Scrimmage to test LSU football on stability

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Amidst a spring with a

slew of open questions ranging from the arrival of a new offensive

coordinator to

plugging many holes on defense, LSU's first scrimmage serves as de

facto testing lab for a program predicated on stability.

Yet Tigers coach Les Miles isn't inclined to lay out the criteria his slightly shuffled staff used as gauges for the assessing

progress two weeks into spring workouts along Skip Bertman Drive.

"I want to seep physicality and the ability

to throw it and run it, tackle it and hold on to the ball," Miles said

early Thursday.

Clearly, any hints at tweaks or alterations

to an offensive scheme under new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron would

be met

with interest, but it's unlikely -— based on Miles' statements —

that the scrimmage would allow anyone to glean greater insights.

Right now, the plan is for the unit to operate solely out of first-and-10 situations, and not dig too deep into the play-call

chart Saturday.

"We're going to call the things we've been calling to this point and see if we can execute it," Miles said. "That would be

the basic plan."

At quarterback, senior Zach Mettenberger is

entrenched on the topline of the depth chart, but any scrimmage work

might be

an early metric to deciding a pecking order further down the list

between sophomore Stephen Rivers, early enrollee freshmen

Hayden Rettig and Anthony Jennings.

Asked whether the assessment is based on which of the trio looks better overall or in specific packages out of the playbook,

Miles remained cryptic.

"Both," he said.

As for what separation exists between Rettig and Rivers, age might be the biggest factor.

"Rettig is, understandably a freshman, and trying to figure it out," Miles said. "Rivers has been around here a little longer

and has a better understanding of things."

Knitting together shreds of anecdotal

evidence offers some insight into the dynamics at play on the offensive

side of the

ball, where in past stops Cameron in the NFL and college ranks has

shown a tendency to make his system malleable to his personnel

but naturally apply his own methods in practice.

Much has been made of Cameron, who arrived

after spending five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, speeding up the

tempo during

practices, but in the past, the veteran coordinator has said he

wants workouts to closely mimic game speed. Meanwhile, Miles

has spent time this week working along side offensive line coach

Greg Studrawa where "there's enough young guys there that

will benefit from having some extra coaching."

"Teaching is like riding a bike, because once you've learned it, you have it," Miles said. "Teaching it is a lot harder than

riding a bike."

There's also been a concerted effort to

track and record dropped balls by receivers and tight ends, a nod to

improving accountability

among pass catchers, Miles said.