From watching the replay (I worked on Saturday) of the Spring Game...

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by TigerEducated, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. TigerEducated

    TigerEducated Founding Member

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    I saw lots of things...Most have been rehashed on this site already...

    Randall looks most comfortable, but that was easily surmised by anyone who was a casual observer...Randall's been in a NYD Bowl Game, played with Championships on the line, and excelled in both situations and has shown the ability to overcome adversity...He still makes maddening errors, and shows inconsistency, but be still all Tiger fans beating hearts...He's only played in a tad more than half a dozen games in his career, which is to say as many as Mauck had played in 2002, if I'm not mistaken...He'll continue to progress...

    Flynn looked off target at times, and honestly got his stats bumped in the 4th quarter in what I almost consider a confidence building move by Jimbo by having his offense run-over and over-the running back out of the backfield for the catch and turn route for 5-7 yards. He also completed a pass to Amp Hill where the defensive back played way off-which judging by the catch and fall by Amp could be construed as something to just help Hill get back into the flow. The defensive backs was playing WAY off of Hill on the play in question...He's got a strong arm, and needs a tad more pocket awareness, & like every other quarterback on the field Saturday, absolutely MUST learn to progress through his reads, but all in all will continue to develop and mature, and I for one would not be sad if he's named the starter or ascends to the position over the course of the '04 campaign.

    Russell, well, it's kind of a mixed bag. We all had heard the stories of the arm strength and the height and the tools...and they were all on display...But, I saw the coaching staff asking him to make throws he was probably not comfortable making. Touch throws, fades, timing patters, etc...Things that make Russell rely less on arm strength and zip and wideouts, and more on his own timing, technique, and mechanics...I think he showed he has more work to do, but from a raw athleticism standpoint, he looks ready-today.

    Also, Russell is the only quarterback on our roster that won't suffer from an opposing defensive line sticking their hands up into the passing lane. His height and arm length allows us the luxury to not have to worry about that too much, as opposed to a Flynn, Randall, or other semi-tall QB (ala David Greene).

    I liked Russell in between the two freshman, but I think-as I've said over and over-our greatest chance for success this next season lies with Marcus Randall, no matter how you look at the situation.

    Now, one of those quarterbacks may get a chance due to injury or inept offensive output, but until one unseats him or Marcus plays himself out of the role, #12 will lead us into battle on Saturdays this fall....

    The offensive line was decent...Led by Ben Wilkerson. That guy looks lighter, yet more "fit", and while he had a boo-boo on that deep snap early on, he looks to be-and from all reports he is actually-in the best shape of his life.

    The defensive line depth looks ahead of the offensive line depth from a talent standpoint, though no true indicators of ability can be seen with a mish-mash of talent and a lineup in flux and in adverse situations. No continuity on the offense (IE-O-Lineman who don't have that intuitive "feel" for how their fellow lineman play through experience with them on the field) and the line will usually mean the defense (where the philosophies are much simpler by comparison) and its line looks superior.

    Our running back talent will be-as most surmise-looked at by not only but by others around the nation as an embarassment of riches. Rene Nadue said this unit has more talent than the Faulk/Collins/Mealey/Cleveland 1997 LSU Backfield, and while I find that to be a statement which emanated from a mind that must have been under the influence of psychotropic and/or mind altering drugs of some form or another, I think this stable of horses looks to compare favorably with almost any other in the Ole War Skule's history...

    Wideouts...Bowe looks like he's "cut up" so to speak...In that he's lost weight while "rocking" his physique up, and he's gained speed to boot. Perhaps I infer this because last year, he was mainly asked to fill a possession receiver type mold with Devery and MC leading the way and Skyler being the "in space" type of guy...but Bowe showed considerable playmaking ability yesterday. Davis also looked good with the ball after the catch. Skyler is Skyler, and as someone else said, Addai looks like he might have a future as a situational back/slot receiver. Lord knows we like wideouts who can throw some downfield blocking.

    On defense, our linebackers are going to be solid...Turner and Vaughn look exactly like they left off last year...Building towards stardom. Depth is a concern, and again, you can't really judge their counterparts at linebacker because of the split talent situation on the field, I think we'll be just fine.

    The line looks to be fine. Mel Oliver has gotten quicker off the edge, and Kyle Williams is making a hard push to be the next Chad Lavalais. Spears is Spears, and looks like he's improved a bit against the run (I hope so, and so does anyone else who watched what Shawn Andrews did to him 1-on-1 in the Arkansucks game last year when they had that one pile driving Cedric Cobbs highlight reel powered drive for a TD last year in Death Valley).

    Wroten looks like he might be the next big thing, but against a not ready for prime time cast of offensive lineman, that might just be an abberation. But, I think it's more of a sign of things to come than just taking advantage of inferior competition and execution.

    The defensive backs...Ronnie looked like he did last year, and I watched him with some interest, as you might have guessed. Prude will push, but he'll be joined by Nick Child and even Keron Gordon. Our depth issues are non-existent at this position going into '04, provided we stay healthy in the offseason and keep on task in the classroom.

    Punting is a mixed bag at this point, as some were wondering how Donnie Jones would do when he first ran out there as a first timer...Kicking looks like we've got two guys who just can't seem to distance themselves from each other...Time will have to tell on both counts...

    With Skyler healthy, and Saban coaching, our return game-both for punting and kickoffs-will be just fine.

    Anybody disagree on anything? I'm really interested in hearing any opposing viewpoints...
     
  2. martin

    martin Banned Forever

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    nice analysis, much appreciated by those who cant see the game in person or on tv.
     
  3. TigerEducated

    TigerEducated Founding Member

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    Forgot the Tight End/Blocking Backs...

    TE's - David Freaking Jones...Nuff said...

    FB/H-Back-Kevin Steltz is a road grader...
     
  4. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

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    I worry about depth at linebacker . . . and who will win that other starting OLB position. Perhaps LSU will play so much nickle and dime backfield that we will seldom have more than 2 linebackers in the game.

    Wilkerson is actually a little undersized for an all-SEC center. He is just an amazing athlete. Still, I bet we get about 10 guys wanting to walk-on as a deep snapper.

    I'll go out on a limb and say that Vincent/Broussard are in the same league as Faulk/Collins, Hilliard/James, and Robiskie/Alexander as far as the top RB duo's at LSU. I know they haven't paid their dues, yet. But I think this is the year.

    Randall managed the game well at QB and showed us an arm. He looks like the QB in August. Flynn needs more playing time to polish the rough edges, but looks like an athlete out there. Russell has a nice throwing touch, but inconsistant accuracy. He appears to have the most upside, but he isn't ready yet.

    No one is going to step in and be a dominant defensive lineman like Lavalais in September. But this line looks very good and I don't expect much of a drop-off from last year. No one is going to run up the middle on us and our pass rush may be a little bit better with Oliver and Pittman both in the game.
     
  5. rookie

    rookie Founding Member

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    I disagree about JR. I think that if JR was the #1 and got as many snaps as Randall, he would look more comfortable. To say that Randall was far and away the most comfortable is way off target. He forced some balls he shouldn't have and was off on several of his reads whereas JR was more of a confidence thing by being off target or too hard with his throws. I believe you make that guy #1 and give him the reps and see what happens. Randall has been in the system for 4+ years and to only be slightly ahead of the freshmen is not good IMO. I would love for Randall to start if he were ahead of the other two by a significant margin but why start a senior if he is only slightly better, and gets the majority of the reps in practice? If you gave one of the frosh the majority of the snaps, I beleive you would be better off and the team would be better in the long run.

    I think Oregon St is going to be easier than most think. I think you can beat AU with a minimal passing game as long as turnovers are kept to a minimum. After that you come home against a very bad MSU team. By that time the starter will have 4 games under his belt and should have confidence going into GA and Fla whom I'm not sure any QB on this team will be able to handle the pressure of those two games that soon but I think you have to have a starter and stick with him by the first game to have any shot at either game and I think JR is the man that gives you the best opportunity. Just my opinion.
     
  6. HatcherTiger

    HatcherTiger Freedom Isn't Free

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    Defensive backs

    I thought that Mario Stevenson and Johnathon Zenon both played well. Mario may be in the mix by the time we begin SEC play.
     
  7. DRC

    DRC TigerNator

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    Great analysis!!

    I only watched a replay of the game and havent seen Russell since he got to LSU but I lived in Mobile until last year and one of my associates was a Williamson grad and big booster and took me to a bunch of their games. I probably saw him play at least a dozen times in HS.

    J-Rock, as he was known, is a "draw it up in the dirt" type player. He has AMAZING physical abilities and can throw the ball a MILE but controlled play and J-Rock do not go hand in hand. He is a helter skelter type player who is best at making something out of nothing. He is only average in a controlled type offense. Williamson played a rag tag game and he was perfect in that system. He is going to need a LOT of tutoring to take that physical ability and transfer it to a more precision game that will be required to make it on the college level.

    No question he has the talent, no question we have Jimbo to bring him along but there is no way I want him in there until he gets a little more control of his game.
     
  8. b L e S e U r

    b L e S e U r Founding Member

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    good analysis TE. just about the only thing I can add is that J Russell did indeed have a couple of passes batted down.....which puzzles me...I guess that just speaks volumes about the talent of our D-line, or possibly that his mechanics, like ya'll have been saying, aren't polished just yet.

    also
    1) I hope we get to see what amp hill can do when he is healthy. 2)Travis Daniels I always thought of as more of a finesse corner for whatever mistaken reason...i saw him knock the crap out of some people saturday. 3)corey webster = freak of nature..maybe not the fastest guy, but as we all know and he showed us again saturday, he is a genuine playmaker. 4) mario stevenson will be starting 5) randall will start game one, but that will be it. against a poor defense he will struggle russell will be the man with randall coming off of the bench similar to what brady did with hudson. i foresee a 2 quarterback system this season, making us nervous, but will be effective 6) shyrone is ready to have a break out season -- but will he get the touches?
     
  9. EliteLSU1

    EliteLSU1 Founding Member

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    IMO

    I agree with a little of all that was said. I really think that if our Qb's could complete a pass at all against those corner's they have done something very special. I have never seen as many quality cb's in one place and on one field, much less on the same team. I agree that MR looked the most at ease. Early on any way. IMO he has the ugliest release that I have ever seen. It seems to be all shoulder. His bubble screens seem to be dying all the way to the backs. Although, that may not be fair because after watching JR throw the same pass, everything else seems to be dying. I also agree that JR seems to be the future and that MR should be heads and shoulders above the other QB's. Truth is, that he's not!!
    That being said, I think that we win 8 games this year on defense and running game alone. Any help from the passing game will be a huge plus. I have been to many Spring games and never(even last year) have I left a stadium so pleased with our team.
    Don't knock any of the QB's because they were passing against 5 or 6 future NFL signee's.
    I also, agree that we will need at least one of the true freshmen recievers step in and be ready to play. J. Addai looked very solid at reciever and will help take the pressure off of these freshmen. I can't wait to see JA catch a pass 15 yds down the field with only a db to tackle him. I believe that at some point in the season this will happen and we can all watch the replay on Sportscenter.
    The team was equally split which means that you have 2nd and 3rd teamers on the field mixed in with the starters. To really tell how talented this team is, ask yourself this question, "Could you tell who the second and third teamers were?"
     
  10. lsujay

    lsujay Founding Member

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    I think you are greatly mistaken Red55... Ben Wilkerson is actually above average in size and talent compared to the rest of the SEC.. he is (as listed on LSUSports.net) 6'4" 296... which is quite large for center stadards... look around the country and I think you will see he is a 'big' center. 1st round pick next year... book it
     

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