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Miles On Miss State


Once again, to serve you, the ATVS reader, I try and cut through the BS and translate Les Miles' weekly lunch from Coachspeak to English.

WHAT HE SAID: "Certainly our football team met this morning and reviewed the fact that we've played four games, and we have four victories. That's certainly where we want to be. Certainly we want to improve and play better along the way. I thought that there were some really good things there at the game. First of all, we had a four-hour delay in leaving town, and the weather certainly didn't cooperate to start the game. I felt like our guys did what they had to do to get a victory."

WHAT HE MEANT: "We needed a frickin' goal line stand to beat Moo State.  The only good thing about the trip was the four hour delay because that was four hours I didn't have to spend in Starkville.  The offensive line has been running gassers since we got back home."

WHAT HE SAID: "I think defensively we played a very good game. I still think that there were three plays or so in that game where we can play smarter. We missed a tackle on one that led to a big gain, a broken play and one that should well have been tackled in the backfield that nets out again in another big play and a mistimed interception that personally could've been a big turnaround and gone the other way. Yet, our defense is playing with great effort, and in my opinion, if it continues to play with that style of effort and corrects those mistakes, it can be a very strong defense as we go forward."

WHAT HE MEANT: "The defense played well if you don't count the first three and half quarters."

WHAT HE SAID: "Chad Jones was recognized not only for his play on defense but that great 93-yard punt return as the National Defensive Player of the Week. Certainly he was recognized by his teammates this morning as he was the MVP (of the game)"

WHAT HE MEANT:  Chad saved my job.  Is there a booster here who can buy him a car or something?  CHAD JONES! WOOOOO!!!"

WHAT HE SAID: "We still want to run the football. It's too fundamental to me not to be important, and I want that. I want it for Charles Scott and that offensive line and Keiland Williams, and I want to be able to come off the football. But again, the defense can choose to play everybody inside, and that makes it a much more difficult position to run the football, and I wanted them to throw it. I wanted our guys to throw the football against that gaming front of Mississippi State's."

WHAT HE MEANT: "Wow, does our run game suck or what?  Screw it.  I'm out of ideas.  Let's just throw it to LaFell on every play." 

WHATE HE SAID: "If you look at special teams, the return that Chad Jones puts on is a great decision on a bouncing ball that he picks up and cleaning fields and then returns with great personal effort. We looked at that again several times this morning, and you look at Charles Alexander at about the midfield stripe at about 50 yards, driving a defender away from Chad Jones who's returning the punt. You see Patrick Peterson directing traffic, and it was truly a great effort. There were guys who had great blocks like Brandon Taylor, who really had the first block that sprung the return, and Perry Riley got one on about the midfield stripe. Again, it was a great personal effort by Chad Jones, and certainly it was timely."

WHAT HE MEANT: "See?  See?  Team effort!  I can get these individuals to play as a team.  Stick that in your piehole.  Well, uh... yeah, it still was a pretty great individual effort.  CHAD JONES!  WOOOO!!!!"

WHAT HE SAID: "We had 11 points given to our opponent on special teams miscues, and virtually all three were snaps. What has to happen is we have to execute the snap extremely well, and we cannot go into a big game with the opportunity to make big plays and have something so fundamental to us break down. We feel like we can address that, and it's a very correctable mistake, so if you go forward from there, improve that offensive running game, enjoy the fact that someone puts a lot of guys in the box so we can throw it, take away the special teams miscues and play smarter on defense, that's where we need to be.

WHAT HE MEANT: "We left Alex Russian on the side of the highway in Mississippi."

WHAT HE SAID: "At this point, the focus has to turn to the very next game. We're fortunate to be 4-0; we'd like to be 5-0, and only the next opponent stands between us and that goal. Everybody talks about rankings. Rankings have never made any difference to me and not to our football team. We understand we earn where we finish. The No. 4 ranking is certainly a spot, and that's it. It's close enough to be where you want to be in the end, but there's no position except for the final ballot. When we get to the end of the season, that's where we want to be ranked highly."

WHAT HE MEANT: "Rankings mean everything to me.  Are you kidding?  People in this town flip out even when we're in the top five.  I have "For Sale" signs in my front lawn.  And we're 4-0!  What does it take?  You people are insane.  Seriously.  If I beat Georgia, will you then believe I can coach?  They're the only SEC school I haven't beaten.  Is that what y'all are waiting for?"

WHAT HE SAID: "I think we're developing that position (fullback). It's not come along fast enough necessarily, but I don't know that we can make it come along any faster. I don't know that we've given it enough snaps in games to develop it, and it's not something that we can enforce. It has to come naturally, and I think those guys are doing a good job. Frankly, we're opting for other personnel groups at times over our normal two-back set."

WHAT HE MEANT: "We have no fullback.  Deal."

WHAT HE SAID: "They are the best players, and I can tell you that I'm critical. There are certainly ways that we can improve on the offensive line, but I think their play has probably been with the exception of pass protection in several instances pretty good. When we throw it, we have to throw it efficiently. We have to catch it and move the chains. We have to make big plays, so those teams that choose to load the box and allow us to throw it will have to pay a terrible price. I think Brandon LaFell is in that position. I think Terrance Toliver is in that position just for those days, and we have to continue there. I think that our line is performing. Are they performing at the level they want? No. Are they performing at the level I want? No, but I think that they are giving us an opportunity to win and should continue to develop along those lines."

WHAT HE MEANT: "The offensive line?  What do you want to know about the line?  HEY!  What's that thing over there?! ... How about those receivers?"

WHAT HE SAID: "Jacob Cutrera was nicked, and Baker came in. On his first two plays, you could tell that he just did not exactly feel comfortable with where he was at. On the fourth-down play, he makes an instinctive hit down low, and Chad Jones follows it up. I can only tell you that it was a big play. It was one that he'll remember for a long time."


WHAT HE SAID: "Depending on the down and distance, third and long is where your defense has to get off the field, and you have to have an advantage when you're in third and long. If you're third and five or greater, you'd like 35 to 45 percent to be their offense's success. On third down and short, you'd like it to be 50/50."

WHAT HE MEANT: "Third and Chavis.  I get it.  Shut up.  The Washington game was a month ago. Get a new cliché."

WHAT HE SAID (on running to the short side): "One of the things that their defense did was that they overloaded, in my opinion, and played some of their best personnel to the field, so the opportunity to go and take advantage of some guys that we felt we had some mismatches against were to the boundary. Some of our calls were put just that way."

WHAT HE MEANT: "Whoops.  My bad."

WHAT HE SAID: "Baker would work in. We don't anticipate Cutrera will have an issue with going. We think that he'll be fine. There are a number of guys there like Ace Foyil that will work in there."

WHAT HE MEANT: "Cutrera will be healthy, right?  Right?"

WHAT HE SAID: "They are a very talented team. Their quarterback has stepped in. He has a strong arm. He makes great decisions with the ball. Of course, A.J. Green is making big plays for them on the perimeters, and the tailbacks can all run the football, so I don't know if I'm surprised. They are certainly a very capable offense."

WHAT HE MEANT: "You're asking me if I'm surprised Georgia is good?  Are you an idiot?"