The Big Cat drill is back.
As LSU prepares to conclude its second week on spring practice with a 60-play scrimmage on Saturday, Orgeron re-introduced the one-on-one "Big Cat Drill" matchup to practice.
The drill, which previously put an offensive and defensive player up against each other, is now a special teams thing too. Kickoff specialist Avery Atkins, a former high school safety, has already gotten in on the action.
According to Orgeron on Thursday, Grant Delpit was who requested to bring the Big Cat back, and has impressed so far as No. 7.
“Grant Delpit came up to me and said, ‘Coach, we need to do Big Cat,’” Orgeron said. “So, I said, ‘OK.’ We did. I was OK with it. I love it. I always thought it was a good drill, and the players like it.”
On offense, Orgeron said the Tigers used Thursday to install new plays and schemes, as well as improve efficiency in the red-zone.
The new-look offense that quarterback Joe Burrow described to the media as something people “are going to really like” will spread the field and incorporate more slant routes.
“Now we’re running shorter routes, we’re running more slants,” he said. “More RPOs. It’s a different game, it’s a quick game.”
On the injury front, Orgeron noted that the defense is already a bit banged up, particularly on the defensive line.
Defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko and nose tackle Tyler Shelvin were absent from action in Thursday’s practice, while outsides linebacker Andre Anthony practiced at defensive end in LSU’s 3-4 scheme.
Both Fehoko and Rashard Lawrence are being held from contact drills for the spring.
With Shelvin sidelined, early enrolee Siaki “Apu” Ika got the opportunity to practice with the first-team defense. Orgeron was pleased with what he saw out of the 6-foot-4, 364-pound defensive tackle.
“He hasn’t had his summer conditioning yet,” he noted. “But he hasn’t backed down from anything yet. He’s nimble on his feet. His coaches have taught him how to use his hands. He’s going to be an excellent lineman for us.”