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Story Archives: Miles hard to figure
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|Miles hard to figure|
I say Liverpool, you say the Beatles.
I say Fenway Park, you say the Red Sox.
I say Graceland, you say Elvis.
I say Les Miles, I hear all kinds of things.
What do I say?
I'm right down the middle on it.
I've written columns talking about what a great recruiter Les Miles is and how his players seem to love playing for him. I'm thinking now Russell Shepard is no longer part of that equation.
I've written columns questioning his decision-making and lack of putting action behind his words.
Bottom line, Les Miles is not going anywhere unless it's Michigan or the NFL by his own doing.
And that's another good thing - loyalty. I don't think you can put appreciate enough the fact he turned down his alma mater to stay at LSU.
He's not going anywhere and he's not changing.
That may be the bad part.
Les Miles is one stubborn son of a gun.
He's not going to make change, especially when it involves a coach or favorite player — and more especially when fans and media are clamoring like crazy for it.
But it's time.
There are many great offensive minds out there, especially great young offensive minds looking for their chance.
They are not currently at LSU.
Nick Saban has no trouble finding them.
I hate to keep bringing Saban up, but let's face it, Nick Saban is to Les Miles what Bear Bryant was to Charlie McClendon.
But unlike Cholly Mac and the Bear, Miles can compete with Saban.
And that's through his strength — recruiting.
He can't compete with lackluster play-calling, strange decision-making and poor clock management.
We've seen it all.
Miles has his serious detractors out there. But I truly believe the overwhelming majority of Tiger fans want him to be successful.
His quirkiness can be fun at times, he loves LSU and he's genuine.
But his decision-making cost LSU two games this past season - two big games.
Obviously there are physical changes needed - such as Zach Metternberger making quicker decisions and working on not overthrowing wide open receivers on long passes.
And I don't know what the deal is on keeping players like Shepard on the bench, but there seems to be too much wasted talent of late.
There seemed to be more mental mistakes this past season than I have seen in most seasons.
Those are correctable.
So is the offensive play-calling. But it's going to take making some changes in-house. And it's going to take confidence in that person and being willing to take your finger off the control button just a bit.
Otherwise, Miles' future teams may not be part of the big dance when the playoffs begin. At least that will leave him plenty more time to recruit. And right now that's one of the ways he is fielding a contender.
|Frank Morris Murder Series|