Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football team. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @DellengerAdv to submit a question.
@DellengerAdv Is it just me or have our Tight Ends been AWOL in the passing game since Richard Dickson?
— Richard C Miller (@RCLSUMiller) September 30, 2014
I can’t speak to Richard Dickson’s run at LSU or any tight ends between then (2009) and now. But I can speak on the current tight end situation, and it doesn’t appear to be too positive.
First off, tight ends at LSU and under coach Les Miles are blockers. Even a few of them admit that. Colin Jeter, the junior college transfer, told us that not too long ago. Tight ends don’t come to LSU expecting to catch 40 passes and 10 touchdowns a season. They do, however, expect to block and block a lot.
That said, LSU’s tight ends were given chances in the season-opening win over Wisconsin. And what happened? Complete disaster. Travis Dickson, the brother of Richard, fumbled a ball following a catch. DeSean Smith, a consensus four-star prospect out of Lake Charles, dropped a pass in that game.
Ever since that game, we haven’t seen much involvement from the tight ends in LSU’s passing game.
@DellengerAdv Why don't we see more of Teuhema? We have no pass rush. He is a speed demon off the edge. Needs to get a look on passing downs
— Mark Anthony Lake Jr (@MALakeJr) September 30, 2014
He received a ton of playing time last week against New Mexico State. He appears to be slowly moving up the depth chart. He’s listed as the No. 3 defensive end behind starter Danielle Hunter and No. 2 Deondre Clark, another true freshman.
Clark began the season by receiving plenty of rotating reps at defensive end with Hunter, but, lately, Teuhema has been just as big, if not bigger, in the rotation. I’d imagine his playing time will only grow this season. He’s a true freshman so you’ve got to give him time.
— Will Rucker (@Will_Rucker3_AD) September 30, 2014
We wrote a lot about this in our notebook that ran Tuesday. Neighbors, according to coach Les Miles, was expected to practice Monday. We can’t know that for sure, but, according to some sources, Neighbors “got his bell rung” against New Mexico State. TV broadcasters referred to it as a concussion. I’d expect Neighbors to play Saturday.
Quentin Thomas, according to at least one person, practiced some last week, but he’s dealing with a few issues. He’s playing with a torn biceps in his right arm and he injured his left arm against Mississippi State and missed last week.
Miles said Monday that Frank Herron was “more likely” to return to practice this week than Thomas. Thomas’ status is pretty uncertain for the game. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if he were to see some time. We’ll find out more about this at Wednesday’s post-practice press conference with Miles.
@DellengerAdv why have we not seen much of John Battle and Clifton Garrett five games in?
— TexasTiger09 (@TexasTiger09) September 30, 2014
John Battle plays in the secondary, and that’s a loaded group for LSU. Battle, as of fall camp, was being trained at cornerback and at safety. Thing is, who’s he gonna play in front of?
Take your pick: Rashard Robinson, Tre White, Jalen Mills, Ronald Martin, Jamal Adams, Rickey Jefferson. Battle would have to be an awfully talented player to surpass one of these older, talented guys.
Ah, linebacker Clifton Garrett. He’s only seen limited time on special teams. Miles pointed to his trouble adjusting to the south Louisiana heat as a reason for his low playing time. Garrett missed a handful of practices during fall camp because of what Miles suggested was heat exhaustion. Garrett is from Illinois.
@DellengerAdv will Brandon Harris have over 225 total yards this week.
— Jackson Rioux (@Jrioux_) September 30, 2014
Auburn’s secondary isn’t the best in the land. And Harris is talented, but he hasn’t thrown against an elite secondary yet this season. This will be the best he’s faced, but I still believe that he surpasses that total.
However, don’t make any bets on that. A lot of it might hinge on LSU’s game plan. Will Miles/Cameron come out in the I-formation with a tight end or two and pound the ball? Or will they align Harris in shotgun with three receivers (which worked so well last week)?
Look, Harris is a gunslinger. That word might be overused, but the kid has a powerful, accurate and tight pass. If he’s allowed to do it, he’ll rack up 225-plus.
@DellengerAdv What players are most missed from last years team? Id say Ego Ferguson and Jeremy Hill
— Will Rucker (@Will_Rucker3_AD) October 1, 2014
Great question. I think the two most missed players are Jarvis Landry and Trai Turner.
Turner was solid at right guard, and LSU is missing that this season. The offensive line has struggled, and, apparently, coaches believe right guard is an issue. They’ve removed Hoko Fanaika from his starting spot, replacing him with Ethan Pocic.
LSU has home run hitting receivers in Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural, but they’re missing that go-to receive on intermediate and short passes. John Diarse appears to be that guy, but we haven’t seen what he can do because Anthony Jennings had struggled so much.
I’ll add this: Because of the lack of depth at defensive tackle, Ego Ferguson is certainly missed.
@DellengerAdv did it seem like the team morale boosted once Harris came in? Looked like an entire new team!
— Austin Greenway (@austin_greenway) October 1, 2014
It did. And it may be because of the design. Running back Terrence Magee said LSU has a different “package” when Harris enters the game. The Tigers go into a more hurry-up mode.
Bottom line, though: The kid has a great arm, wonderful pocket presence, good accuracy and makes solid decisions. When you’ve got a talented guy at quarterback making plays, it sparks an offense.
@DellengerAdv in your tape review, do you recall any trap or reach blocks in the LSU run game?
— Michael Edwards (@MEinBGKY) October 1, 2014
I’ll tell you what: I have not paid enough attention to this, but I will next time and will get back to you. Just remind. I haven’t noticed many trap blocks, but that may be because I wasn’t watching.