With all the March Madness going on I have not lost sight of spring football and what’s going on inside the SEC. The one team that might be an interesting study is LSU. I think so many people will discount their BCS title hopes because of their losses on defense, but to me they are a lot like Georgia. They have recruited well and guys will need to step up. The offense has a chance to be real good. I know they didn’t put up numbers like the Dogs last season but if what I'm hearing is accurate the Tiger faithful may have some offense to cheer about.
The revolving door at offensive coordinator may finally be done with the hiring of Cam Cameron. The word on the street is that in the past Les Miles (former offensive lineman in his playing days) often 'meddled' with the offense. There is a big difference between implementing your philosophy and meddling with it. The problems seem to especially arise on game day. From what I was told by a close friend of Miles and the program; is that he is paying (big money) Cameron to “run" the offense. That does not mean Miles won’t sit in a staff meeting and say "add this" or "do that", but it does mean that he will trust his OC on game day.
Just look at what Cam Cameron has to work with on offense.
- He has a pro style/big arm quarterback in Zach Mettenberger. Zach got better as the season went along and I'm sure a more balanced attack that features early down passing will help him. He finished with 4 consecutive 200 yards plus passing games in the regular season.
- Jarvis Landry (23 catches his last 4 games) is having a great spring and team him up with Odell Becham Jr. and it gives the Tigers one of the beat receiving duos in the league. Two young guys are emerging in sophomore Terrence Magee who also runs the ball and freshman Travin Doral.
- Jeremy Hill (7 touchdowns in last 5 games) emerged as the go to back which still puts the tigers as one of the deepest rotations in the league. Kenny Hilliard backs him up, but is essentially a starter. The wild card is the talented but often injured Alfred Blue. He has all the ability and is the Tigers best home run threat. He should be working into contact soon.
- The offensive line features seven of the top ten on the final two deep from 2012. It also has rising star La'el Collins. He has a chance to be a star at the Left tackle position after playing guard last season.
This and that...
Steve Spurrier sounded off at pro day about ESPN's coverage of the other USC Pro Day (CSS was in Columbia) and this irritation actually started the first day of practice. ESPN asked for and was granted access to the first practice as well as an exclusive one on one with Jadevon Clowney. However after interviewing Clowney the cameras and reporter left, leaving Spurrier wondering where they were when practice started. I know he's my coach and has a big ego, but he wants his program to get recognition and feels slighted (i.e. the comment about consecutive 11 win seasons).
I'm hearing the Florida Gators who have been a predominantly four down defensive team could be playing more three down this fall. I believe Dante Fowler has “Jarvis Jones “potential at the outside linebacker spot. The Gators may have gone two for two on Juco defensive tackles with Darious Cummings and Damien Jacobs. Both have been impressive so far in spring with Jacobs playing a lot last season. Combine that with the depth and talent in the secondary and look for the Gators to be even more of a threat on defense in 2013.
Auburn practice is underway and Gus Malzahn must feel like he's retraining the wheel. Tempo and speed will be the key to Tiger practices. The quarterback battle will be wide open, but expect Malzahn to coach them hard. It has to be wide open because there are only two scholarship guys on campus. He is not going to throw praise around unless it’s well deserved. The skill positions have some numbers issues especially for the spread offense. I’m sure Malzahn can’t believe how low the numbers got in just one year.