Les Miles Did Jarrett Lee Dirty

Football, The Rev — By on January 11, 2012 at 7:37 am


By all accounts, LSU head football coach Les Miles is a player’s coach, the type of guy every player loves to play for. That’s what makes his decision Monday night to completely turn his back on a senior quarterback, who had steadied the ship while Jordan Jefferson was out due to suspension, all the more perplexing.

Jarrett Lee did everything Les Miles asked of him and more during his four years down in The Bayou, and without Lee, LSU would have been nowhere near the BCS title game. He’s the guy who led the Tigers to a huge victory in the opener over then-number three Oregon, the guy who beat three ranked teams – the aforementioned Ducks, Mississippi State and West Virginia – in the first four games while Jefferson was serving his penance. He’s the guy who threw 14 touchdown passes to just one interception before stumbling against the Tide. He’s the one who tossed at least one touchdown pass in the first eight games, the one who ranked first in the SEC in passer efficiency. He’s the guy who never complained when he was first forced to split time with Jefferson and then eventually lost his job to him.

Yet as Alabama’s defense dominated the Tigers from start to finish, suffocating Jefferson and rendering his athleticism and arm strength completely moot, Les Miles didn’t even give Lee a look in the last game he’ll ever suit up in for the Tigers. Despite the fact that Jefferson either wouldn’t or couldn’t even take a shot down the field, despite the fact the LSU offense needed some sort of kick in the ass, Miles still refused to go to the guy who had steered the ship for more than half the season.

Miles didn’t even have the courtesy to put Lee in in the waning moments with the game long decided. In his senior season, his last game, in the Superdome for the BCS Championship game, Jarrett Lee didn’t even see the field for a single snap, despite all he’d done for Miles and LSU the past four years, including this very season.

It makes no sense whatsoever. I don’t understand it, and I never will. I don’t know why Miles did what he did, but I do know that Les Miles did Jarrett Lee dirty Monday night. Personally, I lost a lot of respect for him for that. Jarrett Lee deserved at least a chance to do what Jefferson couldn’t, but he never got that chance.

If you can figure out why, I’d love to know, because to me, the decision was crazy from a football standpoint and disgraceful from a loyalty standpoint.

Rev. P. Revere

Reverend Paul Revere, aka Joe Boland, is a sports blogger out of Philadelphia whose life revolves around sports 365 and a quarter days per year. Keep up with Rev at his own personal blog, The House That Glanville Built and on Twitter.

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    10 Comments

  • Josiah says:

    In an odd way, this kind of reminds me of the National Championship between LSU and Oklahoma. Jason White, the Heisman Trophy winner, was injured – bruised throwing hand, broken bone in foot – and was clearly “tiger bait” as the Tigers harassed him at will. On the sideline, was Paul Thompson, loyal back up, who even though had seen some time at mop-up duty, had been in the system long enough to understand what the Sooners were trying to do. Oh, and another thing, PT was 100% healthy and could also scramble.

    Yet Stoops stuck with White, as he struggled, failing to generate anything. OU’s defense kept them in the game, but Stoops was “gun shy”, plus too stubborn to make the change that could have possibly saw him win a national title in as many seasons.

    Which brings me back to Les Miles. During the season finale of his first year at Oklahoma State, the Cowboys were playing OU in Norman. Starting QB Aso Pogi was struggling, and Miles didn’t hesitate to ring in the change, pulling him for Freshman QB Josh Fields. Next thing you know, Fields tosses the game winning TD to Rashaun Woods late, Cowboys pull off the upset, changing their own fortunes for the following decade.

    That’s what I used to like about Les Miles; never scared to “fire the gun” when the moment demanded it. However, it seems the pressure became too much for him and he folded; something I was accustomed to seeing during his time in Stillwater.

  • Joe Simmons says:

    I kept thinking that he was going to give him a shot. History tells us that when someone is struggling and the other person has had some success, change will cause the team to lift itself up some.

    While I understand the logic Miles was using, it seemed that he Lee would or could have provided a spark to lift the Tigers offense. Miles was just figuring that if the quarterback was going to be stationary and not moving, it would be too easy for Alabama to target him and take him out.

    Sometimes coaches tend to over coach in situations and sometimes they let their gut instincts get the best of them. It’s kinda shocking considering Miles is usually unpredictable.

    • What irked me the most though was that he didn’t give Lee a chance at all to get on the field in his final collegiate game – made even worse by the fact that he’s actually played really well this season and Jefferson and the offense wasn’t doing anything at all. Let the guy, at the very least, go out there and take a few snaps in his final game.

      I understand Miles thinking Jefferson gave him the better shot to win, but no letting Lee on the field once all game, even when it was decided, as a sort of thank-you is pretty classless.

  • Kelsey says:

    Unless I’ve missed something, you all can’t possibly be referring to the Jared Lee that I’ve seen absolutely stink up the joint vs. Alabama during his 4 years at LSU. Yes, Lee had some success early this season, but against Alabama on Nov. 5th, he was his normal, putrid, SHOOK self. Lee vs. Alabama has a 1:7 TD to Interception ratio (Please let that marinate…) And we feel that he deserved a shot? A shot at what? Throwing another interception? If LSU was playing any other team, I would concede there being a possibility of Lee providing a spark. However, he was playing Alabama – and when he played Alabama he absolutely positively stunk. The past 2 LSU wins vs. Alabama were the result of JJ making plays with his feet (with Lee being benched in favor of JJ). If LSU stuck J Lee in the 4th quarter with Alabama knowing they had to throw AND with Lee being a sitting duck, it would have been curtains sooner. For all the suckage that was the LSU gameplan and JJ, if JJ hits Jarvis Landry on that deep post, its a 1 possession game with more than 6 minutes left. If Lee was in the game at that point I don’t believe LSU even gets that shot. My critique is not simply that Lee has an awful history with Alabama, it’s also his psychological make up versus Alabama. The kid played well all season prior to November 5th, but he mentally went in the tank from jump in Tuscaloosa. I don’t see how him sitting on the bench watching JJ and the offense do nothing for 3 quarters would have him believing that he could come in a do anything better, especially with the threat of the run being non-existent at that point in the game. This isn’t YMCA youth basketball. He doesn’t get to play just because this is his last game! I’ll listen to Russell Shepard bark about not getting to play, but Lee had his shot(s) already vs. Alabama and he showed he was not capable of playing well versus them. I think it would have been cruel for Les Miles to run him out in his last collegiate game and have him be treated like a rag doll by Upshaw and Co., further soiling his stat line versus Alabama. I really think folks have forgotten what Alabama defense did to Tyler Wilson, John Brantley, et al when their offenses became 1 dimensional. Brantley literally got his ankle broke in half and Petrino mercifully pulled Wilson before he sustained a season long injury. Lee coming into that situation would have been like a baby bird falling into a river of piranhas. No bueno. Lee not playing was his best case scenario because now we can have discussions like this where he somehow comes out looking like a martyr. I firmly believe had he played the conversations about him would not be nearly as gracious as this one.

    • I wasn’t referring to Jared Lee at all. I don’t know who that is.

    • Though your point is well-taken. Lee has a horrible history against Alabama. I get that. But the offense wasn’t doing a damn thing with Jefferson in there, so why not try to change something up and get a spark? Jefferson had 3 quarters to make something happen and he couldn’t. Lee probably wouldn’t have made a difference, but it’s the coach’s job to change SOMETHING when nothing is working. The most obvious thing to do would be a change at QB, even if just temporarily, given how accustomed LSU was this year swapping QBs.

      Doing something, anything is better than doing nothing and continuing to see your offense flounder time and time again.

    • Chuck Colvin says:

      Sorry dude, but Lee could not possibly have done any worse than JJ was. At least Miles should have tried something, and don’t forget last year he put Lee in, against Bama, and he did well. There is more here than meets the eye. Putting Lee in to take the last snap in the SEC game was a slap in the face. We fans have a right to know the absolute truth here. If Miles’ explanations so far are the truth, then we will never see another BCS title until he’s gone.

  • Sue says:

    Well lee can say he did not lose the campionship game jefferson done it all by himself!! If lee had not lead the team in 8 games they would not even have made it to the sec championship!!! All i can say jj daddy and les miles must be buddies! That is the only thing that make any sense!! There was a rumor an nfl team would pick up miles too bad they did’t!! Nick sebaen was a fairer coach with a lot of class! Something miles lacks!! I think miles is an ass and i hope 2012 is his last year along with many many many other fans!! Nick sabaen did not leave lsu for another college! He left to step up and coach in the nfl!!! ALL PEOPLE TAKE A PROMOTION IN THEIR JOBS!!!

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