It sounded good and so promising when LSU’s Les Miles uttered the words that came back to haunt him as much as anything else he said in 2009.
Three separate times in July, before the LSU football team ever stepped on the field for its first practice, Miles said the offensive line could be “as good as we’ve ever had here since I’ve been here.”
Whether it was meant as a method to fire up the O-line troops or just a throwaway phrase at another in the series of speeches coaches give at the time of year, it stuck to Miles and became a festering sore spot as the season unfolded.
Because instead of emerging as a strength, the offensive line struggled all season.
LSU was seldom able to run the ball effectively, managing only 122.4 yards per game on the ground and 3.7 yards per carry — 11th in the Southeastern Conference in both categories.
And sophomore quarterback Jordan Jefferson was rarely able to get comfortable when he dropped back to pass and got sacked 37 times, last in the SEC and 105th nationally.
Inconsistency was a recurring theme all season as the offense struggled to establish an identity because the line was rarely able to dominate opposing defenses, especially in the SEC.