Cam Cameron has given new receivers coach Dameyune Craig the green light.
During a brief Q&A with The Advocate earlier this week, Craig says he’s assisting in tutoring LSU’s quarterbacks, including Brandon Harris, with the approval of the Tigers’ offensive coordinator.
“I don’t want to step on peoples’ toes,” said Craig, a former Auburn quarterback LSU plucked from AU last month to replace Tony Ball. “I understand that you don’t need a million people talking to the quarterbacks, but he’s given me the green light any time I’ve seen anything to give the guys advice.”
A week into spring practice, Craig continues to harp on his receivers group about physicality, he said in the interview, and he went into detail about the touch passing drills he’s given Harris. He explains where certain receivers are playing – inside or out – and how the mid-year enrollees are progressing, specifically a position move with Dee Anderson.
He also updates senior Travin Dural’s recovery from a brutal hamstring injury in which the tendon broke free of Dural’s bone.
What have you learned about your group after a month in Baton Rouge?
Well, I think it’s a talented group. That’s not the focus this spring. This spring, we want to bring a physical mentality to the football game to that position.
We want to focus on being team players, focus on getting better, getting better at running routes, much better understanding of the playbook and things of that nature. Just want to develop the guys and get them thinking positively and thinking about the right things.
Was that your No. 1 goal when you arrived – instill physicality?
Most definitely. This is the SEC. LSU is known to be a physical football team, and when I think about LSU football, I think about a physical football team. That can be done at the receiver position and that’s been my main focus going into the spring.
Have you seen the physicality you want?
They’re getting there. I’m seeing growth. Every day they’re getting better. They just need to have a complete understanding of what they’re being asked to do, being held accountable for what they’ve been asked to do on and off the field. When you see guys trying to do what you ask them to do, you feel good about it.
Do you cross train them?
Some of the guys can do it. Some of the guys are just learning what to do. It’s a lot of information being thrown at the guys. We have a lot of offense, so you want to get the guys to function and once they get an understanding of the offense, you can start moving them around.
We saw Jazz Ferguson playing in the slot at practice. That his spot?
Jazz can play inside and outside. Malachi (Dupre) can play inside and outside. At some point, we’d like to get Tyron (Johnson) to learn the slot receiver so we’ll have some flexibility and create competition in the room. Then you can create matchups (against) the defense. That’s something going into the spring we’re focusing on also.
Dee Anderson and Stepehen Sullivan are new guys as mid-year enrollees. How do they look?
I think they’re talented kids. Dee has done an outstanding job of learning the offense. He was a guy we started at one position and we moved him the first day of spring, and he handled it well.
Stephen has been a kid that takes the coaching well. He really tries to do what you ask him to do. He’s a physical kid, big body, still learning how to play the position. He’s a little raw.
Where did you move Dee and why?
He was playing X and we moved him to Z. He came out and was able to function. I was proud of him for doing that.
We were a little over-crowded at that position. We had a bunch of guys out there so we had to find a way to get him on the field.
The X and the Z are the outside receiver positions, but who’s all playing the slot – the F or Y?
Right now, Jazz is playing the spot. Derrick Dillon is playing the slot. Malachi plays the slot also.
Brandon Harris says y’all hit it off and that you’ve given him some drills, specifically touch passing drills. What are those?
Brandon has a strong arm. First thing I noticed is his ability to drive the football, but, at times, you have to take something off the ball and be able to throw with touch. There were some drills I actually created when I was at Florida State for (QB) E.J. Manuel for his hands and also some things I learned when I was playing that my high school coach taught me to throw the ball with better touch and drop the ball into holes, help throw some of those outside fade routes.
(Brandon has) been a kid that’s been a sponge. He’s willing to learn. Coach Cameron’s been really open-minded about me being here and, when the guys come to me, (I) give them any information that I know. That’s been outstanding because I don’t want to step on peoples’ toes. I understand that you don’t need a million people talking to the quarterbacks, but he’s given me the green light any time I’ve seen anything to give the guys advice.
As long as we’re on the same page… Coach Cameron and myself, we meet all day. I understand what he’s looking for, and I’m learning a lot from him. He’s been an open book for me, as far as his knowledge and his information. It’s been so much fun.
Travin Dural isn’t participating in spring as he recovers from the hamstring surgery but how’s he look in his recovery? We saw him walk out of the facility recently without anything on the leg.
It’s a tough injury. I don’t know of any football players I can recall that’s had the same injury. It actually came off (the bone). His timetable for the return, I wouldn’t know, but he’s working hard. Started his rehab, light running, strengthening that hamstring back.
We don’t want to get him back too early. We want to get him back when he’s ready to come back and when he’s healthy enough to get out and go. But his leadership, knowledge and experience has definitely been helpful in the room.
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