LSU Football: Les Miles' 5 Biggest Concerns Post-Spring Practice
Spring practice was immensely successful for the LSU Tigers.
Zach Mettenberger grew as a passer under the new leadership of Cam Cameron, defensive players such as D.J. Welter emerged and Odell Beckham set the pace for a breakout season with a huge spring game performance.
But that doesn't mean Les Miles has nothing to worry about post-spring ball. Though most of the spring has provided a positive outlook to the 2013 season, there are a few areas that Miles needs to address going into fall camp.
Besides overcoming a challenging schedule in 2013, here are five areas of concern for Miles to think over with spring practice wrapped up.
Mettenberger Harnessing His Deep Ball Passing Skills
Mettenberger and the LSU offense were not shy throwing the football in the spring game. That was expected with Cameron coming in as the new offensive coordinator.
But just like last season, Mettenberger showed inaccuracy in throwing the deep ball. It's almost as if his strong arm hurts him, as he continues to overthrow his receivers.
To Mettenberger's credit, he settled in after a rough start. If Mettenberger can become more accurate throwing deep passes, the Tigers can beat anybody on the schedule. If he continues to be inconsistent, the Tigers will have a tough time competing in the SEC West.
Finding Defensive Depth
The Tigers are talented, but LSU is not as deep on defense as it normally is.
The spring game gave positive signs, with Christian LaCouture and A'Trey-U Jones having strong outings on the defensive line.
Add in the fact that LSU's stacked defensive line recruiting class is coming into town, and the Tigers should be in good shape.
"Should be" isn't a guarantee, though.
Though the Tigers have a lot of talent coming in, you never know if those prospects will blossom into the playmakers that Eric Reid, Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery and Kevin Minter were. If they aren't talented enough to give LSU's starters fresh legs, the Tigers may give up a few more big plays on defense next season.
Another Quarterback Controversy
Yes, this is a stretch, but come on, don't put it past LSU fans.
Are LSU fans the best fans in the world? Absolutely, but you must admit that they can be fickle at times and rather impatient.
Though Mettenberger had a fairly strong showing in the spring game, Tiger fans are buzzing about Anthony Jennings.
The numbers are modest—98 passing yards and 26 rushing yards.
However, he dazzled fans with his legs and his passing ability. He complements Cameron's play-calling style very well and looks to be the quarterback of the future for LSU. Should Mettenberger struggle early this season, another LSU quarterback controversy could appear.
Health and Growth of Offensive Line
The Tigers were lacking a fully healthy offensive line all spring.
If there's one thing that's valuable in SEC play, it's having a capable, healthy offensive line. These guys are responsible for blocking some of the best defensive players in the league, you know.
So following spring practice, Miles will be able to sleep easier knowing that Vadal Alexander and Elliot Porter are perfectly healthy entering fall camp. Both players missed most of the spring.
If LSU can be fully healthy on the offensive line with an impressive young class coming in, this offensive line should create gaping holes for these LSU running backs.
Adjusting to Play-Calling
Don't forget your true identity.
First things first, LSU has to stay true to its run game behind Jeremy Hill, Alfred Blue and the others. Knowing Miles, the Tigers should do that.
But once the Tigers decide to air it out a little more, the LSU players have to respond well to Cam Cameron's new offensive design.
Cameron's new style has been a hot topic this spring, but it's only as effective as the players make it. Depending on the Tigers' ability to learn the plays and execute them well, LSU's offense should see tremendous growth. It all begins with intense preparation this fall.