Last week, after watching his LSU Tigers team get completely dominated by the Alabama Crimson Tide, losing the BCS national championship game, 21-0, head coach Les Miles did what all coaches do nowadays, walk to the media room for the press conference. Playing in the SEC, Miles knew this wouldn’t be a walk in the park as the media would ask how this fairy tale season could come to a crashing halt with such a poor performance. He just didn’t know the attack was going to come so close to the program.
The first question was by former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert who asked, “Coach, did you ever consider bringing in Jarrett Lee? Now, I know Alabama’s defense is dominant, but come on, that’s ridiculous, five first downs!” This question needed to be asked especially how ineffective starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson played. However, being more tactful in posing the question and not having an emotional stake in the game would have been better. Hebert has ties to the LSU football program. His son, T-Bob, plays on the offensive line for the Tigers.
Interestingly, Hebert defended his actions while doing an interview with USA Today stating, “I’m not a journalist. The credential that I have is that I played 15 played years of pro football. I was like an extension of the fans that finally got into a press conference. Maybe I shouldn’t have given my opinion a couple times.”
Hebert could and should have handled the situation better. Sure, he was frustrated, but to allow his emotions to get the better of him is unacceptable especially since he had access that most fans aren’t privileged too. Had Hebert just asked the first part of his question everything would have been fine. The fact he continued using the word ridiculous multiple times is where he crossed the line.
Bob Ryan, longtime columnist for the Boston Globe and frequent guest on ESPN programming, has attended countless press conferences and recently spoke with the Victor and Matt Show on 110SportsPodcast.com about the situation involving Miles and Hebert, “The fact his son’s involved is inappropriate. He should have excused himself and saved that for beer and cigars with the boys at the local pub. Now, was he right? Sure he was right. Les Miles coached that game in a brain lock, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for someone who has direct involvement with the team to be asking that. The questions were legitimate, but they should have come from someone else.”
If Miles had made a switch at quarterback and put Lee in for Jefferson, knowing Lee’s struggles against the Crimson Tide’s defense in his career he probably would have taken flake for that as well. It’s unfortunate for coaches now as every move and decision is dissected. In a sense, it’s a lose-lose situation. Big time football coaches like Miles know there will be scrutiny, but they hope the attack isn’t coming so close to home.
– For the full interview with Bob Ryan listen to Episode 138 on 110SportsPodcast.com.
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