Coach Les Miles gets it done
Coming off an SEC and BCS National Title, Coach Miles received a contract making him among the highest paid coaches in college football. My take is good for him could not have happened to a nicer guy nor a better coach. Geaux Tigers, Fear the Hat!
a truly strange but nonetheless funny you tube "tribute" to Les Miles
and a more serious one
Spring Practice holds scrimmage #2
Prior to taking a few days off for spring break Coach Miles watched the team go through a scrimmage. Several players missed the scrimmage (and most or all of Spring practice), most notably talented QB Ryan Perrilloux remains suspended for violating team rules. Speedy RB Trindon Holliday is training to make the USA Olympic team. S Chad Jones and WR Jared Mitchell have missed some time while playing baseball, RJF has been banged up a bit and works out with Track and Field and of course there have been injuries, LB's Cutrera and Riley are injured.
By most accounts the defense held the upper hand and the offense run by QB's Andrew Hatch and Jarrett Lee was not crisp. Having said that it appears the Lee is the leader in the clubhouse among QB's in camp.
Lee connected on 10 of 13 passes for 100 yards, Murphy led the RB's and LaFell and Jared Mitchell were both praised by Miles after the workout.
Camp battles--QB Lee hold edge over Hatch, RB will again be by committee, WR after Byrd and LaFell, still too close to call but my money is on T. Toliver, #2TE Mitch Joseph (but look for true frosh Edwards to push him), T very close between Barksdale and McCoy
D RJF holds lead to replace Dorsey at DT but there is depth at DL. RJF, Jackson and Pittman look to be first 3, with Favorite, Woods, Nevis, Alem, Alexander and Johnson all getting time.
LB's Riley and Sheppard look to be replacements for HIghsmith and Sanders
CB's Eugene and Hawkins are the 1's now but Jones & Williams are pushing them and talented true frosh Patrick Johnson enters the mix in August.
S. Harry Coleman (my choice for the BCS Title game MVP btw) leads to replace Steltz, but Chad Jones, Danny McCray and Francois all will see the field. McCray leads for the nickle back and Jones the dime.
With a loss to South Carolina a disappointing season ends for the Tigers. Since this is my first blog here I will say upfront that as a lifelong fan, alum and TAF contributer, I support fully the decision to replace John Brady mid-season. While I will always remember the Final Four run fondly, I made it to every post season game that year, stayed at the team hotel in Indy, it was time. I could list the reasons why but it is not necessary. I choose to look forward to our next coach.
My personal choice would be USC's Tim Floyd, but I don't think he is leaving his current LA gig for our LA gig.
Next is VCU's Anthony Grant. Grant learned under Florida Billy Donovan and reportedly has new LSU system President Lombardi (a former UF guy) in his corner. Grant is young and a name on the rise.
Others on my wish list are Baylor's Scott Drew, UMass' Travis Ford, Mizzou's Mike Anderson, Southern Ill's Lowery and longshot UAB's Mike Davis.
I do not list current interim coach Pierre on my list, I have respect for him, but think the others on my list have more to offer LSU at this time.
This is a fun team to watch. LSU won the regular season title and made to the tourney final before losing to Tenn. Should be a #2 seed, #3 seed at worst when the brackets are announced. Even if you are not a women's ball fan, I encourage you to watch these Tigers. C Fowles is a great college player. Good Luck Lady Tigers.
LSU 2009 Recruiting
Coach Miles and staff is off to one white hot start to the recruiting process. Led by QB/ATH Russell Shepard a legit 5* kid, RB Michael Ford, DE Michael Brockers, talented ATH Drayton Calhoun and DB Janzen Jackson this could be a special class. LSU also hold commits from a couple of big kids OL Henry Orelus and OL/DL Josh Downs.
I look for a few more high profile commits at the Spring game. LB's Minter and Mingo and possibly QB Garrett.
There are some special athletes in Louisiana, WR Randle, DT Davenport, RB Lacey, ATH Conner, WR Bell, OL/DL Faulk all very good players and all could end up as Tigers. It's a good time to be an LSU Tiger.
Saints recap and Draft Preview
Where o' where to begin? How about the end of the 2006 season and a loss in the NFC Championship game to the Bears. Fast forward a year and the Saints (and the Bears btw) miss the playoffs.
I could mention injuries, yes the Saints had 'em. I could mention possibly the worst off season in regard to FA/Draft in Saints history (and that is quite a feat). I could mention on OL that overachieved in 2006 that slipped back a bit in 2007 or that despite the numbers that Brees put up, there were far too many mistakes and INT's esp early in the season when the Saints lost 4 in a row and dug a hole. All of these things contributed to what was a dismal season.
BUT......you need look no further than a defense that was awful. Could not stop the run nor pass. Gave up 32 TD's through the air. Other than the aged and oft injured CB McKenzie and the DE's there is nothing on the D. It is time to burn the House down and start over.
Saints 2008 FA players found, lost and resigned.
Losses--honestly to date only C J. Faine (a former #1 pick for CLE who never lived up to the hype) can be considered a loss and TB overpaid
Starts with LB J. Wilma a former All-Pro acquired thru trade with the Jets. If he returns to Pro Bowl form a great addition, even if not is a significant upgrade.
CB Randall Gay a FA acquisition from NE. Gay is an LSU Tiger and holds a special place in my heart. He is an upgrade over Jason "Toast" David but then again so would a fire hydrant.
DE B. McCray a FA from Jax. Has talent adds depth to the DE, I like him, but honestly DE is the strength of the D such as it is. I would have rathered another DB, LB or DT type.
LB Dan Morgan comes over from Car. Morgan has played in a total of 4 games over the past 2 years, has a serial concussion ailment, and been limited because of other injuries. He is a former Pro Bowler and the Saints got him on the cheap. I am pulling for him, but if we get anything out of him I would be pleasantly shocked.
Most notably DE Brian Young. Young had a great 2006 season and like most of the D regressed in 2007.
WR's David Patten, Terrence Copper and Devery Henderson all resigned. None however is a true #2 WR to compliment 2006 draft steal and budding star Colston.
TE's Billy Miller and Eric Johnson will also be back. Both have talent but I would like to see the Saints make a run at Shockey who the Giants are shopping.
OL Goodwin and Nesbit are back too. Goodwin may be the new starting C to replace Faine.
RB Stecker resigned solid backup and special teams guy
K Martin Gramatica, LB Simoneau will also be back.
With the FA season winding down it's time to take a look at the draft.
Without question in my opinion the biggest need is help in the secondary. DT, LB, OL, WR are all also needs.
The Saints pick 10th and various Mock drafts out there have not reached consensus.
Yahoo/Rivals has the pick as CB Mike Jenkins (tOSU)
Kiper has CB Leodis McKelvin (Troy) so does Sportsline's Clark Judge
ESPN's McShay has CB Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie (Tenn State)
Sportsline's Prisco has LB Rivers (USC) as does TSN's mock draft
Personally I like Rodgers-Cromartie if he is still on the board or McKelvin if he is not. If both are gone and Dorsey and Ellis gone too, time to trade out and add picks.