TIGER RAG Q&A: Les Miles

Editor's Note: During the interview the Golden Band from Tigerland was rehearsing their routine in the stands of Tiger Stadium. It provided a fitting background music for an interview with head coach Les Miles following the closed scrimmage on August 20. Tiger Rag staff writer Brent Golleher had a chance to weigh in.

Q:  You might as well play huh? You're here and the band is here.

MILES: When they come walking down that hill and you hear them, man it is exciting.

 

Q:  How many plays today?

MILES: 32 live first team snaps, 26 live second team snaps, probably in excess or right at 110, with special teams etc.

 

Q:  How did they look in general?

MILES: Well, I think we are a ways away from being a good football team, a little sloppy. But the things we have are : we are in pretty good shape,

appear to be a pretty physical football team. Those things are still there. We need two weeks of good one-a-days to round it into shape.

 

Q:  The offensive line is very talented and when you are practicing like this, is it possible to develop cohesion?

 

MILES: We missed Rudy Niswanger today and we probably won't miss him in Tuesday's scrimmage. But it was good to get Ryan Miller the work he got. He basically worked with first team the entire day and did a pretty good job. The cohesion is still an issue but it is not one when a guy like Miller steps in and does a good job as he did.

 

Q:  Are you guys are scrimmaging Tuesday?

MILES: Yeah, it is the last major one.

 

Q:  Did everyone come out of this one healthy?

MILES: Yeah, there was a couple of nicks but nothing major.

 

Q:  Did all the quarterbacks work with the ones?

MILES: Two quarterbacks worked with the ones and the third quarterback worked really well with the twos and threes.

 

Q:  How tough is it to be a football coach these days in terms of trying to keep information within the team and not the Internet and so forth?

MILES: Well, you certainly don't want to show your main, raw talent that you have and you want to keep it under wraps for some amount of time but eventually every one finds out and you just have to show up for game day.

 

Q:  Given the quarterback issue, you are not in a rush to name a starter at other positions after today?

MILES: I think there is some real good competition going on. Beyond Tuesday, we will know a little bit more. And then a couple practices the back end of

the week, we will look at the highlights and roster sometime, probably Thursday.

 

Q:  Are you satisfied with where you are in terms of installation?

MILES: Yes, we have enough in, but am I happy with execution at this point, no. We are still sloppy, still not right, but that is the way it is supposed to be. It gives us something to do for the next two weeks.

 

Q:  Have you ever been satisfied at this time of the year?

MILES: No, never have been, as a position coach at any level.

 

Q:  This is the first time in the stadium that you have heard the band march in and play. What do you think about that?

MILES: When they were coming down the hill you could hear them and if gave me goose bumps. The team was fired. Everyone turned around and looked at each

other. It was kind of a telltale sign that fall is right around the corner.

 

Q:  Is it more excitement that it is getting close or concern that you feel like, as a coach?

MILES: Excitement. Let me tell you something, when you step on the field, all the worrying is over. It is time to play.

 

Q:  Are (Steve) Korte and (Jacob) Hester getting work at tailback because their size is similar to Alley's?

MILES: Both guys are getting more carries. I think, as much as anything, it is just looking at them. I don't think it is looking for an Alley Broussard.

 

Q:  Are Addai, Vincent, and Carey capable of short down bruiser backs.

MILES: Yeah, I think we have three really pretty good backs. Obviously, they are not Alley Broussard but they have strengths in it of itself.

 

Q:  How is the kicking game?

MILES: The kicking game is much improved. They're  still a little ways away and there is still work to do.

 

Q:  Do you think with blocked punts in the Iowa game, that it motivated the special teams in the offseason.

MILES: I don't know about them but it motivated me. We have worked punt virtually every practice and every day we have had.

 

Q:  Would you like to have one guy doing punting and kicking like Chris (Jackson) did last year or do you care?

MILES: I prefer that a guy would have a leg swing that could kickoff and punt because it is a natural combination. Then, have somebody who would do extra points and field goals. But it is not necessarily what my druthers are and it is not necessarily what our team has, but we are certainly going to look for the best guy, irrespective of the number of jobs he may or may not have.

 

Q:  You have been real good about answering questions about (Nick) Saban. Do you feel his shadow over the program?

MILES: I think that there is a level of execution and expectation that is here. I don't know if that is necessarily Nick Saban but I feel that when you are LSU you have to step up. I certainly do in some part feel the success that Nick Saban had here. But I do not feel an overriding burden based on that name or reference to it. I think it is a tradition at LSU and I certainly think Nick Saban added to it.

 

Q:  Do you still use the long hand thing he wrote out about each player?

MILES: You know it is interesting. I look back at it and saw, probably 10 days ago, that some things are exactly the way they ought to be and some things should be with a new approach and new opportunities for guys should be viewed differently. It will be interesting if they play out, eventually.

 

Q:  Have you implemented anything differently to your practice this year that you maybe did not use last year?

MILES: The strategy has always stayed the same.

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