#1 vs #2
TRANSCRIPT OF LSU COACH LES MILES WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE
open week kind of hit us just right. I felt like the team needed a
little bit of a break and they got fresh. They did a bit of work on
rehabilitation, weight strength development and certainly had some very
fundamental practices. I think the coaches needed a nice weekend. I
watched football all weekend minus a soccer game, and here is how it
went. Friday night I went to high school football. I watched three
prospects: Kragthorpe, Cooper and Miles. It was the University High
Cubs game, I hope this is not an NCAA violation, but I noticed
Kragthorpe to Miles and I feel that this is a good tendency. On
Saturday morning I watched Ben my 13 year old, a dominant youth
football player by all accounts. The U High Cubs and Ben's team are
undefeated. Saturday morning before I saw Ben play, I saw Macy who is
taking place in soccer and is part of an undefeated soccer team. I like
the position of my family as I do my team."
"Again the feel that
this team has, they have the right mental and physical approach to big
game. They are looking forward to working hard and preparing. We take
some advantages into the game. We recognize that we are playing a real
quality opponent. Our defense will be challenged against a potent
running and passing attack. Trent Richardson and AJ McCarron are very
efficient and dominant players. Their defense is statistically as good
as there is. We like the matchup. We think this will be a great
challenge to our guys and a game of note. Any time you get into a game
that is a big game, the piece that you want to do is to allow your guys
to focus and prepare. That can be a distraction from within or a
distraction from the perimeter. It is my job to eliminate any of that.
I would like to minimize the media requirement on my players. I will
understand the responsibility on me in that way. I want our guys to
continue doing what they have been doing. I want them going out to
practice wide-eyed, playing hard, having fun and playing as well as
they are capable of. I think that is enough."
On interviews Miles gave as a player...
one wanted to interview me when I was playing. Are you kidding me? Did
you check my career? I traveled and played. They didn't need to talk to
me. I wasn't nearly articulate as Russell Shepard or nearly as a
capable of T-Bob Hebert. I was a team guy that wanted to contribute.
They didn't really ask me my opinion. I would've given it to them."
On both LSU and Alabama running conventional offenses...
you have advantages of personnel those are the things you try to do.
There is not necessarily a necessity to outman your opponent. You can
play. It allows you a comfort of play call and fundamental that allows
you to execute extremely well. That is probably the similarities
between the two teams."
On the psyche going into big games...
I've been here and not necessarily through my doing has enjoyed all the
glare of the lights of the big stage and the opportunity to play for a
very significant victory. The thing that I do and the way I look at
this thing, once I have prepared the team and I feel like I have done a
quality job, I want them to play with a freedom. Read their keys and do
the things they are supposed to do. At that point in time when we play,
go make that play. For me, I have great anxiety and worry all the time
until about 10 minutes before the game. At 10 minutes before the game,
I feel like I have said the things I needed to say. I talk to the
quarterback, the safety or the guy that I feel might need my piece of
information. Than it is time to play. I enjoy that feel if you will."
On managing the two quarterbacks...
don't know if it is my management skill in any way. I think it has to
do with guys that recognize that they are part of a whole and realize
that their contribution is significant. Whoever is on the field roots
for the one taking the snaps and whoever is off the field is involved
as that guy who is taking the snaps. I think it is the character of the
kids and the young men that I am fortunate to coach and represent that
has allowed that to happen."
On the game itself...
wonderful it is in college football that you have two quality teams
that represent two great institutions that will take their best effort
to the field to decide something that is difficult, clean and pure as a
contest. How wonderful it is for the region to be able to look and
enjoy the time of celebration of hard work and team values. The school
wins, the team wins and the state wins. It is a beautiful time. I am
very fortunate to have such a great institution to represent and I look
forward to a great afternoon and great evening in college football."
On Jordan Jefferson's success against Alabama last season...
have a different starting quarterback and the things he will do will
focus on other aspects. Jefferson will play a key role in Saturday's
contest. How much he will play I am not certain. I can tell you the
things that he does and that he does well will be oiled up and he will
be ready to play."
On if players will be withheld...
will be no players withheld from this game. They will be allowed to
come to the field and play when capable. There is no one on this team
that is suspended"
On the two quarterback system from 2007...
can tell you that you need two quarterbacks. The idea that you go
through a season without injury to one guy, you're going to have the
need for the second quarterback to lead the offense and be capable.
We're fortunate to have two very quality quarterbacks that way. The
2007 team was that exact example. Matt Flynn got hurt before the Middle
Tennessee game and we brought in Ryan Perrilloux and we won. Flynn was
injured again going into the Tennessee-LSU SEC Final. Perrilloux again
stepped in and earned significant victory for us in the SEC
Championship game. I think you have to have that. You need two guys
that are ready to tee it up and play."
On the role conditioning and depth will factor...
not going to change anything at this point certainly. We think that
rotating guys gives us some freshness. We're fortunate to have some
depth at a number of spots on the offense and defense. We will continue
to do that. Our opponent is also very deep and talented there as well."
On comparing Tuscaloosa's tornado to Louisiana after Katrina...
don't think there is any question that there is an attachment to a
community where a team gives that community a distraction or a pleasant
turn if you will from the rebuild and the heartache that can be a
current situation based on a storm, and certainly the terrible twister
that hit Alabama is that situation. It is a lot like Katrina that hit
Louisiana. I did not understand it until I went through it. I realized
how many people went out of their way to say, 'great year coach and we
really needed that.' When we ended up in New Orleans that year, for us
to be the first team to play back in New Orleans in that game, to
represent Louisiana our home state and the largest town in our state,
was absolutely wonderful. I have great memories from that. I am certain
this Alabama team is enjoying representing their state and college
football in a like and similar fashion."
On the similarities in the talent of both teams and the need for a trick plays...
can tell you that the play that you run 50 times that you prepare 50
times and know all of the adjustments and are most capable, that is the
play you win with. No matter what you institute as the wrinkle, you get
to call that once. So you're not going to call that one again. It is
over. So what are you going to call because you didn't win the game
there? Those teams that prepare that next call efficiently, effectively
and well, those are the teams that can play in the fourth quarter."
On being too jacked up for the game...
always worry about things until I get to the game. I want our guys to
play with emotion and passion. Frankly, I don't know how high too
jacked up is. I'm not seeing it. I'm not seeing a time where our guys
have been unable to play a thinking man's game because of excitement."
On the loser of this game participating in the National Championship game...
me answer it this way. I think that this conference, if you are the
champion of his conference, you should be able to stand at a position
logistically to argue that you deserve to play for the national
championship. The responsibility is for every other team and every
other conference to produce their champion. In some way the guy that
finishes in a position left of the championship in the SEC, if he can
demonstrate statistically by what kind of team he has, I am for the
SEC. I look forward to playing in it all."
On benefit of the experience in LSU's quarterbacks...
game that you line up you look at what you think are your strengths as
a team. I think certainly we have spots where we can lean on to have
success. I think that is the game plan and how you call plays. It is
specific to your guys. The experience at quarterback will give us
certain advantages in running our offense and doing the things we want
to do. You only get to play one quarterback at a time. If you can come
up with that formation where you can play two, I might consider it."
On the team running out of the tunnel and coach having fun...
happened first at Oregon in Dallas. I had not run into it before. The
Dallas Cowboy's Stadium tunnel goes down and then comes up. It looked
like I was holding them back and down. They moved in a way that was
unchoreographed and it just happened. I don't know if I ever ran into a
team that came out of the tunnel quite like this. There are times as
the coach that you enjoy the enthusiasm of your team. If you can't
recognize youth, happiness and the want to play and if that doesn't
make you smile, for me that is not right. We get up early as coaches
and go in early and work until late. At some point in time it is time
to play. Playing denotes something that you need to do and at some
point it needs to be fun."
On AJ McCarron...
quality decisions, is very confident with his throws and is protected
pretty well. That being said, I think he is really doing the things
that their coaches are asking him to do."
On Trent Richardson...
is not only fast, but strong and experienced. He has lined up against
great teams and is in a position where he is ready to compete. I saw
the move he did against Ole Miss. That would have thrown my hip out its
On the production of the linebacker core...
our linebackers coming of age and playing better. The good news is that
we have number of guys that are ready to take the field and give us
reps. They have to play well in this game. This is a game where our
linebacker core is going to have to step in there, plug some gaps and
be good tacklers. The good thing is that we can get some of our
secondary into there as well. I think our team and the linebackers have
improved as the season has continued."
On the high turnover margin...
think it is a mark of a quality defense. When the ball is in the air
the opportunity to get their hands on it is certainly something our
guys look forward to. We pressure the passer well and we're very sticky
against the run so that we get into a position where they have a
difficult time running for yards. The contact that takes place when our
defense is on the field is very sincere and requires a ball carrier to
hold onto the ball. That piece is the characteristic of a great
defense. Offensively, we work on ball security very extensively on a
daily basis and is something that will not go by in any practice or any
game day for that matter. That has been a strong characteristic of this
On the strength of the special teams...
"Any time you
have the opportunity to punt the ball like we have and then cover it
and turn the field, playing field position with a strong punter is an
advantage. When we kicked off the ball against Auburn, there was a real
want to cover those kicks that I don't know if I have seen repeated as
often as that group of men did in that game. I felt like they are
impressing their will on their opponent. The speed in which they cover
the ball is exactly what we are looking for."
On communication with Nick Saban...
have to be very honest with you. I have great respect for a very strong
and capable coach at Alabama in Nick Saban. You watch how he prepares
his team and how you play, and if you don't admire how that happens,
you don't care much about football. It is a wonderful opportunity to
have the chance to compete against the best."
On playing within the teams' self...
don't think coaching normally or playing normally is what we are going
to do. I think we will line up in normal formations, but I think we
will play our technique better than we have played it. We will coach
our guys with greater skill to teach. The points that we will make will
be more pointed to game plan more than ever. This is not necessarily
the normal week."
On the speed of the defense...
"That is why
you play the game. There is a great deal of speed and want in our
defense in all 11 guys. I think the advantage at times is the ability
to maneuver into the spot to make the tackle. There are some advantages
to strength and quickness, not necessarily size."
On a possible Twitter outbreak...
Twitter account that I have had for 10 years hasn't really changed a
lot. I think these games are played in between the white lines. It is
overly important not to spoil an opportunity. Our guys have been guided
along those lines as we approach this game. To be honest I told them
that we needed no Twitter personalities in this game. We want to as a
team honor this opponent and play with our very best effort."
On the prowess of both defenses...
like the defenses in this game. I feel that both are quality, well
coached and well prepared. They both have guys that can tackle. I think
there have been some teams that have lined up with quality defenses as
well, but I think these defenses may match the best that I have seen."
October 31, 2011
RUNNING BACK MICHAEL FORD
On the Alabama game ...
definitely going to be a challenge. They're very powerful. Their
defensive line players are very big. We really haven't faced that many
teams with big linebackers like that all across the board."
WIDE RECEIVER RUEBEN RANDLE
On preparations for the game against Alabama ...
staying focused on keeping the ball and not turning it over. We have to
protect the ball, go out there, follow the game plan and do the things
we've continued to do in the past week. I think Coach (Steve)
Kragthorpe did a great job with helping us not turn the ball over.
Coach (Steve) Kragthorpe is doing a great job letting us go out there
and make plays this year. I really appreciate the opportunity I'm
given, I'm just taking full advantage."
On the offense ...
have a great running game with Spencer (Ware), (Alfred) Blue, Michael
Ford and Kenny (Hilliard) stepping in last week and doing a great job
for us. You have to respect the run, so whenever you do that and bring
those safeties down, it brings a lot of man-to-man coverage down there.
They play a lot of zone, so we have to do a great job of working the
safeties and the corners."
On game mentality ...
"I think the
mentality Coach (Miles) has is to not let us get over-confident, but to
just go in and stay focused. It's a big game, so we're going to have
butterflies. Once the ball starts rolling and we get comfortable,
everything will be fine. We have to do a great job using our speed to
get by those guys and make plays. We want to come out with a victory,
but we can't let it override procedure. We have football to play, so I
just have to continue to do my job and get better each and every week."
SAFETY ERIC REID
On his game performance ...
I play on special teams I have to make sure that I break down and don't
get beat with speed. On the field it's the same thing. I make sure I
read my keys and keep the ball from them."
On preparations for the game against Alabama ...
last couple of days our coaches have been really focusing on our
technique and our position on the field. We just have to make sure we
play smart and don't let the little things beat us. Their running backs
are going to try to catch us off guard and throw it over our heads."