With the LSU quarterback battle being contested behind closed doors, and the signal callers almost always being kept from the media, many have turned to the next hot-button issue surrounding the Tigers in 2015.
The pass rush.
A season ago, even with two veteran ends (Danielle Hunter and Jermauria Rasco) and a tenured defensive line coach (Brick Haley), LSU struggled to put opposing quarterbacks on the ground. The Bayou Bengals as a team managed just 19 sacks, trending downward in that department for the third straight campaign.
"That sometimes can be attributed to what you're seeing. When it's snap, catch and throw, it's hard to get a sack," first-year defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said Sunday at LSU Media Day. "And there's a lot of that in this league now. So you've got to be fair in judging what you're talking about.
"Sacks are very valuable even in the National Football League, but affecting quarterbacks is even bigger than that. You may not get him on the ground, but if you affect him - get it out of his hand quick, give him something he's not used to seeing, change his vision, bat the ball - those things are just as important. Numbers can be skewed sometimes when you're just talking sacks."
Steele has a valid point, but it doesn't mask the fact LSU must improve at getting behind the line of scrimmage and putting heat on passers.
Les Miles, entering his 11th season leading the program, knows as much. It's a big part of the reason he brought in Ed Orgeron to coach the defensive front and selected Steele as the replacement for John Chavis.
The hope is new blood will lead to different results.
"I think the awareness of our defense of that specific [improving the pass rush] is very acute," explained Miles Sunday. "I think our guys want in that backfield. There's an immediate pass rush that's taken place. It was addressed early in practice and it continues to be a point of emphasis.
"Yeah, I think they'll be in that backfield a little bit more regularly and have a couple of different ways to get there."
In saying that, The Hat echoed one of his sentiments from SEC Media Days in Hoover last month, namely that LSU will continue to use defensive backs in its pass rush from nickel and dime roles and possibly even as outside linebacker types in certain sub-packages.
"I know this: this is a fast group of guys, a very fast group of guys," Steele continued. "They're extremely competitive. You've just got to open the door to the cage. They'll go hunt.
"You don't have to get them all riled up and tell them some story. All you have to do is snap it and they'll go play. They play with great effort in everything they do and they're physical. When you've got that in this league, you've got a chance."
And so Steele has reassurance LSU will return to its QB-seeking ways from earlier this decade, not only because players like Dwayne Thomas, Jalen Mills and Jamal Adams can assist from the secondary, but due to the quality of defensive ends emerging in Fall Camp.
LSU is expected to start juniors Tashawn Bower and Lewis Neal. Nipping at their heels, though, are fast-learning, physical freshmen Arden Key and Isaiah Washington.
Key, a four-star signee from Georgia, even spent time with the starters when Bower was out last week with heat fatigue. According to Miles, that wasn't a novelty and the Tigers won't hesitate to turn to the newcomer from Atlanta this fall (or to Washington, from Edna Karr in New Orleans, for that matter).
"I think that those young guys will always factor in because of the talent and ability," Miles said. "Quick-twitch ability, long arms, good pass-rushers. I think both guys will stay in a close-to-the-field position (no matter who else is healthy)."
Spirits are always high this time of year and belief runs rampant.
In the case of LSU's pass rush, there may be just cause for higher expectations with a blend of fresh talent and renewed intensity, most of which is derived from Orgeron. Of course sometimes blind ambition can be rewarded, too.
When asked his goals for this season, Key told TSD on Sunday: "Beat the SEC sack record, which is 11. Produce on the field, win the SEC Championship, the National Championship, and that's about it."
If Key gets even half way to that sack haul, LSU's chances of doing some of those other items on the freshman's check list rise significantly.