Archive for January, 2012

Dear Les Miles

To start, I realize that you probably will not read this nor do you care about a fans opinion. I also realize that even if you did care, you make enough money to laugh in my face anyway.The Beginning
You don’t know this, but we have had a pretty rocky relationship the last several years. When I heard you were coming to town I thought, “Who? Surely after a national championship and a great coach like Saban, we would get someone with a name I recognized.” Well, I trust Skip Bertman, so I trusted you. I watched your first game and I remember thinking you just looked out of place.

First Fruits
You handled Hurricane Katrina nicely and earned some points. Three eleven win seasons in a row, “hmmm… maybe Les is more.” The third season even ended with a national title, but it was the “damn strong” press conference that first began to woo me. We had a coach we loved that didn’t love us back, but when you (apparently) turned down your dream job and, more importantly, kept your word to us, you gained some major ground with me. I defended you against the “Saban’s recruits” talk.

Mulligan – Enter Lee
2008 was not very pretty, yet even in the middle of turmoil you managed to gain some more change in those pockets with me. Impressed with removing Perrilloux, I began to realize we had a real man of character on our side. Even with all the pick sixes, Lee became an instant favorite of mine. The fact he kept throwing interceptions told me his attitude was, “I’m going to make this work!” He was just premature and naive. He didn’t have the tools yet to make it happen.

Downturn – Enter Jefferson
The Peach Bowl was a good sign. I was getting on the JJ train. However, I remember thinking even then that I hoped Lee had a chance at some point to redeem himself. He was thrown into an impossible situation. Suddenly JJ wasn’t looking so great. This was a great opportunity to see if Lee had grown, but he saw limited action.
I checked several times to see if this domain was available during the 2009 season and almost bought it. My questions and suspicions turned to outrage. I went back and forth trying to hold on to something. I tried blaming Crowton, then Jefferson.

Ole Miss
I was truly confused after the Ole Miss time debacle. Was Jefferson incompetent? Did you give Crowton too much control? Were you really signaling to clock it? Yes. Please don’t insult me with an explanation. I have seen the video several times and it is very clear what you are motioning. You had built up enough credit that I gave you the benefit of the doubt. Besides, at this point I hated Nick Saban and to admit you were in fact incompetent would mean that my old girlfriend is a lot hotter than my new one. By the end of the season, all was lost. I could only hope that Michigan would come calling.

Signs of Life
I tried not to care. Apathy just wasn’t allowed. 2010 brought new hope, but I was very cautious. Lee had some successful outings and even won a couple of games for us. This would probably had been enough for me if Jefferson were to out play Jarrett for the job. He contributed and redeemed himself. Now he could transfer with his dignity intact. I also noticed how my favorite all-time tiger, Kelvin Sheppard, would talk about you. I realized then that these guys not only played for LSU, but they played for Les Miles. Your number one quality is that they love playing for you. They love going into battle with you. They love that you believe in them.

A Special Year
This year has been unique in many ways. Most importantly, you became my coach. You handled situation after situation with grace and wisdom. You solidified the fact that you are a man of great character. When people were still laughing, I was smiling, proud that you were still here. Again, you spurned Michigan and that told me you were here to stay. I expected the trend from last year to continue. Lee would get his reps at times. Then, with Jordan in trouble, Lee gets his chance at real redemption. Finally, after saying the right things and doing the right things, he had earned a great opportunity. He could have left but stayed. He could have regressed but he prepared.

Lee’s Redemption
I realize that JJ would have been the starter in the first place. And, I realize that those two throws in Tuscaloosa were pretty bad. I’ll even admit that every time he pulled back to throw (all season) I still cringed a little and held my breath until it fell into the right hands. But I was a believer in General Lee. If ever someone deserved a chance, got a chance and knocked that chance out of the park, it was Jarrett Lee.

The Last Five Games
I understand that Jefferson earned back his starting role. I wasn’t convinced at first, but then I was won over. I was confused as to why Lee didn’t get more reps the first couple games, because he still needed to stay fresh and he needed to build some confidence back. I was suspicious, but you were my coach so I didn’t question. Then comes Arkansas. I could not enjoy the end of the game because I was so upset. You had never played style points before. This was a perfect opportunity to get Lee some time if even just to have him ready in case of injury. Or, at the very least  let him throw it around his last time to play in Tiger Stadium. Georgia was even worse because it was apparent that we desperately needed him. Oh, yeah. You were right. We didn’t need him after all. Sorry, I should have never questioned you. Letting him kneel at the end just floored me. You took advantage of a man that gave you everything he had and never complained.

January 9, 2012
All things must end at some point. All the credibility. All the respect earned. All the chances given have run out. You owe Jarrett Lee, above all, a very public apology. You owe everyone that went to bat for you and called you a players coach, an apology.

Three Reasons You Should Have Played Jarrett Lee

  1. A chance to win. I get it. JJ was the best choice for a good rush. You needed mobility. Please review the game film, because obviously you did not see that Jefferson was ineffective. At some point, instead of planning for what to do when a play breaks down, you should plan on a plan not breaking down.
  2. Strategy. Changing up the QB looks have been effective. Why not do what works? Besides, when things aren’t going well, change it up and see what happens.
  3. He deserved better. I really can not imagine what it would be like to be him right now. If anyone is deserving it is Jarrett Lee.

Without playing Lee you failed 3-fold, coaching from fear, bad planning, and betrayal.