With spring practice starting this week for football, it is a great time to get the bad taste from the Alabama game out our mouths. Of course the biggest story is at quarterback. Mettenberger will be the starter, and everyone wants to know if the passing game can get back on the level of being one of the top 50 in the country again. It has been a while since we could say that, unfortunately. Personally, I will be listening intently to hear if anyone shows they have the ability to be a decent backup in case of injury.
Beyond quarterback, I think the offense is pretty set. The offensive line and running back positions are experienced and deep. The wide receivers and tight ends are solid, but without NFL talent at this point. Defensively, the starters should be fine. The question will be if LSU can recreate the awesome depth they had last year.
Off the practice field, the news of expanding Tiger Stadium is pretty exciting. This might be vain, but I am surprised they haven’t found a way to get the new capacity over 100,000. As silly as it seems, I believe that number has to stand out in recruiting. Regardless of the final capacity, I am going to be looking forward to seeing the artist renderings.
The other big news is the performances of the former Tigers at the NFL combine. As a disclaimer, I have to say that the combine is why stories like Jeremy Lin happen. The things you can measure are not the most important in team sports. Track yes. Football no. If you want to see how fast Brandon Taylor is, watch him play against Alabama, Oregon, and Arkansas and you can see.
Having said that, if I were an NFL scout, I would pay close attention at the combine and pro days to the players that did not play against comparable talent or did not play very much for some reason. Beyond that, I have a tough time with anyone placing much emphasis on the scouting combine. It seems to me like the combine is one of those things that have been done for so long we have to continue. Yet if you were to look at the origins, you would realize the reasons for its inception no longer exist.
Despite these issues with the combine, it is great to hear so many LSU player names mentioned. Deangelo Peterson’s skills were only called on for one game in his career for some reason (Oregon). But, when you look at the tight ends in the NFL these days, you have to like Peterson’s chances of being a productive player in the league.
Morris Claiborne, Michael Brockers, and Rueben Randle deserve a lot of notice. Still, I think Brandon Taylor, Ron Brooks, and Ryan Baker will be productive NFL players very quickly due to their desire and ability to play special teams.
While the off the field news is positive, it does not compare to good news on the field. Hopefully, LSU will have a better week on the field this week.