Late last week, Les Miles kicked the hornet's nest when he appeared on a Houston radio show and took an apparent shot at Ed Orgeron for asking for patience from LSU fans. Here were Miles's exact words:
“I guess what I’m saying is that I never accepted the feeling of ‘Hey, we need to have patience.’ When you say that you need to have patience, aren’t you really just saying to your team that you’re not good enough? Because I want you to know something…I never took the field with the Tigers where I didn’t think that I was absolutely going to kick somebody’s tail, and that we were the best team. Period.”
“It took me time during the week to get myself in a position where I was like, ‘Yeah. Okay. We got ’em. We got the plan. The plan is in. We’re ready to play.’ Now that took some time, but I never asked to ‘give me break here.'”
Miles hopped on the ESPN Radio affiliate in Baton Rouge Monday and was given the floor to clarify his apparent criticism of his successor and instead, in that Les Miles way of his, left the waters muddier than they were before.
Here's the relevant transcript:
ESPN guest host - Doucet: "You got a little fiery on a few subjects, I think you referenced patience when it came to coaching the current LSU team, certain people needing a safety net, so I'm just going to dive right into this because this is what people want me to bring up first with you. Can you just kind of serve it up for us and--"
Miles: "Well, here's the whole thing. You want your team to be confident. You want your team to step onto the field with the idea that they're going to kick the living hell out of whoever they play, and you do that by saying, 'The opponent's in trouble. This is our base. This is all about us. This is not about them.' You look towards those strengths that you have and you promote those, and when you walk onto the field you know that you're going to kick the living hell out of somebody.
"Don't get me wrong, I don't know who the person is that spoke in a way that said that the Tigers need patience. I've got to tell you, I think the Tigers really are going to be a capable and quality football team, and I think they'll look forward to getting onto the field, period.
Doucet: "Were you making a direct reference to a quote?"
Miles: "I don't know... Just heard it around the barbershop a little bit, 'Give them a little patience.' Holy whey-oo. Let's win the first one and see if we can get the second one. If you get a chance to win the third one -- oh my goodness, we're on a run. I think that patience is... I never responded to patience very well."
Does Les come out and say "Yes, I was ripping Ed Orgeron because I think he was wrong to say that" here? No, he does not. But here's something else he doesn't say: "I know some people took my comments to be a criticism of Coach O and I want to clarify that isn't what I meant."
Instead, Miles claims he wasn't sure of the true source because he heard the chatter at the barbershop.
And to reiterate one more time: the source of Orgeron's plea for patience was limited to... the spring game.
“We don’t have the whole offense in. This thing is going to go throughout the summer, throughout camp,” Orgeron said. “We want to look good next Saturday. I want the quarterbacks to look good. We want to throw the ball. Want all that to happen. I believe some of that is going to happen, but we’re not there yet. I ask the fans to be patient. We’re not where we need to be, but we’re going to get there.”