Miles Pleased With Tigers

So far so good for this Tiger squad as Les Miles sees it.

Miles said he was pleased with how his first-team defense played in the scrimmage before noting that side of the ball had an even better practice Tuesday.

“I don’t know that we had as good a Saturday scrimmage defensively as we had in practice today,” Miles said. “I think the defense was playing even better today.

“Our team is improving,” he said. “I think the young secondary is coming along, the second-team guys. I think the two safeties inside (Eric Reid and Craig Loston) are going to be pretty good guys.”

While Reid started three games as a freshman in 2010 and 13 games last season, Loston, who is also a junior, is trying to step in and replace departed senior Brandon Taylor in the back end of the secondary.

“They were OK,” Miles said when asked about Reid and Loston working together in their first scrimmage. “I think they’re improving. I’m not ready to say they’re hitting on all cylinders yet, but both of those guys are having good springs.”

Also, Miles said his defensive ends made a lot of big plays in the scrimmage and singled out Lavar Edwards and Barkevious Mingo for having productive springs so far.

Offensively, Miles praised the play of his second-team line, saying backup center Elliott Porter, guard Trai Turner and tackle Chris Davenport are getting better.

“There are a number of guys there that are really improving,” Miles said, “and I think our football team is going to be better.”

Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and James Wright have looked good in the spring, said Miles. He added that senior Russell Shepard had a big day in practice Tuesday with a couple of “great catches.”

While he wouldn’t give out any stats, Miles said he enjoyed Saturday’s scrimmage, which consisted of a little more than 100 plays — the same number they’ll have this week.

“We completed some balls, and we ran the football well and we tackled it,” he said. “We didn’t move the football very well against the first defense, and that’s the way it’s supposed to go. That being said, I like our progress. I like the spring. There’s a very, very competitive piece that’s in play here.

“Again, I think we’re in good position. The team is coming into the back end of spring, and I can tell we’re improved. I like the things we’re doing.”

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