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And Breathe...

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Let's see if I can sum up this offseason so far...

Chad Jones is in a terrible auto accident. T-Bob Hebert is suspended indefinitely due to getting arrested for a DUI.  Chris Garrett is transferring.  Offensive linemen Stavion Lowe and Cordian Hagans are gone.  WR Jhyryn Taylor and LB Kyle Prater also are transferring.  Thomas Parsons, John Williams, and Clay Spencer all have taken medical hardship.  Dominique Allen also is suspended for violating team rules, though we're not clear on which ones, though I'm guessing it's the one about not eating your way out of the lineup.  Oh, and the spring game sucked.

Am I missing anything?  Hell, the worst news of the offseason might be the Gary Crowton is somehow coming back.  I can't wait for games to start because I don't think I can take more of the parade of bad news.

The crazy thing is, we're still having a better offseason than Georgia.  Please, someone call Joe Alleva a cab. 

I'm at a loss for words right now.  It's pretty much been an unending stream of bad news this offseason, but no truly disastrous news.  It's not like Russell Shepard is the one getting suspended.  Instead, it's been death by a thousand paper cuts. 

So, here's our moment of perspective.  Look at the list of the players who have either left or been suspended at the top of this article.  Yes, I know the list is long.  OK, how many of those guys were going to start this year?  How many were even going to play a significant role?  Yes, depth matters, but most of the guys leaving were having trouble cracking the two-deep depth chart.

Just two weeks ago, most of us were wondering how LSU was going to get 85 and sign a full recruiting class.  Well, LSU is under 85 now and a bumper crop of Louisiana high school talent is about to sign their letters of intent. 

The stream of players leaving the team has made for depressing news, especially since it's come one player at a time and we've had time to obsess over each one, but this LSU team is not weaker than the one we envisioned in January.  At the end of the day, only two of the moves will have any impact on players who were likely to play meaningful minutes in 2010: the two suspensions, Hebert and Allen.

Honestly, Miles had to suspend Hebert.  DUI's are serious business and I'm glad we don't have a coach who just shrugs off that sort of behavior and makes the guy run some stadium steps.  All this really does is end the Lonergan-Hebert debate.  Who should be our starting center?  Well, Patrick Lonergan has won that argument.  Case closed.  But is anyone not comfortable with Lonergan starting? 

Allen is a stickier wicket.  This guy was essentially handed the starting fullback job last season, and he managed to screw it up by showing up to campus overweight.  Apparently, he has ballooned up to 270 pounds.  Now, I admit that a slimmed down and motivated Allen is probably the best fullback on the roster, but that's not the Dominique Allen we were going to get.  If he's not motivated enough to stay in shape, I'd rather play one of the freshmen studs, Kellen Theriot, or even the walk-on practice quad all-star, James Stampley.  Just get someone who give us effort.

There's no way to spin the recent news as good, but it's also not as bad as it seems.  It's just that there's no games going on to distract us.  The roster turnover has been essentially happening on the margins.  There might be a bigger impact down the road, especially at quarterback, but the impact on 2010 should be minor. 

If you were optimistic about this season, this offseason shouldn't dampen your spirits.  The news seems worse than it is only because there's nothing else to talk about.  Step back from the ledge.