If you’re planning to go to the LSU Spring Game on Saturday, Les Miles has a few words of advice:
Come for the show. Just don’t expect to be shown much that looks new.
New offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is the new Cam-aro that fans are paying to come see Saturday. OK, they aren’t paying, the game is gratis. But they will come and hope to be impressed, hope to leave with some planks of optimism they can take with them into the offseason to build a wall against those Nick Saban and Johnny Manziel-inspired night terrors.
The spring game will be their test track, and they will expect to see the new offense take a few faster and better cornering spins around Death Valley.
Problem is, if you can call it a problem, Miles still holds the keys to the car. And he isn’t eager, rightfully one thinks, to show TCU anything shiny and new four months before the season opener in Cowboys Stadium.
“The work is done” this spring, Miles said. “This really is a final that is elementary football by design. There will be an element of ‘show’ to it.
“We’ll have some standard things for us, but seldom will we show new wrinkles.”
If you think the guy in the white hat and purple windbreaker has made strides and taken appropriate steps to inject a higher grade of octane into what was at times a sputter and wheeze offense last season, you’ll be able to wait for the curtain raiser come August.
You may be squirming in your free seat Saturday, but you’ll be able to wait.
“I don’t know if they will or won’t” see something new in the offense, Miles said Thursday. “I think it has progressed and has improved. I think we’re a team that’s operating with some youth, which is wonderful. They’ve had a lot of reps this spring. But whether or not everybody will be able to recognize what we (coaches) see, I’m not certain.”
For those who think of themselves as gold-seat coaches, that last line is evil music. But Miles and his coaching staff have a plan, and for them the Spring Game isn’t a finish line.
For them, the Spring Game is more of a pit stop, a splash and go with a round of wedge and a couple of tires (NASCAR terms), and not even one that gets them halfway to their ultimate destination ready to smash the accelerator come the season opener.
“We had 15 spring practices and (we will have) 29 before the first game,” Miles said. “So it’s a third of the practices you’ll use to ready your team for the fall. Then, considering what we go through in the summertime in terms of 7-on-7 and how the guys monitor their own workouts, it’s probably somewhat less than a third.
“The good news is really introduced a lot of things, Cam has introduced a lot of the offensive things we’re going to use. It’s not as tied down as it should be, but by the time we get to the summer and get 29 practices before the first game, we should be in pretty good shape.”
For now, though, don’t expect to see the Tigers making any big strides down any revolutionary roads.