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August 9, 2010

Speculating on Les Miles's Most Recent Comments

Sunday, August 8 LSU posted in their  latest press release about the progress of this year's football team.  Often when I read these press releases I am left wondering what certain statements, particularly by Les Miles, mean.  Most who write about the LSU Tigers will either just excerpt the official LSU press release or publish the official LSU press release in full.  That is probably the wise thing to do but, that still leaves the rest of us guessing.  Here are some thoughts on LSU's press release and coach Miles' statements .

Miles on how the team is doing:
"It was really a good day," Miles said of LSU's first full squad workout. "We were out in the elements, so it was a nice, hot day. It was a good practice. I see marked improvement. It was not a perfect day by any means, but it was a good, hard work day."

Why is Miles commenting on the weather?  Is he avoiding getting straight to talking about the team?

The rest of Miles statement sounded to me like: "Our guys worked hard, they're getting better, but, they're not ready to play a game yet."
Miles on the defense and offense:
"I think the defense starts ahead in every two-a-day scheme and I think the defense is certainly ahead again," Miles said. "There is a lot of speed on that side of the ball. This was a day where the offense is still struggling with installation and making it all work. Again, that's the way it is; that's the way it starts, but it was a good practice."

The Defense:
First sentence translation:  "The defense is more ready to play but, that's typical."  

The defense is going to be fast this year.  That means that LSU fans can expect our defense to have more sacks and tackles behind the line of scrimmage.  Also, do not expect the opponents' wide receivers to get behind our defensive backs for big plays.  That one statement: "There is a lot of speed on that side of the ball," confirms what those close to the LSU program have been saying this year.  Almost everything you can read about this year's Tigers points out that LSU has quick defensive ends and possibly the best cornerbacks and safeties in college football.  What is missing from the conversation is genuine praise for the linebackers, other than Kelvin Shepard, and the defensive tackles.  That raises some concern that LSU may be vulnerable to inside runs and short passes over the middle.  I am not so sure that those concerns are totally off the mark but, I do know that both Kelvin Shepard and Drake Nevis should be able to provide leadership and solidly anchor the linebackers and defensive tackles. One has to hope that if starting defensive tackles Drake Nevis and Pep Levingston are unable to plug up the middle, Miles will not hesitate to put in bigger DTs like Michael Brockers (6'6", 300lbs.) and Chris Davenport (6'4", 311lbs).  Nevis and Levingston are both in the 280 - 285lbs. range and fifteen to twenty pounds can make all the difference in the world in the trenches.

The offense:
Miles statement to me sounded something like: "We really don't know what we are doing on offense yet."  I hope I am totally misreading that but, if I am not, I hope the LSU coaches and offense gets it together quickly.

Miles on starting left guard, Josh Dworaczyk:
Note: Dworaczyk officially missed the first few days of practice due to illness.
"I don't know that he participated fully, but I know that he participated certainly through the majority of the practice," Miles said. "The good news is he's got it all; he understands what we need to do with him. We just need to get him back."

Translation: Dworaczyk can miss a few practices.  He knows what he is doing.
My wandering mind may have drifted well off course but, I will repeat my thoughts anyway.  We learned from a previous official LSU press release that five players showed up to camp out of shape or not in top shape.  The players were not named but were identified as three incoming freshmen, and two veterans. Only one of the veterans was identified as a starter and that starter was identified as a lineman.  Add to that that I am sure I read that Dworaczyk has added quite a bit of weight, and I wandered into wondering if Dworaczyk wasn't "sick" from being the veteran lineman that was out of shape.  I am probably wrong.  My second guess for the "out of shape lineman" is Chris Davenport.  Davenport would have been my first choice but, it appears that he has lost 10-12lbs. over the summer.

Miles on the Wide Receivers and new receivers coach, Billy Gonzales:
"(Billy) has great attention to detail, and that is always a mark of a very good coach," Miles said. "A guy is not going to go onto the field and not know what to do, and he's (Gonzales) not going to have to teach it in the snap. He has it taught before the snap, and those things then allow the player to show the coach what it is he really knows because the coach knows what he's got coached.

"I think guys like Rueben Randle, Terrence Toliver and Russell Shepard have improved because of it."

Translation:  Gonzo, Billy Gonzales, knows how to get the most out of superstar wide receivers and LSU is going to be able to throw the ball this year!

Here is the hope for the LSU offense.  The o-line ought to be able to improve at least slightly which should give QB Jordan Jefferson a second more and with our wide receivers working to their potential, LSU will have a much better passing game.  Even if the pass blocking is not stellar, if the o-line can open up a few more holes for the inexperience yet talented running backs to gain some yards, that will provide another second or two for Jefferson when he drops back to pass or at least provide a bit more separation for our receivers.  I know, there are a lot of "if s" in my thinking.  But this whole article was entirely me thinking out loud.  Hope I did not distract you too much from your serious work.


Anonymous said...

I think you are dead on Bob.

Anonymous said...

So our offense isn't ready to play a game yet but you are still telling us how they are going to win. Hope you are right about that last part.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bob, for the "Les Miles most recent Comments"
I think he sees, what I see..The best LSU football Tiger to date.
I have not seen (so many) good football players, on a LSU football team before,The Offense line is bigger,The defense is running to the football quicker,the running backs are strong,fast,the WR, are NFL type,and they are deep.
How could LSU help but win?
He will not say so,but you can see it.

Anonymous said...

We all hope Miles will pass the ball more this year. We hoped it last year, and the year before, and in 2007 when Flynn rarely through deeper than 15 yds... and the year before when Russell spent most of that season and the season before throwing 15 yd's and less.

Why anyone thinks Miles believes that now that he has better players that he should revamp his offensive philosophy is beyond comprehension.

What Miles has done, is given every indication that with better players he now believes his philosophy of run into the line, and toss short passes over the line will finally work better. The only tip off on this is that he continues to say exactly this very thing.

We all hope that LSU would play to the level of its talent on the field. Unfortunately, LSU plays to the level of its talent on the sidelines.

Anonymous said...

Dear Santa:
I want you to put coach Gruden under the LSU tiger Christmas tree this year,or next.

LSU fan

Anonymous said...

A football team divided,is easy to defeat.The Government keep the America people divided. between the Democrats, and republicans,when in reality, they are the same bunch that has been steeling all the money from us, for our life time.
Is that what going to happen to LSU, a house divided?

Anonymous said...

The guy that griped about the 2007 season is stark raving MAD! We one the F_____ National Championship in 2007!


If they had thrown the ball more would we have won the INTERGALACTIC CHAMPIONSHIP?

You sir are an idiot!

Anonymous said...

Sticks and stones fella....

If you think LSU maximized its offense in 07, then you are the idiot. Winning because you have Dorsey, and that crowd on defense, Keiland Williams, Early Doucet, Brandon Lafell, etc with an NFL qb running the offense, recruited in 04... geez, to these poor Jerry's kids eyes, looks to me like winning in spite of, not because of.

You really think that Auburn win in 07 was any better coached than the OM debacle in 09? Go ahead, amuse me with your answer.... One came up heads, the other tails. Same guy flipping the coin.. Losing to UK losing to Ark? when the national championship was in everyones eyes, on the line? come on, tell me how that season was a tribute to anything other than Uber talent, most already there...

Now Les can recruit... except apparently at qb. Just doesnt seem to get the guys on the field, but hey, thats idiotic to point out too.

How bout in 06... Auburn. You wanna blame that one on the refs, you're the idiot. That was coaching that put that game in play, nothing more. Bowe, Davis, Doucett, with Russell at qb, and what do we do? We run into the pile all day... Then blame it on the refs. Sure the refs cheated, they do that in Alabama. You cant play close games there and expect to win, they cheat. But we had to establish the run (air sic bag).. And lost because of it, and blamed the O-line, like always.

Name caller, you wanna be result oriented? Have at it, worked for Miami with Coker, didnt it?

Say where its wrong... run short pass, run... 70% of the time.. and with a qb no one thinks will go deep, we were 107 in offense.

So, you back your guy, after all, 07 we won it all... Everyone else just doesnt see what you see, do they?

Anonymous said...

I tell you what, if JJ fines the touch, on the forward pass, LSU is going to roll, and the SEC,and NC,is going to become a real possibility, for Les Miles to win again..If he win the SEC or NC again.
Its is going to be lights out..You know, like after the last pool ball fall, in the pool game, that every one has bet all the money on.Les Miles can win.

Anonymous said...

And if a frog had wings, he wouldnt bump his a** every time he hopped.

Anonymous said...

Yee, of little faith,who is never more blind,then a man with eyes, but does not see.
There nothing I can do about that.

Anonymous said...

Like a dog returns to its vomit, so is the man who sees what is, yet refuses to take action, accepting what was already there, preferring to remain as before.

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