LSU went through more than just a coaching change in the offseason. The Tigers also went through a personality change.
Former coach Nick Saban was a no-nonsense defensive guy who led LSU to a national championship in 2003 and left for the NFL's Miami Dolphins after the 2004 season. New coach Les Miles came from Oklahoma State with a different approach.
That was obvious on the first day of spring practice when Miles stepped into the huddle and called a play.
"He was calling the play like a quarterback," receiver Craig Davis said. "And everybody was looking at each other like, 'Man.' It was unusual. But from that point on, we really understood how important he was to the offense."
Miles brings more than an offensive background to the Tigers.
"He fits in perfectly. I don't think there's a guy out there that could have been a better fit for this team other than Les Miles," Davis told the Baton Rouge Advocate. "(Miles) is great. He's a players' coach. He's a little bit more talkative with his players. He wants to talk to you."
Whether all that translates into an SEC West championship remains to be seen, but the Tigers do return 17 starters and several key backups from a 9-3 team.
Between the strength and experience up front on both sides of the ball and so much talent at the skill positions, the Tigers appear to be the best bet to win the SEC West if they can just make the adjustment to a new coaching staff, especially on defense.
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