LSU offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock met with the media to talk about how the Tigers’ offense has looked through fall camp. Entering his second year as the Tigers’ offensive coordinator, there has been a drastic difference from this point last year to this year.
“There’s more understanding on the offense as a whole. We were in survival mode offensively last year. Now, we are deeper into the details. Everything gets better with time. Our vet’s recognition level has gotten better, better, and better.”LSU OC Mike Denbrock on offense’s progression in second fall camp
This can certainly be said for the team’s signal caller Jayden Daniels, who was using his great running ability early on in the season as the offense was figuring it out on the fly and improved throughout the season in the pocket making throws. Denbrock stated that Daniels is making the right strides this offseason to carry on how he ended the season last year.
“Year two allows him a comfort level from a knowledge standpoint where he feels he can let it rip a little more. We continue to encourage that, and he’s taken it upon himself to play that way and be aggressive. He understands that he has dynamic people around him that need to have their hands on the football, and he’s continued to develop with that.”LSU OC Mike Denbrock on Jayden Daniels’ growth into year 2
Daniels has a deep receiving core to work with, which will only help his passing game even more. Coach Denbrock talked about both veteran and new receivers that are gelling in camp.
“I have a lot of respect for Malik on many levels, but mostly because he comes to better his craft every single day. There is not a time when he doesn’t have his complete attention on getting better at what he does on the practice field. He’s a good example to our younger players.”LSU OC Mike Denbrock on Malik Nabers
“He has to touch the football. It’s our job as a coaching staff to make that happen. He’s valuable in the screen game and jet sweeps, but he’s not just a “speedy” one trick pony. He has unbelievable ball skills. He can break people down in space. We have to get him the ball.”LSU OC Mike Denbrock on Aaron Anderson
“I love the direction Chris Hilton is headed. He has begun to stake his claim for playing time. He’s been backing up Malik. He’s a smart player that we can move around. He’s going to play for us. He’s done so much better. I’m excited about where he’s going.”LSU OC Mike Denbrock on Chris Hilton Jr.
“He’s as gifted as any receiver we have on the roster, but he’s swimming in the deep end like all the young guys. He has incredible athleticism, a great catch radius, and can run.”LSU OC Mike Denbrock on Shelton Sampson Jr.
Not to mention, the tight end position is also getting a lot of headway in practice so far because of the young talent in the room. While also being the offensive coordinator, Denbrock works specifically with the tight ends everyday in practice, and he has been pleased with what he has seen.
“The completeness of Mason Taylor’s game is really going to show this year. Mac Markway has had the best camp on the young TEs. ‘KP’ Pimpton is an unbelievable talent, a raw piece of clay any coach would love to have. He has already gained 15lbs here, getting to 245lbs as a true freshman.”LSU OC Mike Denbrock on TE room
Just as excited as Denbrock is about the tight end room and the many options Daniels can utilize in the passing game, he also likes the depth and the many different options the Tigers can lean on in the running game.
“It’s exciting that so many running backs can step up and play. It allows us to have a lot of options we can explore and be more versatile. The competition there has been back and forth. It will take some time to sort out. There is quality depth there.”LSU OC Mike Denbrock on running back depth
The skill pieces are there and with another year in the system, the Tigers want to get those playmakers not only the football, but in the position to make big plays.
“I thought we caught a lot of footballs with our backs to where we were trying to score last year—a lot of stops and comebacks. We have been working more on catch-and-run opportunities for our great athletes and allowing them to be what they are: pretty dangerous football players (with the ball in their hands). I’ve seen real positive progress there.”LSU OC Mike Denbrock on being more explosive in the passing game
Like when Daniels was trying to grow and figure out things on the fly so was the offensive line, but like Daniels, improvement was shown in the second half of the season and because of that, the starting five is now in a good place heading into the fall.
“I think heading into the FSU game last year, there were a lot of unknowns. It’s a whole different feeling and vibe now with the growth that we made over last season. It gives us a head start now. They believe in each other, and we believe in them. That group has some excitement around it.”LSU OC Mike Denbrock on starting five
Even though the starting five is intact, Denbrock wants to make sure that the depth behind the starting five is ready to go if needed and right now, that has been the focus with offensive line coach Brad Davis and his group. There has been one player among the two deep that has been making a big jump up the depth chart already, and it is Maryland transfer Mason Lunsford, who is getting first team reps today in practice.
“It’s always a work in progress, especially for the true freshman who are dipping their toe in the 2-deep. Mason Lunsford (Maryland transfer) has made some good contributions and will provide some depth inside. I like the additions to the room. There is a lot of good material to work with there and I know coach Brad Davis is excited about that.”LSU OC Mike Denbrock on offensive line depth
The offense has made some big strides in the offseason based on the comfortability and the pace that the group is playing in. Also compared from last year in which LSU was trying to figure out its starting quarterback and offensive line, the Tigers know what their identity is in practice and should translate much quicker into the start of the season because of it.
“We are finding out who we are going to be. It’s going to take a minute. I’m pleased with the effort. We have the depth necessary to compete at several positions. I’m encouraged by what I see and excited with what I see.”LSU OC Mike Denbrock on team’s offensive identity
Click below to read any of our latest LSU football practice reports!