Every Tiger fan I know has been pretty much holed up in a bunker somewheres since that Doom-In-The-Dome game, and they only come out of said bunker to bitch about this and that.
I’m guilty too. I let Gregg Williams have it, and MacAoidh says I was too hard on him. And that teabaggin’ retard from Alabama gave me about the only joy I’ve gotten this month. Certainly that basketball coach we got who can’t beat Wagner’s meat – or anybody else’s – hasn’t helped.
But I’m pretty happy with tonight’s development, and it appears I’m in a minority. Which I’m cool with – I’m a nutria who writes a blog, after all.
What happened? Jeremy Liggins said he’s comin’ here. Who’s Jeremy Liggins? He’s this kid.
In case you may have noticed, ol’ Jeremy ain’t exactly small.
Unless you consider a kid 6-4 and 291 pounds who plays quarterback small. I’m big for my genus and I’m 3-foot-8 and 27 pounds. I don’t think this cat’s small.
So anyway, the other bunker-dwellers are gripin’ that LSU took this dude. They say he’s too fat to play quarterback. Supposedly, a week and a half ago when he came in for a visit LSU’s strength coach Tommy Moffitt, who’s the Allen West of his profession, jumped all over him when he came in and weighed in at 291. I dunno if Moffitt did the R. Lee Ermey-Private Pyle routine with him, or what, but supposedly he was at least suggestive that 291 is a little on the heavy side to take snaps with Les’ football.
Or maybe not. The bunker-dwellers are gripin’, but Liggins had offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Oregon and maybe some more. Rivals.com, which admittedly has about as much credibility ratin’ football players as Kris Humphries does pickin’ brides, says he’s the 16th-best quarterback in the country and a four-star recruit. Scout.com, which is better but not the end-all, be-all either, has him as the No. 19 quarterback and a three-star recruit. And ESPN, which ought to be a lot better than Rivals and Scout but kinda isn’t, says he’s a four-star recruit and the No. 118 player in the country at any position.
Which means the people who are gettin’ paid to do this stuff generally say this kid ain’t half bad regardless of what he weighs. And they’re right.
From his film, for example, you can tell he’s a hell of a lot better than Jordan Jefferson. And Jefferson, as ugly as he was to watch, won a pretty good number of games for us (OK, we won in spite of him, but what’s the difference?).
Seriously. He’s a lot better.
For one thing, this cat’s motion is kinda three-quarters rather than over the top like it ought to be and he’s makin’ himself 5-11 instead of 6-4 by throwin’ like that. But on the other hand you’ll notice he gets rid of it quick. Flicks his wrist and the ball’s out of there.
We like a quick release around here, even though outside of when Jarrett Lee played we haven’t seen one in forever. We’re used to a guy who thinks he’s Juan Marichal in the pocket. And you see how easy that is on your short passing game; Jefferson was so slow getting the ball out of his hand that by the time it got where it was going the defense was drawing straws to see who’d get to knock the poo out of the receiver first. We didn’t get a lot of yardage after the catch on short passes the last couple years, and that’s with quick kids like Russell Shepard and Odell Beckham Junior at wide receiver.
And the other thing you notice is that Liggins actually knows how to run those spread option plays. As in, he can actually look at the defensive end and keep the ball on that zone read play when he crashes in on the running back or hand it off when he doesn’t. Jefferson? It was six-to-five and pick ’em what he was gonna do on that play, and his decision generally had only a coincidental relationship to what the d-end was up to.
Watch ol’ Jeremy run the option, what’s more, and it looks like what an option is supposed to look like. Except for the 290 pound kid running the ball, that is.
Liggins actually sells a pitch and then turns it up the field. He actually keeps a pitch relationship with the running back. He actually moves the ball forward instead of letting the defense string the play out to the sideline. Jefferson was the worst option quarterback anybody down here in Barataria’s ever seen, which made us all wonder why he got to play so much.
Other than the obvious explanation, that is.
Well, maybe that’s not the reason. We ain’t exactly mid-town Manhattan over here, but we do get some scoop once in a while that we can put a little stock in. And what we kept hearin’ is that Miles was scared to death of what a quarterback controversy where one dude is black and one dude is white and neither one is really good enough to sew up the job can do to a team. Which is exactly what you had after Lee gakked it against Alabama, and Miles figured since Jefferson was the starter before he got in that bar fight before the season, it was better to just let him have the job back.
Keepin’ the peace, so it seems. Which might have worked OK for the team, but it gave us bunker-dwellers the vapors the night of that Doom in the Dome game – and pretty much every night since.
Because ever since then, with the goofy Hoosier mama’s boy who was supposed to come here and play quarterback showing up at Notre Dame instead and the Saints losing and the basketball team stinkin’ up the joint and Landon Collins’ All-In-The-Family episode on ESPN, the bunker-dwellers have a narrative. Which is that Miles won’t let his QB throw the ball, that Miles only wants to run option, that Miles runs off wide receivers and that Miles chews the heads off hamsters. Or somethin’.
But I dunno. I remember Jamarcus before he and the Purple Drank got to be couyons. Seems like Les let it loose a good bit back then – at least until it was 35-3 at the half and it was time to hand the ball off until the defensive front seven passed out. And when Matt Flynn took over for The Surrp Sozzler, we chucked it around pretty good then, too. And won one of those crystal football things.
Hell, I remember when Miles let Jarrett Lee throw it all over the place his freshman year. I also remember Miles almost gettin’ fired when seven of ’em went back the other way for touchdowns, too. I think it was about that point when Miles started becomin’ a cross between Fisher DeBerry and Amos Alonzo Stagg. When your quarterback stinks like goatshit, you tend not to copy Sean Payton’s playbook. And yeah, Miles is the guy responsible for the smell, but that’s different. That would be what you call an accurate gripe as opposed to a Dumbass Gripe.
Only Dumbass Gripes are allowed in the bunkers. Maybe I’m gonna have to come outta mine.
‘Cause I’m good with gettin’ this guy, I’m cool with lettin’ him play quarterback and I’m fine with the idea Miles and his staff can slim him down and make him a pretty good passing quarterback after Mettenjesus is done killin’ it for the next two years.
And if not, so be it. We almost won a national title with Jefferson doin’ whatever that was he did; maybe we can win one with this kid draggin’ linebackers into the end zone.
We can call it the Fatcat Formation. Not fast enough for Wildcat, but who cares?
After all, life is good for the fatcats – the lefties tell me they steal all your money, they live high on the hog, they get all the bling they want and they get to celebrate at the end.
That ain’t so bad. It might even be worth comin’ out of a bunker for a while to see.
UPDATE: This kid committed to LSU in a barroom full of Ole Miss fans in Oxford, Mississippi where he’s from.
So if nothing else you sure can see he wants to be here. Those Ole Miss people probably aren’t gonna be too nice to him.