This is how Les Miles began his time at the podium at SEC media days late Wednesday afternoon: "The summer's over. We had a number of fast pitch softball games, youth baseball games, went to the Olympic trials and watched tremendous swimming excellence, got to catch the back end of South Carolina and Arizona and now Media Days."
Dear U.S. Olympic Committee: we suggest you adopt "Tremendous Swimming Excellence" for Team USA's swim motto yesterday. But being Les Miles, he had plenty more to say after that. Like, for instance, on what it was like working with Mike the Tiger, his "tiger son," on this EA Sports video game commercial.
"The lines were narrowed so that I could perform them effectively," he said with a smile. "I really thought that Mike the Tiger stole the show. We didn't get along on the set. He was kind of working the camera. It was really a difficult time."
More from Miles:
On Tyrann Mathieu's recent Twitter activity (also written about by Dennis Dodd): "I didn't get the Twitter rant exactly. I do recognize that there's some verbal squabble, if you will, at times. The only thing I can tell you is that our guys are certainly proud of their team and how they'll want to compete. I think he probably represented that.
"I can tell you that no game is won in a Twitter page. It's a nice, pleasant pastime, very much like Media Days. But it's all about what you earn in the fall. I think certainly not only Tyrann, but those people that he was communicating with, they understand that, as well."
On explaining what happened in the BCS national championship: "What happened was we played our 14th game and we didn't play as well as we did in our first 13. I'm sure [the fans] watched the snaps like I did. It was the same team certainly. I think we played a very quality opponent. I think we played one more game than the rest of college football. We were the conference champions.
"I think we recognized the things that we didn't get accomplished in that game and I think we look forward to taking the field again. I answer it this way: it's about us. There's some things that we can do better."
On renewing LSU's rivalry with Texas A&M and the Aggies' addition to the SEC: "I think the Aggies bring a very, very capable team, very lucrative recruiting area. They bring the experience of a real quality conference. I think they'll step in and be able to compete on a very even basis very quickly.
"I think we look forward to them. I think it really makes the conference stronger. I think it's a greater national appeal. Our viewing audience goes now to Texas. It's the great Midwest in St.Louis. I think the addition of really both teams is really good for the conference."
On whether Zach Mettenberger could have played in the national title game: "Coming off of the national championship game, I would like to have given a lot of thought to things in that game. (smiles)
"But we were really getting him ready to play. I think the other two quarterbacks at that point in time were a little bit more advanced. I think late in the year, you know, he had an opportunity to take a couple of strides and got a hand injury that really kind of slowed his development. "Maybe he could have taken some snaps in that national championship game should he have not gotten hurt, you know, earlier in that bowl practice."
On how the offense might change with Mettenberger under center: "I like to throw the football. I am a balanced guy. I want to have the ability to throw the ball deep, throw the ball efficiently. So that being said, I think we were about 60 percent in our passing efficiency a year ago. I think both quarterbacks that started were around 60 percent. If we can do that and throw the ball down the field a little bit more, continue to have balance in the running game ... the only real difference in our offense is there won't be as many quarterback carries.
"The reality is he throws the ball extremely well. He makes all the throws. So, you know, we're going to take advantage of some of those secondaries that want to come up and crowd the front and really try to stop the run. We suspect we'll see some more pass coverage and then have an opportunity to run it a little bit more ...
"The good news is he's not a young quarterback. He's had time. He's had a full junior college slate, been with us for a year in transition. Now it looks to me that he's kind of ready to go to the field. He's not that freshman, that sophomore that really doesn't understand the game. He has that ... As long as he doesn't require and put too much pressure on him, he's gonna be fine."
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