Miles: 'There was some real emotion'

After a tumultuous week off the field, LSU coach Les Miles and his team take first steps toward moving forward and getting focused as the 2011 season arrives on the horizon.

Some leftover notes and quotes from LSU coach Les Miles' press conference Friday, a few hours after starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson and reserve linebacker Josh Jones were arrested and subsequently suspended indefinitely.

• With the legal wheels taking an abrupt turn with the arrests, you might think the last thing on the Tigers' players' minds was a football practice.

But practice they did and Miles said he liked what he saw.

"I went to practice (Friday) and there was some real emotion on that field, but they all – we had a great practice," he said. "They really put it behind them and focused for the 2 hours-plus that we practiced. I was proud of them (Friday) because they were sick … and they played hard."

While the case involving Jefferson and Johns is far from over – the bar fight investigation could still involve other Tigers players as the investigation continues – Friday's juncture at least allowed the LSU coach and his team a chance to move forward.

"We all kind of understand our marching orders," Miles said. "I think our team understands that there's not much that they can do specifically to help either Josh or Jordan. It's all about preparing to play."

• Under scrutiny last week because Jefferson and Johns (and two other players implicated) had not been immediately suspended once they were implicated for their involvement by the Baton Rouge Police Department, Miles was asked why he made the quick decision to do so after the arrests.

"The specifics about not knowing the crime and the disposition of that crime and the fact that they broke curfew (are) all within the rights and reason for suspension," he said.

"I seem to be getting a good view of what's happened. I don't have it all."

• From all indications, Jefferson spent his offseason working toward a solid senior season, both physically and as a leader.

Now whatever good will Jefferson built up with his offseason of work has crumbled.

"He was certainly a guy who put himself in the best position to compete – most knowledgeable and really showed and unfortunate in this incident in many ways, had really shown team leadership skills he hadn't shown to this point," Miles said.

"I'm sure it's devastating to him and his family. In the same point, it'd be my guess that they're going to recoil and stand tall and participate in their defense."

• With Jefferson in his fourth season at LSU, the question was also posed Friday if the former Destrehan star could redshirt this fall and come back for a fifth season.

"I've not crossed that bridge just yet, but that's a very interesting piece," Miles said.

• Miles's seven-year tenure has not included an inordinate number of off-field incidents, but the latest one has undoubtedly thrust LSU into an unwelcome spotlight.

He was asked Friday if he would reassess his disciplinary methods and Miles' response was quick and decisive. After a tough week – perhaps his toughest as a head coach – Miles even conjured up some humor.

"Absolutely, I promise you I will," he said of examining his disciplinary standards. "The night before I break camp, I'll have armed guards around the facility and anybody that's found outside will be tasered."

LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva admitted that last week, which also included junior Russell Shepard being suspended indefinitely in relation to violating NCAA protocol, has been tough. But he said he doesn't seem a long-term trend.

"Sure, whenever you have a police incident and you have football player or any student-athlete charged it's concerning; it affects your image," Alleva said. "But you have to look at the overall picture, and the last six years Les has been the head coach, we've had relatively few incidents. This is an anomaly. We'll deal with it and move forward. For the most part we've got good kids on our team. Obviously in the short term we'll take a hit, but I think in the long term we'll recover from it."

• Miles also pointed out that the LSU players are regularly reminded about how their actions and behavior reflect on them, the football program and the university.

He said there are educational meetings during pre-season camp when players hear from officials outside of the university and football coaching staff – this year including an area District Attorney.

"We had a lengthy discussion of how you should act and what goes on and what it's like at night in the season at a bar and the responsibilities of an athlete and certainly the responsibility to represent an institution," Miles said.

"You go through it and you do it painstakingly and you do it repeatedly … And then, now, it can involve you like that (snaps fingers)."

Jefferson and Johns and several other players found out as much on Aug. 19, and now Miles hopes their teammates take a lesson from what they have and will continue to endure while their legal battles play out.

"This lesson, though painful as it is, will be one that this team will understand much more fully and much more clearly than any possible pre-season lecture which they got from the coach or the DA or for that matter the Dean of Students," Miles said.

"We give educational opportunities in fall camp that involve student code of conduct and what we expect them. But you know what? Sometimes you have the experience to have the lesson learned."

What's next for Jefferson, Johns?
VIDEO: Miles talks arrests, new starting QB
Jarrett Lee: 5th-year senior back for one more dance
Click here to check out for all your LSU sports news

Get inside coverage of your favorite team. Click here now to get started.

Tiger Blitz Top Stories