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March 3, 2011

LSU Football Spring Preview

Coach Les Miles talked a bit about Tiger Spring football today.  Here is the official video.  Two notes:  Miles discussion lasts almost 20 minutes and the sound on the video was low/soft.

Here are some things that caught my attention:

  • Sam Montgomery is back to full speed!  I really expect Montgomery to pick up where he left off last year.  Before Montgomery's injury, he was emerging as a real defensive star.
  • It sounds like Chris Faulk is in the lead to take the vacant spot on the offensive line left by Joe Barksdale.
  • Mo Claiborne has not fully recovered from his ankle injury.  LSU has real depth on defense but I have some concern with Patrick Peterson in the NFL and Mo Claiborne not up to full speed.  It is a really minor concern and I would bet Claiborne will be 100% by the end of Spring and LSU really does have a lot of talent in the defensive backfield.  A really solid defensive line should make any defensive backfield learning curve much easier.
  • Special Teams is unsettled for now.  It did not sound like Miles was settled on a special teams coach, a punt or kickoff return man, or a kicker or punter beyond Drew Alleman and Brad Wing.  Special teams play was awesome last year and there are some big shoes to fill.  I'm not worried but I am eager to get the special teams settled.
  • Spencer Ware is clearly the starting running back going into Spring ball.  I'm interested to see how Jakhari Gore fits into this year's offense.  Miles mentioned Gore when he was talking about the running backs but Gore is listed as a WR on LSU's official roster.  I think that just means Gore is versatile: a running back that can catch the ball.  I remember LSU moving a guy named Josh Reed from running back to wide receiver and that worked out pretty well.  Reed won the Biletnikoff Award (college's best wide receiver).  And finally, I think Mike Ford will surprise even some of the coaches this year.
  • The big questions at the end of last year surrounded who would be LSU's quarterback in 2011.  Miles seems to be leaning to keeping Jordan Jefferson in the lead but there were some faint hints that Zach Mettenberger may have a shot.  For me, the most interesting of Miles' repeated comments in this Spring preview was that Jefferson was in the best shape of his life.  And when Miles repeated that comment he noted that Jefferson was running with the running backs.  I think that means that Jefferson will be running more when he is in the quarterback position.  I think LSU would have beaten Auburn last year if LSU had stuck with allowing Jefferson to run more in that game.  However, with Miles making it clear that passing efficiency was offensive job #1 this season, I kind of wonder if we will see Jefferson move to wide receiver and maybe even try a couple of plays that were tried with Russell Shepard the last two seasons.  Both Zach Mettenberger and Jordan Jefferson have cause to believe that each has the inside track at quarterback.  I am a Jefferson fan but, I think it looks like, from my couch, that Mettenberger ought to be the obvious remedy for the Tigers' passing woes.
  • Even with Rueben Randle and DeAngelo Peterson being clear receiving targets, I can think of no fewer than 10 receivers that have the talent to emerge as solid receivers.    
I can't wait to find out which players step up this Spring!  LSU football is going to be a whole lot of fun for Tiger fans this year.  I saw that Stevan Ridley predicted that the Tigers could win it all this year.  The Tigers certainly have the talent which makes hope spring eternal this Spring.


Anonymous said...

I went to the race track one fun day,looking to pick a winner...The race horses walked around in front of the race track crowd,on their way to the starting gate...And everyone look.
Unless you know them,and know them well,how are you going to pick the winner.
All you really know, is how fast you horse is..What about the horses you do not know?

Anonymous said...

Vince Lombardi-Quote:
Will to Win
“The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel – these are the things that endure and these are the qualities that are so much more important than any of the events that occasion them.”
“There’s only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything. I do, and I demand that my players do.”
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”
“You never win a game unless you beat the guy in front of you. The score on the board doesn’t mean a thing. That’s for the fans. You’ve got to win the war with the man in front of you. You’ve got to get your man.”
“If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.”

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