Football Takes Advantage of Bye Week

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Football Takes Advantage of Bye Week

BATON ROUGE — LSU went back to work on Tuesday as the second-ranked Tigers are looking to use the open date practice week as an attempt to improve in all three phases of their game.

LSU will enjoy its second open date of the year on Saturday before returning to action on Oct. 11 against Florida in Gainesville. LSU goes into this week’s open date with a 4-0 overall mark and a 2-0 Southeastern Conference record.

The schedule for the Tigers this week calls for three practices ? Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday ? before a conditioning session on Friday afternoon. LSU coach Les Miles said he was going to give the team off on Saturday and Sunday before returning to practice on Monday in preparation for the Florida contest.

Miles said he will use the three practice sessions this week as an opportunity to get a head start on the Florida game plan as well as doing a thorough self-scout on the LSU football team.

“Today was a practice where we challenged the coaches and players to get better,” Miles said after the workout. “We worked on personnel and pieces of our football – very specific strategy of our football ? offense, defense and special teams.

“We did some things today that we hadn’t done and it looked like it. We are getting better and improving. I liked the spirit of the day. It was good work and we’re on pace.”

Miles said one of the keys to an open date is to take a look at the tendencies of the LSU football team and see where they can improve. 

“We work on pieces of our football through self-scouting,” Miles said. “In other words, those things that the defense has done, they’ll try not to do. We’ll break a tendency offensively the same way.

“We also introduce pieces of a game plan for several opponents, most specifically for Florida. It won’t be a rigid a game plan that all three phases are preparing their strategy, calls and personnel all specific to a game, but it gets us started.”

LSU HEAD COACH LES MILES

Opening Statement…

“Today was a practice where we challenged the coaches and players to get better. We worked on personal things and pieces of our football; very specific strategy of our football ? offense, defense and special teams. We did some things today that we hadn’t done, and it looked like we hadn’t done them. Not quite perfected, but we’re getting better and improving. I liked the spirit of the day. It was good work and we’re on pace.”

On how his teams practice during a bye week…
“We work on pieces of our football through self-scouting. In other words, those things that the defense has done, they’ll try not to do. We’ll break a tendency offensively the same way. We also introduce pieces of a game plan for several opponents. Most is specifically for Florida, but not so rigid a game plan that all three phases are preparing their strategy, calls and personnel all specific to a game. It’s a little bit more work on ourselves and introduce pieces of Florida and other teams.”

On the difficulties of the pass defense…
“When you play young guys in the secondary and young linebackers, the ability to make adjustments is challenging at times. I think that’s a piece of the ?improve on us’.”

On how to improve the pass defense…
“You coach it, coach it and coach it. You show them and walk it through. You put it on film. You drill it into them at practice and next time you play the game you hope like heck you got it fixed.”

On if the timing of the bye week concerns him…
“No, not at all. We’re finding new pieces. We’re finding new guys that can do things. We just wish we had an off week later. If we play Troy State at another time, that would be great. But it’s not going to happen.”

On the injuries to DTs Ricky Jean-Francois and Charles Alexander and LB Darry Beckwith
“I was told on Sunday when I was here that we would expect all guys who played in the last game to play in the next one. I don’t know if that has changed much. Beckwith is very possible, if not likely for Florida.”

On why he hasn’t worked CB Patrick Peterson at the nickel position…
“The youngest guys, you really want them to get comfortable at one position first. It’s really difficult when you’re playing multiple positions. You could be one spot over and suddenly you’re thinking it’s one spot in; that’s an issue.”

On how QB Andrew Hatch looked in his return to practice…
“He looked great. One thing about him is when you give him some time off, his arm looks awful fresh. He was throwing some nice balls today.”

On why Hatch didn’t play against Mississippi State…
“We really didn’t feel like it was necessary and it was caution.”

On if he sees the team using two quarterbacks as they did before Hatch was injured…
“I think (QB Jarrett) Lee will play more than he might have in the Auburn game if he hadn’t played as well as he did in that game.”

On why he thinks P Brady Dalfrey has been performing so well since the Auburn game…
“He’s taken a real pride in his job. He’s always had a very live leg, but he’s technically working to kick the ball better and that’s why he’s improved.”

On if he sees anymore last minute uniform changes…
“I don’t know, I kind of like it. It’s kind of up to (Punters Josh Jasper and Brady Dalfrey). I think the guys are having fun with it and, as long as they are, I’m fine with it.”

On the play of special teamer Daniel Graff and where he came from…
“He worked hard. He played very, very well against our offense when he was on scout team defense. Then, he really pursued the field as a scout team specialist, rushing our punt. Everything that we’ve asked him to do, he did better than we thought he could do it. That’s why he’s a starter on our kickoff team. He has great speed, he’s tough. I think he ran a 10.5 100 meters in high school. He’s very athletic. I can remember seeing him on his first day at practice. Someone told me he was fast, and he was. He flashed at us his first fall and some in the spring and we really couldn’t get him on the field fast enough.”

On if RB Charles Scott reminds him of any other back he’s ever coached…
“No. I like him and think he’s different than some. I wouldn’t want to pigeon-hole him.”

On if he thinks Scott would be distracted by any Heisman talk…
“No. He’s pretty focused. I think that’s what has given him success. I think he understands that you don’t look at your press clippings. Winning is his first goal. Whatever his team asks him to do, he’ll do.”

On what TE Richard Dickson has brought to the offense this season…
“His best game was the Auburn game when he had one catch and just absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage as a blocker. He’s a guy that, when he gets in the flow of receiving and blocking, he really adds to our offense. He’s given us leadership and has really matured. Now, he’s really playing dominant football and given us great leadership.”

On his plans for the off weekend…
“I am going to watch at least two games this weekend. I’m watching the Prairieville Broncos C team and A team. That would be (his sons) Ben Miles and Manny Miles. I think they have a pretty stout team, too. Manny is a quarterback. Ben is going through some position changes and appears to be settling in as the snapping center and defensive end. He’s a rugged, heavy-hitting guy. They’re great practice players. In fact, the coach thinks they’re better practice players than they are game players.”

On if most redshirt freshmen start playing on special teams before offense and defense, and if that is the normal progression…
“Last year there were not a lot of young guys playing special teams. We have more speed and maybe more maturity in our freshman class and guys that can run and hit. I can only tell you that (Former RB Jacob) Hester was a bit player on offense and played every special team and became a guy that you relied on every snap on offense. I think the same can be said for (RB Stevan) Ridley. He’s really maturing and showing that he has the ability to make great plays on special teams. I think he’ll get some carries and be a part of some significant drives as we go forward.”