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|Jefferson topic of discussions|
Less than 100 days away before LSU takes the field against Oregon led by senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson, and Tiger fans can't help but ask if he can lead LSU to a national championship.
This is a question that leaves everyone scratching their head. Even the experts on ESPN can't help but laugh and try to come up with a reasonable answer. I know what you're thinking, and yes I think the same thing, too, not another article about Jefferson. I hate to say it but Jefferson is the key to the Tigers success this season, so I'm sure you'll see many articles about him.
The hype couldn't be any bigger for the Tigers this season as they are loaded across the board with talent. The Tigers only have one question, and it's a season-determining factor. It really is a buzz-killer when you stop to think about the talent this team has and the championships this team can bring in, only to be reminded that Jefferson is still the starting quarterback.
At times Jefferson looks like the playmaker that Tiger fans all want him to be, and at other times he makes fans miss the likes of Marcus Randall and Josh Booty. It's definitely something I thought I would never say.
Jefferson holds on to the ball too long, he locks down one receiver and won't look at his second option unless he gets ample amount of time. He's really only accurate when he throws the post route or fly route and his football I.Q. isn't the highest. Am I telling you anything new?
Being a great quarterback isn't always about who has the most talent, but most of the time it's who can manage the game and make critical throws when needed. Just ask Jamarcus Russell, the most talented of former Tiger quarterbacks I've ever seen, and how is his NFL career going?
Let's go back to the Tigers' previous championship seasons. Both were won by a quarterback that managed the game well and made some plays when called upon. Matt Flynn and Matt Mauck definitely aren't the flashiest LSU quarterbacks to ever play, but they were smart and let their playmakers win the game.
Reports all spring have said that Jefferson has improved his accuracy and that new offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe is simplifying the playbook for him.
Jefferson had a chance to prove that the reports were true in the Spring game, but he failed to do so when he completed only 4-of-14 passes with one of those completions being behind Russell Shepard. He also had an interception. I was at that Spring game, and I couldn't help but think that he's just the same ol' inconsistent Jefferson.
With the arrival of JUCO transfer Zach Mettenberger, Tiger fans are going to be very impatient if Jefferson doesn't get the Tigers out of a brutal September unscathed. The Tigers will play Oregon to open up the year, get a break when they play Northwestern the following week, then play Mississippi State in Starkville and finish September playing West Virginia in Morgantown. That's three ranked teams in the first four weeks of the season, so the Tigers can't afford to get off to a sluggish start this season.
An even bigger question I have is if the Tigers go down 21-0 in the first half to Oregon due to some interceptions that Jefferson throws, will Les Miles pull him and play Mettenberger? How long is Miles willing to keep him as the starter, if the ship begins to sink?
Jefferson is without a doubt one of the most, if not the most, criticized quarterbacks in LSU history, and that really has me pulling for the guy. Has anyone ever had this much pressure on their shoulders heading into a season? The expectations for this season is really unfair, given the fact that the Tigers have a brutal non-conference schedule.
I hope Jefferson can somehow have a stellar year and lead the Tigers to another SEC Championship, because quite frankly, I'm tired of writing negatively about the guy.
Jake Martin is a summer intern for the Sentinel. He is sports editor for the Nicholls Worth, student paper for Nicholls State.
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