BATON ROUGE – LSU opened spring drills on Thursday under much different circumstances than what head coach Brian Kelly and his staff were faced with a year ago.
Last year, Kelly and his staff had to start from scratch during the spring, getting players accustomed to a different way of doing things. A year later LSU’s spring opener got off to a much faster start as the Tigers wasted little time getting back into a rhythm on the practice field.
LSU returns 36 letterwinners and 26 players who started at least one game from a squad that posted a 10-4 mark and won the SEC Western Division title. LSU capped its first year under Kelly with a 63-7 win over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.
On Thursday, the Tigers held a shorts and helmets morning workout, which they will do throughout the 15-practice spring session. LSU will practice again on Friday morning before taking next week off for spring break. The Tigers return to the practice field on March 21.
The Tigers will use the spring to continue to grow and develop the roster both physically and mentally.
“It’s really a progression of what we do every day,” Kelly said of spring practice. “That progression of what we do every day is building on the things that go to being successful. What spring practice is really about is the total development of the individual and the understanding you need more than just talent alone to win a national championship.
“Making sure they clearly understand what the next five-to-six weeks is about. It’s really about your total preparation and it’s about you continuing to develop the traits necessary to be elite. I thought they did a really good job today.”
Kelly said once the team returns from spring break, the staff will start looking at matchups and areas on the field where depth may need to be developed.
“We will start to get into what are the matchups and where do we need to develop somebody as a key backup or where do we need to develop more depth or maybe where do we need to move a guy” Kelly said in looking ahead to future practices this spring.
“The next few days is about what spring practice is about and what is the objective of spring practice.
“The mindset that we all have going into this is how do we get our guys really understanding total preparation and how to prepare physically, how to prepare technically, tactically, and mentally in the spring.”
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