Quote Roundup: LSU coach Les Miles teleconference

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 18, 2013 

AUBURN, Ala. — LSU head coach Les Miles took part in the SEC coaches’ teleconference on Wednesday.

Check out a roundup of his quotes below.

Here’s what Miles had to say in his call with reporters, which lasted a shade over 10 minutes:

Opening statement:

"We recognize this is a Western Division opponent, a very capable team. We've started our game week to the point. Preparation has been good to this day. We're looking forward to competing in our conference and in our division and certainly at Tiger Stadium."

On former Tiger Tyrann Mathieu, now playing for the Arizona Cardinals:

"It's why we're in the business. Guys that have talent and skills need to operate them within the confines of the rules. There's reasons to do things right, and Tyrann Mathieu has always been a tremendous team player and enjoys performing and making big plays for his team. Knowing that he's had to win some battles to get to where he's at right now, how wonderful. We root for him. We certainly enjoy it greatly."

On how LSU's offense differs from last year under new coordinator Cam Cameron:

"I think there's a real confident attack that has taken place here, both on the ground and in the air, and I think (quarterback) Zach (Mettenberger) is seeing the reasons for the calls and what's expected. He's really embraced a work ethic that has allowed him to enjoy practice, enjoy play calls, really enjoy the position that is quarterback — that's more leadership, more strategic, and a 'thinking man's' position. I think he's enjoying it greatly. I think sets and some of the things we do are similar and some of the things we do are completely different (than last season). I think Cam is having a real impact."

On LSU's defensive line:

"We've been fortunate to recruit well. Our guys come in here with the idea they're going to come in and play early and play big in big games. I think for (Defensive tackle) Ego (Ferguson), it was really just a matter of time. I think he's really looking forward to the SEC season and playing against our better opponents."

On how the series with Auburn has developed over the years:

"It's just very competitive. They're talented teams that need to do well in the West. I think that's a normal, competitive piece. We've had some games that were won in the last minute and some games that have had some unusual twists and turns. Again, it's a competitive rivalry in the SEC."

On under-the-radar players giving a boost to the rest of the team:

"The offense is certainly benefited by the fact that you have to take everybody into account. That fullback play (Connor Neighbors' 52-yard run last week) comes out to the strong side, to the weak side, to the center of the line, so it's a requirement of the defense to, by assignment, know where that guy's at. If you're not using him, then that relaxes the defense and allows them to play more aggressively. I think it's an advantage for the offense, but I think our players enjoy every time you can use the multiple skills of your team. And a guy that can step in and make plays adds his skills to that list. That's important. I think everybody likes Connor, too. They enjoy his personal success as well as J.C. Copeland, our other fullback."

On both quarterbacks in Saturday's game — Auburn's Nick Marshall and LSU's Zach Mettenberger — formerly playing for Georgia:

"Both quarterbacks went the junior college route. Both quarterbacks have real talent. I think it'll be a very quality matchup."

On how sophomore running back Jeremy Hill has looked this season:

"He missed a couple of cuts in the game, and we're expecting his landmarks to be better. He finally got his first start the third game in, but we're still expecting (more). We're expecting him to be in top form. We're impatient that way, and I'm certain he is as well. We expect that he'll round into shape pretty quickly."

On the influence that Patrick Peterson's family has had on Mathieu:

"I think Ty is a pleaser. He's a guy that wants to please his teammates, wants to please his coaching staff, wants to please the social environment, his friends. I think his close relationships can really benefit him. I'm certain that he enjoys Patrick, (former LSU linebacker Kevin) Minter, and a number of guys that are there. Those people that would expect the best out of him and the best for him, those are the guys that he needs to really invest in and spend time with. I think they have that in position there and I think that's one of the reasons he's having success."

On his assessment of Auburn's three running backs (Tre Mason, Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant):

"They have their speed, they can make you miss and they're physical runners. They're a very capable group. We like our matchup, but they're a very formidable running back group."

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