have a regular Friday and Saturday night. We can not attend parties. We have to wear mask. The guys are going to do things. They are going to hang out together. No bars are allowed. They know the general rules. They just need to be careful."
When asked about what he sees in Jabril Cox that may make him one of the best players on the team.
COACH O - "First of all he came out with a great attitude. He is focused. Razor sharp. Always studying. Very smart. He knows the defense. He's very fast. I think he is about 6'3", 225/230 lbs and can run. He has a lot of experience in playing his position. He is a physical tackler. He can shed blocks well. He can rush the passer well. He drops in coverage. He is the complete linebacker."
When asked about how the two freshman backup quarterbacks have been coming along
in practice and how are they preparing.
COACH O - "They are fighting really hard. They are on their own studying. I couldn't ask for two better young men as far as character, as far as smarts, as far as talent. TJ Finley is throwing a great ball right now. He has really improved in his throwing. Coach Ensminger has done a phenomenal job with him. Actually he is having an outstanding camp. Max Johnson is doing a tremendous job. He can run. He is a lot faster then I thought he was. He's left handed and throws a nice ball. He is very accurate and is calm in the pocket. But right now Myles is our starting quarterback. Neither one of them have been able to beat him out. That doesn't mean that that can't happen. We haven't has any scrimmages or preseason games. Things are looking good at quarterback. Now we need to stay healthy. We only have three scholarship quarterbacks."
When asked about the competition at defensive end....
COACH O - "I really like Andre. I really like the work that he is doing. Travez Moore is starting at left end right now. It's Travez's senior year. He's done a good job. Behind him is Ali Gaye who has done a tremendous job. The freshman, BJ Ojulari again yesterday had four or five sacks. You are going to see him on third down. He is definitely considered a starter. In the rotation Phillip Webb is doing well. So those guys are looking good. Jarell Cherry, we moved him to defensive tackle. Soni can play defensive end or defensive tackle. Those or two guys who are having a tremendous camp. Their opportunities are coming. They have been showing that they can do some things."
When asked about the improvement of the outside linebacker position.....
COACH O - "Damone Clark has done a marvelous job. Michael Baskerville doing a great job. Ray Thornton is doing a good job. Devonta Lee is doing a great job. Bo has done a tremendous job with those guys. They are all making progress. Josh White and Antoine Sampah can run. They are very fast and are going to be two good linebackers. We are very solid at that position. All of those guys are making some progress."
When asked about the third wide receiver position behind JaMarr Chase and Terrace Marshall....
COACH O - "It's obviously Racey McMath. I think he's going to be an excellent player for us. Racey is doing a great job. He is going to be a starter for us. Jontre Kirklin and Josh Boutte are both doing a good job. All those guys are doing a great job. I feel like we are really really talented at the wide receiver position. The guy that I'm really impressed with is Moore. He has done a great job. He is from Rummel High School. I think that he is going to have an excellent freshman year."
When asked about the talent of freshman tight end Arik Gilbert....
COACH O - "Arik is the type of tight end we've been looking for. He can stretch the
field. Yesterday we ran a vertical route right up the field and he beat the mike linebacker for a touchdown. That's a dagger in the heart of the defense. We can spread him out. He can play "X". He can play "Z". He's a good player. He's a physical player. 6'5", 251 lbs. We had red zone today. Just like in the back yard at South LaFourche, just throw up the alley-oop, catch it, touchdown, right? There are a lot of things that he can do. When I was leaving the office on Sunday, he was coming in to study tape on his own. He is very very driven. I think he's going to be an excellent player us."
When asked about how the running backs are coming along and how they compare to what Clyde Edwards-Helaire was able to do last season.....
COACH O - "Clyde was special. But no one knew it at this time last year. He had to prove himself and he got better and better as the games went on. I don't expect these guys to be the same kind of back that Clyde was because they aren't built like him. But they each have a different skill set. Chris Curry has been excellent. He is a bull. He can run, catch the ball out of the backfield. Tyrone Davis-Price is a bull. He can run and catch the ball out of the backfield. John Emery is electric. When he gets on the edge, he can make you miss and he's catching the ball well. So I think all three of these guys have a different skill set. Are they going to be like Clyde? Probably not. Can we do the same things? Yes. I don't know if they can run that angle route as good as Clyde did, he was probably the best I've ever seen run that. There are different things that they can do."
Below are photos & a short video of the Tigers in action from Monday's practice.
Photos & Video from Monday Aug. 24th: Fall Practice 5..
Photos & Video courtesy of LSU
32 Days until Kickoff
#32 RB - Charles Scott