The scariest prospect for LSU’s season

After a really unpleasant 2008 season, Les Miles set about casting the demons of last year away. Using his superb H.R. skills, he made his idiotic decision to not have a defensive coordinator fade away by finding his minions other jobs and bringing John Chavis in from Tennessee. And he embraced the political reality that Jarrett Lee could not continue as quarterback in the face of his love of throwing the ball to the other team and the unfortunate result of many touchdowns given away.

Quarterback play last year was a no-win situation for Miles. I think he managed it pretty poorly, having this guy as the season starter:

Hatch should have been on the bench and Lee and Jordan Jefferson sharing early snaps to help develop both. But the Hatch / Lee rotation was chosen and then Lee was given the full-time gig with no consideration for Jefferson’s playing time after Hatch broke one of his lady parts.

Then Lee collapsed and was yanked for Jefferson, who became the clear choice for QB this season by virtue of being the guy on the field for LSU’s dismantling of an over-rated Ga. Tech team in the Chicken-Biscuit Bowl. Never mind that he was also the guy on the field for LSU’s loss to Arkansas and split time with Lee in LSU’s loss to Ole Miss – Lee is damaged goods and Jefferson is the future, at least until Russell Shepard is ready.

Right?

Check out this note from The Advocate’s (the Baton Rouge daily, not the national gay newspaper) Tiger Tracks blog:

Of the four scholarship quarterbacks, Jarrett Lee is throwing the ball much better than anyone else. His passes are crisper, more on-target and he carries himself with more general confidence than the other three. Jordan Jefferson has struggled at times, in particular with short out patterns.

At Wednesday’s morning practice, Jefferson misfired several throws in a row and offensive coordinator Gary Crowton draped an arm around his shoulder and gave him a quick pep talk.

Uh oh.

So suppose that observation is accurate and persists through fall camp. If Jarrett Lee emerges as clearly the most capable quarterback, does he get the start against Washington? In most cases it’s an easy choice – the best guy gets the job. But it’s not unreasonable to say Leslie’s seat is the SEC’s warmest, and while Miles has this silly reputation for ballsy decisions, this one would be supremely gutsy to make.

It’s not a choice I’d want to be faced with in Miles’ shoes. Lee is the Suspicious Package of quarterbacks – likely benign, but nobody wants to be the guy not treating him like a bomb, just in case. So the likely result is calling in the SWAT team, cordoning off the package and rendering it harmless with a water cannon, even if it’s just somebody’s lunch.

LSU fans want no part of Lee. They want to see Jefferson and they want to see Russell Shepard get some snaps. If Jefferson fails, I don’t think there will be many calls for the return of Lee. Give Shepard the ball; put Chris Garrett in – whatever. But if Lee is the best guy we have, I want him in the game.

We won’t know, of course, what Miles and Gary Crowton’s honest assessments of the quarterbacks are – unless it’s Lee we see on the field in Seattle.

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2 Responses to “The scariest prospect for LSU’s season”

  1. [...] The scariest awaiting for LSU’s season Share and Enjoy: [...]

  2. HRH says:

    Here we go again. Certainly should make the next couple of weeks interesting as the UW game approaches. Welcome back, Wisdom.

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