A FEW MINUTES WITH: Lamar Louis _lowres

LSU's Lamar Louis

Senior linebacker Lamar Louis has been slowed by a strained pectoral muscle the first week of preseason camp, but it hasn’t stopped him from learning all three linebacker spots — which is huge for a thin group — under new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.

How has the cross-training been going for you and how many guys are involved in it?

A couple people were going to learn two positions, but we’re getting to the point where we’re going to learn all three of them.

Is that a byproduct of the lack of depth at linebacker?

When you can plug any guy in at different places, that really helps the defense out a lot. I think back to when Kelvin Sheppard played here, you could plug him in at any spot and he could play it for you. That’s one of the biggest things, especially when you have depth problems.

But I think it’s mainly because we have about five guys who can play ... who can all go. So plugging them in at any position will definitely be to our advantage.

Is this something you guys did under (former defensive coordinator) John Chavis?

A few of us did. I cross-trained at Sam and Mike, and maybe one other person did it. But it was mainly me.

When mentioning the starting linebackers, coach Miles mentioned four guys. Do you have that many?

I feel like we have four, maybe five, that could be starters. Four, for sure, and (Donnie) Alexander is coming along real well. By the time the season starts, we may have five or six with Ronnie Feist, who’s very capable, so we might have six guys who could be starters.

You came out of spring practice as the starter at Sam. Is that your favorite spot?

I started at Sam the second half of my freshman year. The thing I like about Sam is you get to hit a lot and you get to show your cover skills.

What do you feel like you have to work on as camp progresses?

Just being a student of the game and having it all down pat mentally. I have to know the position next to me and my position. If you know the position next to you, your position is easier and you can communicate with your teammates a lot better. Me knowing what Beck (Kendell Beckwith) has to do makes my job a lot easier and vice versa.

How did you strain the pec?

I was maxing out on the bench press before we went on our break (before preseason camp). I was doing 420 pounds … too much weight.

Sheldon Mickles

Say what?

“We practiced once this morning, what we would call an ‘elaborate walk.’ That walk entailed, really, a lot of the installation and the situations that allow us to address, but not necessarily pound the heat and not necessarily pound the contact ... more of a thinking man’s workout.”

— Les Miles, describing LSU’s walkthrough Friday in advance of Saturday night’s scrimmage

Roster report

LIMITED: LB Lamar Louis (strained pectoral).

Next three up

SATURDAY: Scrimmage, 6 p.m.

SUNDAY: Media Day, 3:30 p.m.; Fan Day, 5 p.m. (no practice).

MONDAY: Practice, 8:45 a.m.; 4:15 p.m.