LSU Spring Football Preview!


If you are like me you constantly have questions running through your mind. Some make since like the questions those actors ask the IPHONE in that Apple commercial, but most of the time I have questions that I am to embarrassed to ask out loud. Here’s an example: earlier this week, the question running though my mind was whether or not deaf horses wear hearing aids (now you can understand my bashfulness for thinking out loud).

Stay with me for a moment and let’s work this out. I googled the topic, but the only thing I could find was a half designed web site about the deaf horse association (DHA). The only thing you could do on the site was sign up for the newsletter, which I declined to do. So my mind continued to wonder, who cares if they can or can’t hear. Do they need to? I mean horses aren’t the most audible animal out there. Could they even wear hearing aids? Is there a way to gauge just how deaf the horse is? Would they make that annoying high pitch frequency, thus causing the horse from becoming alienated from the rest of the horses? My personal belief is the device would be too large and would have to be made to some kind of military standards. In short, the horses would destroy them. The cost of replacement and maintenance would be too great to worry about.

The other questions clouding my mind right now has to do with the 2012 LSU football team (that is what we call in the industry a transition). Following a difficult end to last season, and a less than stellar recruiting class; I have been counting the days until spring ball began and the hope of a new season. I have a few questions heading into spring, and none of them are as strange as the one I discussed in the opening (I think). Starting on Friday, that day has come and we are less than a month until the spring football game and hopefully some answers. Let’s get to it.

Can we retire the number 9?

Without going into all the details of anger than number has caused me the last four years, can LSU just eliminate that number from ever being worn on the football team? LSU already retired the numbers 20 (Billy Cannon) and 37 (Tommy Casanova). Both of those number will never be worn due to the overall success and engraved images in our minds those players had while at LSU. Is it possible retire a number because of the negative images, like a “in memory of” retirement? Currently defensive lineman Ego Ferguson dons the number on the field, which is not a good number for a lineman to wear anyway. Anytime I see that number, like most Tiger fans, I will always remember not only the nightmare that was January 9, 2012, but also memories of the “Jefferson face.”

Who will replace the production from Rueben Randle?

Ten years from now no one will remember the season that Randle had last season. He had 53 catches for 917 yards and scored eight touchdowns. Not exactly matching the Josh Reed season from 2001, but just as impressive when you take into account the offensive game plan, and the talent at quarterback. Randle was double-teamed or bracketed for most of the games, but was still able to put together a great season even with a offense that rarely passed the ball.

The early clubhouse leader has to be Odell Beckham Jr. Some have nicknamed him OBJ, others seem to like ODB Jr. I’ll stick with Beckham for now. He was the second leading receiver last year with 41 catches for 475 yards and scored twice. He did all of this as a true freshman, so we would expect him to continue to improve, right? The only problem I might see with this is if Beckham become the number one guy, so he will be facing the opponent’s best defensive back. Can he continue to put up numbers similar to his freshman season or better.

After Beckham the receiving production dropped off greatly. Four other wide-outs recorded receptions last year. Russell Shepard finished the season with 14. Kadrone Boone finished with seven. James Wright finished with five and Jarvis Landry had four. I would have to assume that Shepard is going to play a similar role as last year and is more of a threat catching the ball near the line of scrimmage, as opposed to being a deep threat. So the other three will be competing with Beckham for that top spot. Remember the name Jarrett Fobbs. He had a nice spring game last year. Fobbs didn’t see any playing time last year, but has the look of a dangerous deep play threat for who ever is playing quarterback for the Tigers.

If none of these guys can separate themselves, we will have to wait until fall camp to see if the Tigers strong trio of freshman wide-outs can step up (Avery Johnson, Travin Dural and Kavahra Holmes)

Will the Tigers stick with one quarterback offense?

Here is a quick breakdown of how Les Miles has used his quarterback during his tenure at LSU:

2005 and 2006- Jamarcus Russell (except for the 2005 SEC championship game)

2007- Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux

2008- Andrew Hatch, Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson

2009- Jordan Jefferson

2010 and 2011- Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson

What does this teach us? Unless Les Miles has a once a generation quarterback, don’t be surprised if he sneaks in some plays for a mobile quarterback. I know, based on the previous sentence I am saying Miles believed Jordan Jefferson was a once a generation quarterback. In Mile’s defense, is now reporting that because of Jefferson’s impressive NFL combine, Jefferson is now projected to be a fifth round selection. Remember Tom Brady was drafted in the sixth round. Coincidence, I think not.

With all the hype surrounding Zach Mettenberger, it seems crazy to thing he would not get majority of the snaps…but isn’t that Mile’s M.O. Don’t be surprised if during the spring game Jerrard Randall is running the option and giving Mett a breather. I don’t like the sound of that because of the reports that Randall throws the ball with the accuracy of Tim Tebow right handed throws, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

Will Brad Wing still be motivated?

Let’s face it, Wing had a season that has that gave street cred to all punters. He kick the ball with the accuracy of a PGA pro’s short game. Not only could he pin teams deep in their own territory, but he would let you know about it afterwards.

With the success that Wing had as a freshman, I am a little worried that he might turn into the Sebastian Janikowski of punters. It wouldn’t surprise me at all is Wing shows up to Fridays practice 50 pounds overweight, full beard that is on full display due to him removing the facemask from his helmet and a sixer of Milwaukee’s Beast fastened around his belt.

There are other questions that I have such as: how will new defensive back’s coach Corey Raymond use the talent he has in the back field or will the linebackers be more athletic than last years bunch? I don’t believe the month of practice will give us any clear answers to these questions and we will have to wait until August before we can make any predictions. Also looming is will the offensive philosophy be any different this year than last? Again because this is only practices and a glorified scrimmages, Miles is going to be extremely conservative with the play-calling and wouldn’t tip his way to small cap.

Even with my mind full of these questions, I am just excited because we can talk about some football for the next month. The spring game on march 31 can’t get here fast enough. In the meantime, can someone answer my question about deaf horses…?