If nice guys finish last, LSU is in big trouble this season. Former LSU coach Nick Saban didn't worry much about being a nice guy and he won a national championship before leaving for the NFL's Miami Dolphins.
Then again, new coach Les Miles' personality and philosophy did help rebuild Oklahoma State into a consistent winner, so Miles might be just what the Tigers need after five seasons under Saban.
"It's more of a positive atmosphere. A lot of 'Good jobs' and stuff like that," senior linebacker Cameron Vaughn said. "You can tell the difference between coach Miles and coach Saban. He's a lot calmer. He's a lot more approachable."
While Saban was a screamer and a biting critic a times, Miles is more of a talker and encourager. Then again, while Saban preferred teaching techniques and avoided a lot of hitting and tackling at practice, Miles is a proponent of plenty of full-contact work at practice.
"I think that obviously worked for him," Miles said. "I can tell you that we tackled live in two, five-minute segments every week (during fall at Oklahoma State). The philosophy we had, and it will probably be one that I'll look to continue, is of defining who we are. And when we put the ball down, we're going to freakin' play and I don't give a (expletive deleted) if it's Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday or Friday or Saturday.
"It doesn't make any stinking difference. It's time to play football, and that philosophy is a personal one that the players have to adopt and will with my encouragement so that they'll be pretty aggressive about their abilities."
The Tigers still have a lot to learn about Miles, but for now they seem pretty pleased with the coaching change.
"Coach Miles is more of a friendlier guy," junior tailback Alley Broussard said. "He comes up and talks to you to your face, explains to you what you did wrong. So I think everybody likes practice a little better, not worrying about somebody screaming at you."
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