LSU players, coaches face the media Sunday

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 2, 2006

BATON ROUGE &8212; Optimism is a given for any team heading into the season, but high hopes were in abundance Sunday during LSU&8217;s media day festivities.

Head coach Les Miles addressed the media and said he was well pleased with the results of the first week of practice.

&8220;It appears our football team is in good shape,&8221; Miles said in his opening statement. &8220;They&8217;ve come into camp &8230; stronger and more ready to play than teams in the past. We are seven days in (camp). We have run them hard. They have acclimated well. The first couple of days were as hot as any days we&8217;ve had here. They seem to have gained speed and are kind of looking forward to the rest of the schedule.&8221;

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The question of the day revolved around the Tigers&8217; quarterback situation, and offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said all three would be given the opportunity to prove their worth.

&8220;We&8217;re trying to get them all reps,&8221; Fisher said. &8220;We could be splitting JaMarcus (Russell) and Matt (Flynn) in the first group, then we get Ryan (Perrilloux) probably 35 or 40 percent (of the snaps Russell and Flynn get). We&8217;ve been keeping (Perrilloux) coming because I think he&8217;s earned that right because of where his development is. The other two have been great with him because it allows them to get a break (and) give him a little practice.&8221;

Russell started every game in the regular season last year before being injured in the SEC Championship Game loss to Georgia. Flynn stepped in in the Tigers&8217; Peach Bowl throttling of Miami, creating a mini-controversy made only more complicated by the hotly-recruited Perrilloux.

Miles said no matter who the quarterback may be, any of the three can help his offense.

&8220;I think JaMarcus has the longest arm,&8221; he said. &8220;I think Matt throws a lot of the balls that anybody throws but has quicker feet. I think Ryan really has the penchant for getting out of the pocket more than others and throwing the football. I think they are very similar. There isn&8217;t really specific skill difference to warrant a change in an offense if any of the three went in.&8221;

Defensive coordinator Bo Pelini said his defense was moving along quite nicely toward the season.

&8220;We feel good about what we&8217;ve accomplished over the first week. We feel we&8217;re, obviously, a little bit ahead of where we were at this time last year, being our second year together,&8221; he said. &8220;We lost some quality football players from last year&8217;s team, but there are a lot of guys that are looking to step up and have done a good job of doing that this week. We&8217;re not the finished product by any means yet. We&8217;re heading in the right direction.&8221;

LSU will hold its first scrimmage Tuesday afternoon.

As the coaches&8217; time with the media was drawing to a close, Fisher &8212; the only assistant remaining from the Nick Saban era &8212; talked a bit about the difference in the program from when he arrived in 2000.

&8220;Expectations are good,&8221; Fisher said. &8220;You want high expectations. We want to win every game. The thing you don&8217;t want to do is let something destroy you from within. You want if you have one or two losses to not quit, but keep trying to have success over time.&8221;

The Tigers will open their season in Death Valley against Louisiana-Lafayette Sept. 2.