Content provided by And The Valley Shook.
As part of our ongoing service to you, the ATVS reader, we once again try to translate a Miles press conference from Milesian to English.
WHAT HE SAID: “Happy Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for, all of us. Our football team, our state, and our community have a lot to be thankful for. I have to say finishing a home stand at Tiger Stadium undefeated, I would have to thank the fans. I think those people that come and sit in those seats are rare and they make a great difference to our team. I can tell you that we play with more passion, and it is a wonderful place. I just want to say thanks. How wonderful it is to walk into a stadium where 92,500 fans believe in their hearts that you are supposed to beat the ever living tar out of your opponents just like you are supposed to believe. We set out together to that eventual end, and thanks.”
WHAT HE MEANT: Dear, Poseur. Thank you for starting the Delusional Optimism campaign. You’re right. Positive energy brings positive results. I know most Tiger fans aren’t as unhinged as the Humanoids. I kick ass. Did I mention that we went undefeated at home this year?
WHAT HE SAID: “This senior class has accomplished quite a lot. I want to say thanks to them, because as a group they have been outstanding leaders, they have been guys that like to work hard, and they are committed to the team. I believe in my heart they will be great husbands, fathers and people in business. I think we will really enjoy these seniors as they go on. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that they averaged 10 victories for five years, one of the winningest senior cases in school history. They are the sixth straight senior class to win 50 games, they have five straight bowl appearances and they are all on pace to graduate. They take a national title and 16 wins over top 25 teams with them. They are a very quality group of men, and I am fortunate to have worked with them.”
WHAT HE MEANT: Did I mention that this was my first recruiting class? You can’t give any of the credit to what’s-his-name. All me. Again, I rule. Our kids win and also succeed in the classroom. These seniors are totally awesome.
WHAT HE SAID: “The Ole Miss game, I think Jeremiah Masoli waited for this game to play his best, and he was just uncanny. I thought he was as talented a quarterback as we have seen, and I have watched every game that he played and he played his best. I give it to coach (Houston) Nutt for having that team ready to play. Certainly we have to tackle better. There are ways to get better. There were a couple places where we missed the line on defense, a couple signals that they just didn’t quite get accomplished on the field and it led to some big plays. These things are definitely correctable, and the issue that I enjoy is I like how our defense plays. They are fast and they are hard-hitting guys that tackle. We will make some corrections and certainly continue to improve, and we will return that defense to playing a style of defense that we are used to seeing play.”
WHAT HE MEANT: Our defense is usually great, but this weekend, they made Jeremiah friggin’ Masoli look good. I shall reign down terror upon the defensive unit this week in practice for letting that happen. It was bad enough when Cam Newton ran through us like a knife through butter, but Masoli? Come on.
WHAT HE SAID: “Offensively we had a big day. I thought Jordan Jefferson had his best day to date, and he is the SEC Offensive Player of the Week. I think Stevan Ridley with three touchdowns, and giving him the ball in tough situations, displays each week with more confidence that he is capable. I would have to say the first game the defense won it for us. If you go on through and you look at how well the teams play, it takes a team. This week it was the offense’s turn. There was a point in time in that game where the defense had a busted coverage that led to a fast score by our opponent. It was told to me that Kelvin Sheppard went to the offensive leaders and told them ‘Guys, right now we need you. You need to come to play. You give us a chance to get back on the field, we blew that drive and we need to play. You have our back.’ Let me tell you something that defense has had that offense’s back a great majority of the season, so it was right. It was their time and they played well.”
WHAT HE MEANT: Jefferson. Ridley. Let those names sink in. Those are the guys all y’all said I was stupid for starting. Who’s stupid now? Huh? Oh, and Kelvin Sheppard is a bad ass. In case you didn’t already know.
WHAT HE SAID: “Again, it takes a team. Josh Jasper may be the finest field goal kicker in the country. He is tied for the lead nationally with 23, and he adds three more just when we need him. I ask him to go kick three and he does. Like our quarterback he is also the SEC Player of the Week. We are 10-1 and 6-1 in the conference, and ranked fifth in the country. I like the position we are in. I recognize the enjoyment to come over here and see you all, and that the quickness to which the season goes by really predicts how much fun you are having. I go to work every day with guys that have a smile on their face all the time, and I go to work with guys that fight like hell for victory. As we get to the back end of the season we have a lot to play for and that is a wonderful thing.”
WHAT HE MEANT: Yes, Jasper is awesome. But let me once again mention that we’re 10-1 and in the top 5. Everyone can kiss my ass. Don’t think I don’t know who was calling for me to get canned.
On how important the secondary will be against Arkansas …
WHAT HE SAID: “Our secondary play is certainly going to be tested as is our pass rush and our underneath coverage, because we are going to have to stop a very quality running game. That secondary has to play big in this game, but it is a different challenge and certainly something that I think they will forward to.”
WHAT HE MEANT: Ryan Mallett throws for about 300 yards a game. What do you think?
On Offensive Coordinator Gary Crowton re-inventing himself on offense …
WHAT HE SAID: “I don’t know if there is really a re-inventing, but I can tell you that the things that we need to have happen. There are different facets of calling a game on offense. Finishing a game like he did, and having the opportunity to make third down plays and calls and getting our playmakers the ball, all of those things need to take place for a quality offensive performance. I think he did a very strong job in that last game.”
WHAT HE MEANT: I’ll give him a reference as he looks for a new job this offseason.
On Jordan Jefferson‘s progression as the season has gone on …
WHAT HE SAID: “It is interesting. The thing that you have to allow is for our guys to get better. The observation of where they are at now and where they are going to be is always going to be different. I think you look at Jordan Jefferson, and certainly he has continued to improve. If you look at the style of throws and the things that we are doing, it is the same. It is the comfort of the offense and the taking the steps and strides that a college student athlete takes to get better. I think both he and (Jarrett) Lee have done that, and again if you go back to key contests this year you will find that Lee has made some very big plays for us as well.”
WHAT HE MEANT: Believe it or not, we actually coach people around here. He got better because we worked with him. I don’t sit around all week and think of new ways to mess up clock management. Jefferson got better because some of us actually believed in him.
On why the wildcat offense has given the LSU defense so many problems …
WHAT HE SAID: “I don’t think it is necessarily the wildcat quarterback, because I think if you look at wildcat formations nationally and certainly in our league it has kind of had a difficult time because that wildcat quarterback is virtually a non-throwing quarterback. He is more of a running back, so the passing game is all ground to a halt. It is that quarterback that has the ability to throw it and the ability to run it that gives the defense, and every defense, not just ours, its biggest headaches. We are challenged best by the guy who is most talented, and by the guy that runs fast, is strong, breaks tackles, and can sit in the pocket and make the read and deliver the ball. When the guy who has the ball is both a running threat, a play action passing threat, and a wide and inside threat every time he takes the ball, that is a tremendous challenge to defense. I think our defense is equipped with the speed we have on the field as any for that attack, but we have run into two very good quarterbacks.”
WHAT HE MEANT: Please tell me the defense who has stopped Cam Newton this season.
On increasing the amount of passing plays on first down against Ole Miss…
WHAT HE SAID: “I think what we’ve tried to do is to be 50-50 (percentage) on first down when the game is in question or that the situation does not suggest that we need to run it like the back end of the Ole Miss game. We wanted to make sure that we ran the football, so we got some first downs there and followed with the run yet again. If you would have eliminated those with the game in question and where the situation didn’t absolutely predict us, I think we’re 50-50 on first down in that game certainly.”
WHAT HE MEANT: The run worked, so we kept running. They didn’t seem to be able to stop it, did they?
On Kelvin Sheppard and Stevan Ridley participating on the final kickoff…
WHAT HE SAID: “Those are guys that have played in it for years. They are as trained as they can be. They said, ‘Hey, listen. I want in on this one. This may be the last play of the game. I want in.’”
WHAT HE MEANT: Because fuck Ole Miss, that’s why.
On what the ‘Boot’ trophy means to him…
WHAT HE SAID: “I can tell you that since I’ve been here, the Arkansas-LSU game has been tremendously contested. Every game has always come down to the back end. Every game has had big plays, and I can’t imagine it will be any different (this year). I promise you when it comes to the challenge of keeping that trophy, that’s something that we want to have happen. I can also tell you that the ‘Boot’ kind of reminds me of the shape of our state. I can tell you that a boot is also a piece of clothing worn on the foot. The key is to not be given the boot.”
WHAT HE MEANT: This stupid trophy could not mean less to me. So instead, I’m not going to ramble on about boots for 30 seconds and hope you don’t ask a follow up question.
On RB Michael Ford‘s performance…
WHAT HE SAID: “Again, as you would review our quarterback, our guys are improving, and Michael Ford certainly is as well. He’s much more comfortable in the offense. He’s much more comfortable with the checks. We put him in every situation. He’s much improved, and he’s taking coaching. Again, when I tell you that this team is filled with a group of men that have character, want, ambition and commitment to team. It really is a special group. It’s a lot of fun to work with guys that are saying, ‘Take me where I can’t take myself. I need to know. Give me the information.’ Then, they want to play it big on Saturdays. I’m fortunate that way.”
WHAT HE MEANT: Patience, people. He’s gonna be a great one.
On if he has noticed any change in QB Jordan Jefferson‘s demeanor or body language…
WHAT HE SAID: “I’m not necessarily following demeanor and body language. I can tell you at practice he has continued to want to improve. There is an understanding that he’s got to get this, and he understands that. He’s maybe a little bit more selfish with the reps, making sure that the reps that he takes and when he steps onto the field with that practice rep or that game rep, that he fully understands what’s coming. I just think he’s improved and has a desire to get it right and be excellent, not just be the guy but be an excellent quarterback. I just think there is a fine line between executing and just being somewhat less, and I just think he has stepped up and continues to call himself to a higher level.”
WHAT HE MEANT: Jefferswag.