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Outlook Of The 2009-10 LSU Tigers

Matthew SmithCorrespondent IAugust 27, 2009

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 22:  Terrance Toliver #80 of the Louisiana State University Tigers celebrates after a touchdown against the Ole Miss Rebels on November 22, 2008 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

I got off my Italian class early today, so I am sitting outside the only campus building (lets see what Tiger fans know which one it is) that truly sits in the shadows of Death Valley.Β 

I got inspired to write another piece about my beloved Tigers, and the way things seem as camp officially ended, and they prepare for their season opener next weekend against Washington.

Les Miles seemed very happy and impressed with the 2009 squad, who is under the pressure to rebound from a 2008 season which (in LSU's eyes anyways) was not very good.

The defense was weak in covering the pass, and got torn open on the ground. The offensive was a touchdown machine (too bad it was the defenses scoring touchdowns), but enough about last season, it is behind us and Tiger fans are looking forward to 2009.

The first sign that 2009 would be an improvement over 2008, was Les Miles firing his co-defensive coordinators, and bringing in long time Tennessee defensive coordinator, John Chavis. John "The Chief" Chavis, as he is known around campus, has reworked the defense, making it more effective and simpler.

Normally, this could be problematic for a defense, but the Tiger defense jumped at the challenge and have worked the system to near perfection (we will wait and see how the defense works in an actual game situation.

The next sign of improvement is the top rated recruiting class LSU brought in for this season, and although this may not have much direct impact (with the exception of Russel Shepard, and maybe Rueben Randle), you have to assume that it puts pressure on the starters who want to keep their job.

So off this new and reorganized team went, andΒ as the summer rolled around and the team came in for camp. As they progressed through camp, the Tigers started to turn some heads locally.

Jordan Jefferson, who had his coming out party in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against Georgia Tech, has really impressed coaches and teammates with his leadership ability inside the huddle, seems poised to lead the Tigers to an improved season in 2009.

Now that camp has officially ended (the last scrimmage was yesterday, Aug. 26). Where do the Tigers stand?

Well, they have an official starting quarterback that will probably last the entire season, barring an injury. Also, they will have a tenacious defense who will not be looking to the sideline every other play, confused as to what the call is.

As LSU begins planning for their first opponent, Washington, fans can look forward to a much improved team on the field in 2009.

As I have said in the past, I do not expect LSU to win or even get to the National Championship game in January, however, competing for an SEC West title could be within grasp of this 2009 football team.

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