Les Miles reveals plan for LSU quarterbacks
OK, OK. You got me. The headline is a little deceptive.
Regarding quarterbacks Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris, LSU coach Les Miles did reveal his plan for Saturday’s game against Wisconsin.
Are you sitting down? His plan is … that he has a plan.
“(We will) do those things we feel like will benefit both quarterbacks,” Miles said during Wednesday’s teleconference. “It’s not something without conception. We understand it. (The plan is) not something I’m going to reveal.
“I don’t think there’s any tremendous magic to it. Both will play.
“If a guy separates himself from the other over time we’ll certainly give him the nod. He’ll be our starter. At this point we’ll play two and we’re confident in both.”
- Either Anthony Jennings or Brandon Harris will start Saturday.
- On Thursday, Miles will inform the quarterbacks who will take the first offensive snap.
- Both quarterbacks will play against Wisconsin.
- The team will continue to play two quarterbacks until one guy gives LSU a clear advantage, if and when that happens.
“If we were certain, then I promise you, we would play the one guy that would give us all the advantage,” Miles said. “But if two guys can give us greater advantage than one guy, then let’s certainly play two.”
Opening with Wisconsin is not ideal for LSU.
The team has time to settle on a starter — or at least an entrenched game plan — before SEC play, with Sam Houston State, Louisiana-Monroe and New Mexico State sandwiched around Mississippi State (Sept. 20) next month. But first it must face an unfamiliar ranked opponent without an understanding of which quarterback gives them the best opportunity to win.
Jennings has attempted 29 career passes, but the challenge is that it’s difficult to evaluate young quarterbacks in non-contact scrimmages. If Jennings and Harris really are equal, or close to indistinguishable, then it’s no big deal. But if one of them gives the team a significant edge, LSU will want to identify that as soon as possible.
The good news for LSU fans is that it’s not just Miles evaluating these quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is a luxury most teams don’t enjoy.
Cameron has spent time as an NFL head coach (Miami Dolphins), a college head coach (Indiana), an NFL offensive coordinator (San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens), an NFL quarterbacks coach (Washington Redskins) and a college quarterbacks coach (Michigan). He’s worked with Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, Elvis Grbac and Antwaan Randle El, among others.
If Cameron doesn’t see separation at this point, it probably doesn’t exist. He’s also an ideal candidate to evaluate them and consult with Miles if one of them does emerge as better.
“We know more about Anthony and Brandon every day, and I’m excited by their improvement. But any young quarterback is going to have a setback at some point. That’s where the team comes in,” Cameron said, according to NOLA.com. “When we have a setback, we have to make sure it’s one that doesn’t get us beat.”