LSU head coach defends on-field demeanor
By Tabby Soignier The Daily Reveille

October 17, 2006

Baton Rouge, LA (CSTV U-WIRE) -- Do not be quick to judge the calm and collectedness LSU football coach Les Miles seems to display on the field.

Fans might want to take back the criticism for his serene look when the officials make questionable calls that leave the entire stadium in an uproar.

Away from the media, the podium and the stage, Miles becomes far more animated and quite verbal.

"There are a lot of things that set me off," Miles said. "When I know that I have been cheated, I get mad. If I know it right there and know the person to [address] it to, and I can grab them, they can hear me."

There is no throwing head sets, no running down the sidelines and no red-faced yelling like his predecessor Nick Saban, who is now with the Miami Dolphins.

With his refrained demeanor, Miles hopes for more than an animated performance on the sidelines. Instead he said he wants to teach his players how to prevail in such tight situations.

"I always felt like a team preceded their leadership and has a grip on what's going on in the situation, and they would not lose their propriety and their ability to think [in] a pressure situation," Miles said. "I want to hear what [the officials] say and try to teach my team."

Although crowds Saturday night may not see or hear Miles' dismay after costly mistakes, the team said it does throughout the following week's practice.

"Behind closed doors he's a very intense guy," junior defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey said. "He's not much of a high screamer or hollerer, but everybody knows on this team when he gives you that look or comes and walks up besides you or something like that, it's not a good thing. I think for the most part he's a real calm guy on the field, but he leaves more of the getting on us for behind closed doors. That's his style."

Junior running back Jacob Hester agreed that Miles has his own style and said it is completely different from Saban.

"Coach Saban wasn't as bad as everyone made him out to be," Hester said. "Coach Miles is a little bit more approachable as a coach than Saban was - not near as animated though. Coach Miles is a really a player's coach. He gets on your tail when you need it, and when you're doing good, he'll let you know that you're doing good. Players need that."

Miles said he is quite aware of the expectations Saban left on LSU fans, but the expectations Miles and the team have for themselves on the field are far more important than those of the crowd.

"Our team wants to be... the conference champions," Miles said. "I think our aspirations, our goals at the beginning of the year certainly may not be immediate, and [you] can't necessarily see the exact track, but I don't think we've lost sight of that. If we take the right attitude and we go at it, somehow, some way we might end up in it."

(C) 2006 The Daily Reveille via CSTV U-WIRE

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