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Spring practice report: Day 10

Under threatening skies Tuesday afternoon, the one-on-one, who's-the-best-man scrum ate up about half of the usual 20 minutes reserved for a media audience.

As head coach Les Miles called out names, two at a time, to do battle while surrounded by teammates, a pair proficient in the Big Cat joined the crowd. Michael Brockers and Kendrick Adams, two starters on LSU's defensive line in 2011 were in the crowd, two days before they were due to show their wares at LSU's pro day.

What's notable is Brockers, the No. 12 prospect in the draft according to ESPN's Scout Inc., had his right hand wrapped in ice as he watched.

Here are some other observations from Day 10 of spring practice . . .

The main attraction at spring practice this year is to watch the progress of LSU's young quarterbacks, led by would-be starter Zach Mettenberger.

Tuesday was no different. Mettenberger, a junior, and redshirt freshmen Stephen Rivers and Jerrard Randle took turns throwing darts to the receivers. Russell Shepard made a nice grab of a low Mettenberger pass, a fact that might lead one to read way to much into Shepard's improved hands, or cause one to fret unnecessarily over whether Mettenberger is accurate enough.

But that wouldn't be fair. There was really nothing surprising to see in a small window of practice.

What was more thought provoking was a drill at the end of the media-friendly portion of practice when the quarterbacks worked with the running backs as wide receivers coach Adam Henry took his players away from the QBs for their own drills.

The three quarterbacks worked on handoffs out of the shotgun, then moved to to fake handoffs, followed by short dump-off passes to the backs coming out of the backfield.

The drill itself wasn't particularly remarkable; running backs need to work on their footwork on these routes and quarterbacks need to get the feel of throwing those short, safe passes.

But it does get one to thinking. For years, LSU quarterbacks have had a reliable tight end to throw to, whether it be the 2011 senior DeAngelo Peterson or Richard Dickson before him. One would have to go back to 2006, when a young Dickson led LSU's tight ends with six catches, to find the last time the Tigers didn't have a reliable tight end target.

That may be the case this year with Chase Clement, a senior with nine career receptions, slated to take over for Peterson as the starting tight end.

As LSU quarterbacks dumped the ball to running backs Tuesday, it made one think of who might be candidates to fill the short-pass void if, indeed, tight ends become less-frequent targets.

Spencer Ware, who led LSU's backs with 11 receptions last year, including a touchdown, looked comfortable with the footwork ans with catching the ball with his fingers. As a group, the Tiger backs looked adept at running routes and seeing the ball into their hands.

A snippet of a spring practice is far from enough evidence to start drawing conclusions. But one would note this: The last time LSU lacked a reliable receiving tight end, fullback Jacob Hester hauled in 35 passes in 2006. One has to wonder if this is a year where another pass-catching threat emerges in LSU's backfield.