What Is The LSU Quarterback Controversy?

Leo DonelonCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2009

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 10:  Jermaine Cunningham #49 of the Florida Gators against quarterback Jordan Jefferson #9 of the Louisiana State University Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Where does the controversy really lie?  I have never known a coach that didn’t know before each game who his starters were.


Obviously there is no controversy for coaches on their decision of quarterbacks. I think that you can safely say that about Coach Les Miles.


The decision of who will start is based on a player’s game performance, practice performance, understanding of their own playbook, and the ability to read what the other teams defense is doing.  When it comes to playing quarterback the ability to protect the football is paramount.


All coaches want to win, but also their careers in coaching depend on winning.  If coaches don’t play the best players they won’t be in the business long.


Quarterback controversy has been around LSU going back, at least to, Coach McClendon’s two-quarterback system.  The controversy is always outside the team.  You find it in newsprint and in the stands.


What is the controversy really?  In a word, it is fan speak.  Controversy is also found in the media, it sells.  It has never helped a program or player any more than throwing an interception helps a team win.


Fans of winning programs develop high expectations.  Some of these are very positive and breed confidence.  But there are some expectations that are not realistic.

There is a big difference between we’re suppose to win and expecting to win.  The idea of “supposed to win” does not leave any understanding for losing.  Expecting to win leaves the possibility for losing.


All programs have fans that have unrealistic expectations.  These are the fans that are in the process of learning the game, very much in the same way as a young quarterback.Their understanding is not there yet.  Some develop at a slower rate than others.  Like a good coach we need to give them time to develop.


The fan that always wants the other quarterback, suffers from the “supposed to” problem.  “We’re supposed to win.”  “We’re supposed to beat these guys by 50”. 

Reality is you don’t win every time or score 50 every game. 


“If only the coach would wise up and play the other guy.” On the odd occasion that a player comes off the bench and has a great game it can be attributed as much to the other team not having any game film on him as to his ability. They don’t know what wrinkles his ability brings so they’re unprepared. Most fans at this development of knowledge could not tell you what a trap block is.


Articles that report the answer to a problem is sitting on the bench, prey on less knowledgeable fans.  Someone who has not seen the team play in person or is reporting on hearsay from other reporters usually author these reports.  In a lot of cases these writers too could not tell you what a trap block is either


This is not to say a fan can’t tell a poor performance, but it much more difficult for the fan to know the cause of a poor performance, and how to correct it. Sometime the answer is time, and there is no controversy in that.