Now that we’ve discussed concerns for 2017, what excites you about the upcoming season?
Youth. Some of LSU's unknowns are also some of the most exciting parts of this season.
Who fills out the back seven? How do we reshuffle the offensive line? Will we get to see the young quarterbacks in action? Who steps up at receiver? There's talent galore and we are mostly cycling in new names this year with Adams, Fournette, White, Pocic, Godchaux, Dupre, Harris and more exiting the program.
It's also the dawn of the new era of LSU football. This is truly Orgeron's program now, so what it looks like in his image should be interesting to see unfold.
It's a new beginning in general. I'm not sure that people truly grasp that.
The successes and the failures are going to be different, and I think we as fans need to be prepared to kind of reset how we think about success and failure for LSU. That isn't to say that things are definitely going to be better or definitely going to be worse, but they are going to look, feel and be different.
It's my hope — and this is almost certainly naive, but whatever — that with the Les Miles Era over, we can, as fans, move away from the ridiculous mindset that hovered over the program during his tenure. The constant arguments and bickering and making every single little thing a referendum on the coach and the future. But something tells me that won't happen.
Also, to Dan's point, I think the knowledge that we are watching a younger team with new and different stars developing has its own excitement. With a pretty tough schedule, I don't think anybody is expecting a championship, so in that regard, the pressure is off a little bit. But we got tastes of some exciting guys last year like Devin White, D.J. Chark, Rashard Lawrence etc... and now we really get to see what they can do.
I would say that I'm happy about a new beginning and moving on, but I'm pretty sure we're going to spend the next few years still fighting about the meaning of Les Miles, because we like to beat our horses until they are dead, dammit. The most active topic on any LSU message board is still arguing about Les, so let's not celebrate new beginnings just yet.
What I am excited about is a shiny, new offense. It's no secret LSU's offense has been rather troubled the last half decade, maybe longer. So LSU went out and hired one of the most respected offensive minds in the country in Matt Canada. No pressure, Matt, but we're counting on you to bring LSU's offense into the modern era, and to do it quickly. There were some inkling under O last year that he wanted to open things up, but he couldn't install a radically different offense in the middle of the year. Now, he's had all offseason with a new coach in charge. We've got a veteran quarterback and one of the best offensive players in the country... let's see what this baby can do.
LSU has not lacked for talent on the offensive side of the ball for the past ten years, it's just that aside from one glorious year, we've never seen it opened up. Well, it's time to open up. I'm excited to see what Canada can do with this talent.
I'm ready to see Guice as a The Guy, wire to wire in Canada's offense. We know he's good but now we really get to see how good he can be as the biggest horse in the stable instead of "Leonard Fournette's backup". And then you have Matt Canada calling plays around him? It has the capacity to blow up into something special.
But also it's more of an "enjoy it while it happens" thing because after this year Guice is off to be ruined by the NFL.
Put me down for wanting to see is just how well our new-and-improved offense holds up as well. There's a lot to look forward to here — potentially the best quarterback LSU has seen in roughly four years, the possibility of a passing game that can match the run and a totally revamped coaching staff.
While not the flashiest guy around, Danny Etling has the experience under his belt as a fifth-year senior. He was a major part of the initial turnaround on offense last year, and I only see that upward progress continuing into this year. Good quarterback play, a promising wide receiver corps and an established offensive coordinator like Matt Canada also opens up the possibility of a killer passing game. If all goes as well as it can, it may even be strong enough to match the the run game LSU has been known for.
As I've mentioned before, Ed Orgeron is an offensive-minded head coach. For a team who has been so unfocused on offense for so many years, this could be a game-changer. We'll see if he can prove that he is, in fact, the real deal this season. So there's a lot of room for the offense to be great at this point, despite the amount of question marks it presents.
I'll echo some others and say I'm just excited to see what this new era of LSU football brings. We'll probably never stop debating the end of the Les Miles Era, because LSU fans are LSU fans and the Internet is the Internet. But LSU is gonna play different, win different, and ultimately lose different. And there's some excitement in that.
For specifics, I'm excited to see how Matt Canada uses his receivers and backs in unconventional sets and formations, such as jet sweeps and end arounds and all sorts of different stuff. LSU has got athletes, so go out and give them the ball and let them do things. Canada's offense is certainly geared towards that. And I'll probably need a new pair of pants after the first lineman touchdown we get.