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Miles Shoots Down Rumored Brouhaha At LSU

You can add another name to the list of LSU folks denying that a pre-BCS title game fuss led to an uninspired performance in the biggest game of the year.  The new name?  Les Miles, who was asked if there was any truth to the rumor of player dissension:

“Not at all.  We took the field just like we always have.  There’s never been any issue prior to a game.  There has never been a player-coach interaction before or after a game that was negative.”

Most of the rumors and messageboard posts claim that part of the team wanted Jarrett Lee at quarterback and part wanted Jordan Jefferson.  Miles never did go to Lee during the game, but his explanation at a presser yesterday was the same one he delivered after the contest last Monday night.

“I do think about the ability to change quarterbacks,” Miles said.  “That was a question that I had.  I brought it to my staff. … I can tell you that Jarrett Lee did come to mind, we do have confidence in Jarrett.”

But, LSU crossed the 50 or the first time all night early in the fourth quarter.  Down 15-0, Miles felt Jefferson still gave his team the best chance to come back.

“Jordan Jefferson had put us in that position (at Bama’s 32 thanks to an 18-yard quarterback scramble), and the way the pass rush was going in that game we just felt like we needed a mobile quarterback to make a play like that and then understand that if you finish just one drive and score seven, it’s a completely different game.  We just felt like we needed that guy who might be able to get loose with his feet.”

Since the title game, LSU has lost out on star quarterback prospect Gunner Kiel and seen three underclassmen declare for the NFL draft.  What was bright and cheery on the Bayou last Sunday has turned dark and dreary in the minds of many over the last 10 days.

But Miles isn’t stressing.  “We return a team that in my mind will have just as much talent and be just as capable as any that we’ve had… The fundamental of this program is to win championships and this team is a championship team.  We won the West.  We won the conference and certainly in our view the conference is the best in the country.  We spent 11 weeks as the number one team int he country and repelled all comers.  We played eight nationally ranked teams, beat the national champs in the regular season and played in the last game where only two teams get to play.  I cannot bemoan this team’s success, and by any measure this is a great year.”

True enough.  But what about the quarterback spot next year?

“We’ll throw the football more,” said Miles.  “I think there will be a fun approach, a different view of our quarterback position now, and I think it will allow us to throw the football more effectively and to approach a gameplan that can feature some receivers and some balls being thrown down the field maybe a little bit more efficiently.”

Perhaps there would be a lot less griping in the LSU camp today if Miles and company had just tried that approach a time or two against Alabama in New Orleans.



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