LSU coach Les Miles opened his campaign for re-election in Birmingham on Saturday, or at least it felt like the opening stop of a campaign tour. Skipping all pleasantries, Miles dove right into a detailed description of how happy his kids, his wife, and third-person Les Miles are in their current situation in Baton Rouge.
The summer went well. The coach enjoyed following his kids’ youth sports, and camp season just underway and got concluded. Had two boys in that that had some great experiences. I don’t know if I can go by the fact that my family’s prospering in Baton Rouge….. I’m in Baton Rouge’s debt. The family is growing well. I am enjoying how they’re maturing. I can tell you, it’s wonderful to represent LSU.
Miles then launched into a detailed defense of his immigration policies, his opinions on activist judges, and the need to curb spending. Or clock management and the use of Russell Shepherd. Or something like that. Really, it needed a backdrop not covered with the SEC logo, but with “MILES: JOBS, PROSPERITY, AND SECURITY,” so completely stumpworthy was his speech.
Of all the coaches’ presentations during the three days of Media Days, the two most off-key—or at least dramatically different—presentations came from Steve Spurrier and Les Miles. Both swagger-heavy coaches came to the podium in startlingly different postures from their usual confident strut. Spurrier sounded like a man realizing his window for success was closing; Miles, in contrast, sounded like a man who understands his job is on the line this year.
He did not sound like a man who wanted to lose that job. He “likes this team.” He thinks they’re faster off the edge than they’ve been in a long time. Miles believes Jordan Jefferson has a deeper understanding of the offense and will be allowed more control than he had last year. The LSU coach said defenses will be called on the field now that everyone understands John Chavis’ defense. In short, this sounds from Miles’ comment like a team that should be far more coordinated on the field. Everything is under control. Do not panic. Do not adjust the horizontal or the vertical, because Les Miles is under control.
The emphasis on stumping for his own command peaked when i asked him about clock management, the most embarrassing and public of LSU’s public meltdowns last year.
We went through some of the situations we went through last fall. That did not go beyond my scrutiny. I scrutinized the coaching – me and others. I can promise you that those situations, some of those situations I’d never run into in coaching. Some of those situations I was, even though prepared for, had not envisioned the time constraints. So what we’ve done is we’ve added that to our game week preparation…
We just feel like the teaching of the situation and the understanding of the situation is more important. If you looked back over the time here, the number of games that we’ve won in two-minute situations, we need to re-up the understanding of what must happen in some of those clock management situations, both as players and coaches.
It’s not just lip service. You know, we’ve changed.
That capper is PR 101 right there, and a far cry from the man with the “damn strong football team” that strutted to a BCS title in 2007. It’s re-election time in Louisiana, and Miles is down in the polls. Ironically, elections happen in November, just when LSU swings through their final gauntlet of Alabama, Ole Miss, and Arkansas. So much depends on those games in winning over the hearts and minds of Louisiana State fans deciding whether or not to re-elect their behatted football Governor.