Coming off his team’s conference-schedule opening win over Mississippi State Saturday, LSU head coach Les Miles addressed the media to mark the beginning of Auburn week Monday afternoon. SEC Country was on the scene. Follow this post to keep up with what Miles had to say:
- We played a good game in Tiger Stadium Saturday night. Loved the old gold. We had a great first half then everybody decided they could go tailgate some. But the atmosphere of Tiger Stadium was tremendous.
- The offense did a great job in the first half. I think Danny Etling did a great job of doing what we asked him to do. Should this offense come to play for 60 minutes, I think we’d be happy about it.
- It’s nice to see Leonard back. No. 7 is running like he runs. He’ll get nothing but better. He’s getting the rust off and we’re looking forward to this series of games where he can make a difference. The ankle feels good. I’ve been told that there’s no swelling.
- What we do is we turn to each phase. Each phase has got to step forward and when called upon, play to win the game. In my opinion, Josh Growden probably had his most significant night as he could have. Late in the game he flipped the field with a 61-yarder and that made a difference.
- Overall, I feel like we improved. I think we’re executing better. I think there is more confidence offensively.
- We play a very quality Auburn team. Their offense leads the conference in rushing. They’re fifth in the SEC in total offense. They play two quarterbacks and they’ve played them in all three games. [They] have two running backs at Auburn that give 100 yards per game.
- Miles on Auburn defensive coordinator and former LSU assistant Kevin Steele: I expect that they’ll be lined up right. I expect that they’ll be instructed correctly. They’re a good football team. Kevin did a great job for us when he was here. I was relatively shocked [when he told me he was leaving.] But I understood. And I really wish him well.
- On Etling’s athleticism: Danny’s one of the more athletic guys who we have on our team. In what was our coaches’ workouts, which is the workout time just before we go to spring ball, he was one of the guys who dominated the workouts from start to finish. He has athleticism, the ability to move. He has a knack for knowing when somebody is moving in [the pocket]. Our receivers who are on routes are really looking for the Danny Etling style of throw. I think it allows for added plays that create first downs.
- On Etling reading progressions: Any time that you’re successful throwing the football, if you have a route concept, the design is to attack it on both sides of the field. If he can read route concepts and get a check-down and/or go to where the ball is supposed to be open, it just means that it’s easy to get the ball to a number of guys because that’s just how we run the designed route scheme. I think any completed ball, generally speaking, unless you have an unusual receiver who can defy the odds, I think that’s how you do it.
- I don’t know that he got picked on, to be honest with you. I think he certainly can improve. He’s been a starter since he was a freshman and with each game he adds experience from what he’s gained. So I think Kevin Tolliver will be a good cornerback for us.
- What we’re going to do is we’re going to let Danny take the next snaps and then sometime down the road we’re going to look back and say ‘That quarterback play was great.’
- On defensive scheme: It’s a way to get certain personnel onto the field. You’ll find that we’ll use in all situations the 3-4 base. But we like a certain personnel group or matchup, we’ll make a call there and it’ll look like a 4-3.
- I think [coach Craig] has done a really good job with all those wide receivers. I think DJ [Chark] has really had some times where he put himself in a position to play wide receiver and now he’s making it count.
- On the punting game: I think he’s been consistent with us. I think when he hits a ball well, he hits a ball well the same way. I think he’s just trying to be consistent. The 61-yard punt in a timely fashion, that’s just what we needed.
- I think Kevin Steele has a very good knack for defense. I think he’s certainly a challenge. I think the players that play defense for them certainly are talented. I think offensively they have a nice scheme. I think our defensive speed will [be important.] It’s going to take quality effort to do so, and to do so on the road.
- Does Arden Key influence the 3-4 or 4-3 decision: We like him doing it. We’re encouraged that he enjoys [playing with his hand in the dirt.] So we’ll look forward to giving him that opportunity.
And with that, Les is done. Thanks for following along, everybody.