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Miles Names A Strong Safety Starter


In a classic example of burying the lede, The Advocate reviewed Les Miles' radio show and after several pages of the usual "we're working hard" stuff, there was some actual news:

Miles said senior Danny McCray could be the starter at strong safety against Washington. McCray has played mostly nickel back in his previous seasons at LSU.

McCray, like just about every returning member of the defense not named Jones, Alem, or Peterson, has come under some, shall was say, intense scrutiny.  It's kind of a bizarre exercise to single out one or two players for the blame of last year's abomination of a defense, but that's what fans do. 

A quick perusal of the LSU message boards reveals that McCray and Eugene are probably neck and neck for Most Blamed LSU Defensive Player (Jarrett Lee is a runaway winner on offense).  I'm not going to argue that either of those defensive backs had a good year because they clearly didn't, but I'm still loathe to blame any one player for last season.  It was a collective effort.

Loston is already earning absurd raves and, well, I'll let Dandy Don take it in his review of the radio show:

Dustin wanted to know when the earliest LSU fans could expect to see Craig Loston on the playing field. Miles said that Loston has great talent and would likely play against Washington with less than two weeks of practice.

Loston must be awesome.  Absolutely awesome.  Do you know how absurdly gifted a player must be to come in as a freshman and earn playing time after only two weeks of practice?  If Loston can push for playing time after being here for a week, he will probably be in the mix for a starting job by midseason.  I'm not prone to optimistic predictions for freshmen, but I'm absolutely floored by this.  And I still am curious where Ron Brooks and Karnell Hatcher, two pretty talented sophomores, are going to play. 

Safety might be transforming from a team weakness to a strength before our very eyes (that Chad Jones guy has of course locked down the free safety slot).  There's just tons of underclassmen fighting for time, which is probably why McCray is getting the start now.  He's about the only senior on the depth chart.  Someone's got to show the young kittens the ropes before he eventually slides back to more of a support role.  Experience matters, but eventually, talent wins out. 

Maybe, just maybe, the Tiger faithful will stop blaming McCray for last year's pass defense.