Les Miles, Chavis, and Crowton talk in-depth
LSU head coach Les Miles and both coordinators met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the Tigers. All three coaches went in-depth and offered a ton of insight. It didn't seem at media day that any of the coaches were short for words.
You can read the entire transcript here, but we pulled some of the most interesting quotes:
Quoting Les Miles: “Certainly Jordan Jefferson is our starter but Jarrett Lee is much improved and gives us another really qualified quarterback. It is the first time in my last two years that we have started the season with a quarterback who has started a season. Both Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson have now started a season and come in basically to their second year playing, so that has certainly been excellent for us.”
"Defensively there is so much speed on that side of the ball it is really a lot of fun to watch them run. Patrick Peterson is a dominant player and we are having a difficult time completing balls on that side of the field."
“I think the rule change in the kickoff return game without having a wedge certainly has affected us early. We are having to change our kickoff returns to develop some schemes and to develop who is executing those positions, but I think it is a great rule change. I think our speed on defense and the speed in our freshmen class means that our special teams are going to be very fast and we will have great coverage units.”
"I don't think it's inconceivable that Jarrett Lee would get on the field in a game, in the first game or somewhere down the road. Right now it is not without possibility, but it is not something we are planning on. It would have to be greater execution on Lee's part and maybe if it is a more definitive advantage. I like how he is competing, so at some point in time where it is an advantage to have him in the game we could see that."
"He has really brought a lot of passion and he certainly understands the advantages of his players. He gets the most out of his players, and he is requiring them to be a thinking receiver as well as physical and blocking and catching. His ideas in terms of game plan certainly are fruitful. We are going to use them regularly and routinely, and I think you will find that our receivers will play better because of it."
Quoting defensive coordinator / linebackers coach John Chavis: “My wife and I had a discussion a couple of days ago, and she flew back to Knoxville (Tennessee) on Monday to spend some time with the boys and she said, 'You know what? This is really a neat situation because during two-a-days or during fall camps, you are the most griping and ornery individual I've ever been around.' I didn't know that. I thought I was a nice guy. It makes it good for her to get away. She said, 'I've got an opportunity to get away. You better go do your job and do it well. We'll be back before the first game.' You learn a little bit more about yourself every year that you're in this business.”
"We certainly have talent. We have a lot of work to do, but I like our position right now. I like the conditioning of our team. I like the mentality. A lot of what you get done has to do with attitude, and that's one of the things I learned when I got here - attitude was not lacking here at LSU and in this program. They understand how to train. They understand to work hard. They understand how to prepare, so that's an exciting situation to be in.
Quoting offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Gary Crowton: "It seems like every year we've had a couple new coaches, but I like the staff and I like the chemistry of the room. We have experience in there. Steve Ensminger is an experienced coach. He's been around and we've been in similar places. We've both been at Louisiana Tech. When I was the head coach there he was at Texas A&M and we used to play them every year, so I've been very familiar with him. He's very familiar with Louisiana and the recruiting area. I like what he brings to the room from that standpoint. He's a good guy, fun guy, good to work with, very knowledgeable and voices his opinions. He works well with rest of the staff and gets good conversations started. Frank Wilson is local, being from New Orleans, he's been around this league and he's got some experience on some of the other programs. He knows a lot of the coordinators and some of the players around the league from being at Tennessee and Ole Miss. I think those things right there adds to the room and they're (Ensminger and Wilson) are good people to be around. Both have one focus on football and that is to win, and so that is good along with coach Gonzales who I've already talked about. I like that chemistry. The chemistry is always important for the team and the coaching staff, and right now I feel real good chemistry. It makes me real excited for the season."
Kiffin isn't messing around
Lane Kiffin said he won’t put the Trojans through any 2-a-days.
“It is what it is. We can’t do it. It wouldn't be smart to do it another way,” said Kiffin, alluding to his short numbers.
"I don't think toughness is an issue with this team right now. I think we established that in the spring. We just have to continue to build on that and be really smart at it.”
During today’s post-practice talk, Kiffin noted that 2 freshman players that were late for team activities, ran for 2 straight hours. Said Kiffin, “We wanted to set the tempo on what that means, so they ran for 2 straight hours.”
i.e. Lane isn’t messing around.
Coaches Quick Hits
A few interesting quotes from around the country:
Boise State players react: Since Boise State head coach Chris Petersen banned twitter, his players have reacted by placing a whiteboard in the locker room. Players can write anything on the whiteboard, but it has to be under 140 characters (just like twitter).
Quoting Rich Rodriguez: “We have quite a few guys in very good shape, a handful who are in OK shape and a small handful not ready to play Division I football,”
“Our young guys look like they’ve grown some, gained weight and strength, and some have shaven now for the first time.”
Quoting Kevin Sumlin: (on the first day in full-pads) “Usually the same thing happens every year…Some guys that look good in shorts disappear when we start puting pads on and we’ll never see those guys again, probably until next year.”
“There are some other guys out here that have surfaced that will run around and hit people and those guys will continue to get better. That’s who we’ll play with.”
Quoting Akron head coach Rob Ianello: ''This is the first time in 23 years that I don't have my own position to coach. 'I am coaching the whole team. I will get a young man from Columbus, from Akron and from Staten Island. How do I get them to come together as a team? It's a challenge and it's fun.''
Quoting Dabo Swinney: "It was a better scrimmage than I expected for the first scrimmage. We had a lot of new guys in action in Death Valley for the first time and we did a lot of mix and matching during the scrimmage. We need to perform better in the red-zone on both sides of the ball."
Quoting Mark Dantonio: "Top to bottom, this is probably as talented a team as we've had" in his time as MSU's head coach.”
Jimbo working the Noles today
Florida State will practice again this afternoon.
After the morning session, Jimbo Fisher said, “Guys are ‘pulling the pin,’ learning to compete.”
"Now is the time we've got to grind and keep pushing them because they're getting tired. We're through six practices, going into seven, and that's when it's easy to take the easy way out."
"I do (2-a-days) because I think it's a great mental conditioning deal and it's a great challenge for guys to push themselves. Until you hit the limit you don't know what you're capable of and that's what we're trying to do."
“We’re an athletic football team in my opinion. We can win that yardage battle (special teams) every game.”
You can watch Jimbo's interview here.
The Seminoles will practice again later this afternoon in shells.
Dantonio applauds Spartans' strength coach
It’s that time of year when head coaches offer up kind words about their head strength coach.
We’ve already heard in the last few days from Doc Holliday, David Cutcliffe, Charlie Strong, Dan Mullen, and Pat Fitzgerald. Each head coach complimented their strength & conditioning staffs.
Today, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio singled out his strength coach Ken Mannie.
"He is truly one of the masters of strength and conditioning. I’ve always thought that you hit that 350 mark in bench press, you know that’s quite an accomplishment. We have strength, we have good team speed, we have talent."
Greg Roberts of the Grand Rapids Press wrote today, “Dantonio said 86 players are bench pressing more than 300 pounds, and 57 players are benching between 350 and 470 pounds.”
Mannie has now served as the Michigan State strength coach for 16 consecutive seasons.
Dabo: I relate it to when Peyton Manning left Tennessee
Dabo Swinney talked with Scott Van Pelt on ESPN radio early Monday afternoon.
Swinney compared the loss of C.J. Spiller to the time when Tennessee lost Peyton Manning.
Said Swinney, “I kind of relate it to when Peyton Manning left Tennessee. When he left, that’s all people talked about. All they did was go win the national championship with Tee Martin.”
“Hopefully, everybody will pick up the slack. We’ll be more blue-collar. “
“When I was at Alabama, they want you to win the national championship every year. At Clemson, it’s every other year. I don’t think they think about anything other than winning.”
“The interim thing was a difficult task. I’m thankful for the opportunity. When I was able to put the staff together and build my support staff, I began to think ‘we’re putting this together.’”
With the passing of defensive end DeQuan Bower’s father, Swinney said, “We’re going to take the team down on Friday and see DeQuan.”
Charlie Strong lunch-time presser
Charlie Strong just met with reporters during lunch. Here’s a quick wrap on Strong’s presser:
(on strength coach Pat Moorer) “Best strength coach in the country, without a doubt. He has installed a confidence back in our players. The discipline is unbelievable. The players know there is no issues. When you have a strength coach like that, his whole time is dedicated to the players.”
“I told him (Moorer), ‘How we are as a football team will depend on how are offensive and defensive lines.’”
(on the quarterbacks) “Who can go lead this football team (will be the starter)? It’s critical that we get the leader. I don’t need you to go out and make a bunch of great plays. I just need you to play within the system. We haven’t made that deadline (naming a starting QB), yet.”
“Our seniors need to go play their best football.”
Mike Riley praises Jacquizz, talks TCU
Oregon State head coach Mike Riley had some high praise for running back Jacquizz Roders and defensive lineman Stephen Paea. Riley, also, talked about the season-opener against TCU.
On Monday, Riley made the statement, “They are as good at their positions as any players we’ve ever had. It’s hard to distinguish between players of the caliber of all the backs we’ve had with Yyenson (Bernard), Kenny Simonton, and Steven Jackson. For right now where we are, you’d have to say Quizz is as good as it gets and I don’t know if we’ve ever had a defensive lineman as talented as Stephen.”
(on Jacquizz Rodgers) “He entered in with quite a bit of a claim, the all-time leading touchdown maker in Texas running back history, is a pretty good resume to start with. I don’t think he’s changed at all. He remains one of our very very best workers. Very conscientious about everything he does and probably the best thing is he’s just one of the guys. He’s a good friend, a good teammate to all.”
(on playing TCU in the season-opener in Arlington, TX) “I think it’s one of the great matchups we’ve had in a long time, and we’ve had some good first games through the years (to start the season) with Penn State, LSU, and Louisville. We’ve haven’t always fared well, but the team has always grown from that start. Now, what we want to do, is grow after a win. It’ll be a tough chore. This is a very tough team (TCU) with a very experienced quarterback.”