Not only was LSU Tigers backup quarterback Jarrett Lee befuddled by the team's play calling against the Alabama Crimson Tide, so was the man responsible for carrying out the doomed array of FCS-inspired option runs. Jordan Jefferson has plenty of thoughts on what the Bengals could've done differently with the national title on the line -- none of which includes sending in Lee, of course. It's starting to become clear we're gonna talk about LSU's offense in that game all the way until Nov. 3, when the Tide come to Baton Rouge.
Could you ever have envisioned the national championship game playing out like that?:
"I definitely didn't expect for it to play like that. Alabama was a little bit more prepared than us. There was a lot of things that we should've did different to catch a rhythm on offense. To win a type of game like that, you've got to win all three phases - offense, defense and special teams -and we just didn't get over that hump to winning those phases. We kind of fell short in that game."
What did they do differently after you had success against them during the regular season?:
"It's being better prepared and having the right calls for certain situations. At times we put ourselves in the hole as far as putting ourselves in second- and third-and-long. Being in that type of third-and-long situation against an Alabama team and a defense like that, you're going to fall short every time."
Do you second guess yourself on doing things differently?:
"I think we should've spread them out a little bit more, put the ball in different passing areas, use our talent on the receiving side. We had that in as far as play-calling, we just didn't get to it. It's a learning situation for us, a learning situation for the LSU football team and I definitely expect to see us back in the championship next year."
Is that something you realize during the game but you can't really do anything because you're not calling the plays?:
"Yeah it definitely always comes to mind and it comes to mind to our receivers and tight ends. We have great guys in those areas and sometimes we just wonder why we don't use those guys. But we're not the one calling the plays. We still have to go out and execute what the coaches and coordinators are calling. We can't complain as players, but sometimes we do question that."
Could you change those plays and audible on the field?:
"Only in certain plays and certain formations, not all the time. ... If it was any way where I can change it, I probably would've changed some of them."
Did you ever question the coaching staff as to why you guys weren't trying something different because what you were doing wasn't working?:
"Yeah, when we came in at halftime we discussed what we needed to do different as far as moving the ball and getting in a rhythm. ... You have to have certain plays for these certain types of defenses they were running. We talked about making the adjustment and the adjustment that we made wasn't the adjustment that we needed to make to get the momentum and the rhythm going."
What things are you working on as you transition toward the NFL?:
"Just being more consistent with my footwork and my fundamentals as a passer. That's really the main things I'm working on. I have a great arm and great footwork, I'm just making sure that it all stays consistent throughout any situation in the game."
Do you look at Cam Newton and see what he ran in college and the success he had as an NFL rookie?:
"I definitely feel the same way. A lot of people out there don't think I can throw the ball. In many instances throughout my career, I definitely proved that, especially playing Alabama all those years and playing Arkansas when they was No. 3 at home, I threw the ball 29 times for 250 yards. I've proved that a lot of times throughout my career, but the system that I'm in kind of keeps me away from throwing the ball like that consistently. I came from a Pro Style offense in high school where we threw the ball very often. Coming to LSU, they noticed my athletic ability so me running the ball was always an option in the offense. Now that I'm in an NFL system to where I'm throwing the ball a lot, I'll definitely be improving my throwing ability."
Part of the scouting process will be having to answer questions about some things off the field. How tough will that be for you?:
"It's not difficult at all because there's a lot of answers for a lot of questions that people don't know. There's a lot toward that situation and plenty of answers I can give you to show that I was not involved in that situation. That situation was a whole scam for this guy. He was trying to get money, trying to do whatever he can to sabotage what I had going on."
For more on the Tigers, visit LSU blog And the Valley Shook.