LSU preparing to build off 2011 success with new quarterback
The longest day in the history of SEC Media Days is over and with it came the return of one of the legends of SEC Media Days in recent years, Les Miles. The LSU head coach has become known for making hilarious statements to the media, and this year he seemed to be a bit more subdued than usual.
Miles took turns in the radio/internet room and in the main media room and, for the most part, he did not provide too many confusing and hilarious moments for members of the media. However, Miles was very serious and excited about the upcoming season.
The Tigers enter the 2012 season following a 21-0 loss to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game. Miles will have to replace a number of key players on offense and a few notable players on defense.
One of the most notable positions that LSU will have be breaking in a new player is at the quarterback position. Last season, the Tigers used Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. Jefferson is the only quarterback that played on January 9, and following the game, LSU fans were left wondering what might have happened if Jarrett Lee had been given a shot.
Jefferson and Lee’s replacement is quarterback Zach Mettenberger. The junior quarterback will be the starting quarterback for the Tigers for the first time in his career. His style is quite different than what LSU has become accustomed to over the past few years. Mettenberger has a lethal arm and make most throws on the field.
“Being the starter is something I’ve been looking forward to all my life,” Mettenberger said on Wednesday. “I’m just trying to give it my all every day.”
Mettenberger has had a good bit of downtime since the Tigers’ loss in the national championship game, and he has used that time to take steps in the proper direction as a quarterback and as a leader of the offense.
“My biggest job has just been to develop as a leader every day. We lost leaders, and I’m just trying to develop my skills by meeting with Coach Miles and improving on my leadership,” he said. “As far as workouts, it’s just about getting that timing down with the receivers and tight ends.”
His hard work has paid off as he seems to have won the confidence of his head coach.
“Offensively, I think Zach Mettenberger is going to give us a really nice quarterback. The key to him is to take it a day at a time and not put the cart in front of the horse,” head coach Les Miles said on Wednesday.
Miles spent a good portion of his opening statement discussing the improvements the Tigers have made this offseason. He noted that the team’s weight is down and their strength is up. Perhaps the most important thing of all, though, were his comments on Mettenberger’s strides as a leader.
“The things that he’s done in leadership, the approach he’s taken with this team has been very obvious,” Miles stated. “I think that if he stays that way, as long as he improves, we’ll like his play.”
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