BATON ROUGE, La. -- Spring practice at LSU this year
includes practice in pads, and that's not the biggest change under
new head coach Les Miles.
Players say the atmosphere is noticeably different on the
Players did not practice in pads during spring drills under
former coach Nick Saban. But if Miles is introducing tougher work
to the team, he's also showing them a new kind of leadership.
"It's more of a positive atmosphere. A lot of 'Good jobs' and
stuff like that," linebacker Cameron Vaughn said. "You can tell
the difference between Coach Miles and Coach Saban. He's a lot
calmer. He's a lot more approachable."
Tailback Alley Broussard said Saban would do a lot more
screaming to drive his point home.
"Coach Miles is more of a friendlier guy," Broussard said.
"He comes up and talks to you to your face, explains to you what
you did wrong. So I think everybody likes practice a little better,
not worrying about somebody screaming at you."
Broussard and Vaughn said there are fewer repetitions now during
each practice drill. The practice is no shorter, but Broussard said
it seems to move along at a quicker pace.
Vaughn probably is making the most significant position switch,
from outside linebacker to the inside linebacker position, where he
is responsible for the signal-calling and communicating with the
other defensive units.
The job is especially demanding this year since LSU is using new
defensive schemes and terminology under new defensive coordinator
Vaughn acknowledged that he sometimes needs to translate into
last year's terminology when teammates have questions during
"It's tough, because the terminology is completely different,"
Vaughn said. "But we're getting used to it."
Miles didn't get into too many specifics about players or
position changes. He did single out tailback Joseph Addai as a
player who has impressed him.
Miles said he has been pleased with the team's physical
condition. And he said there have been fewer sloppy mistakes with
And Miles said, he has not tried to "win the team over" at any
"The only thing you can do is be honest and open, be yourself.
And they have to understand that the coaching staff, myself
included, has their best interest at heart," Miles said. "And
they realize that we are all heading in the same direction."