• LSUBEAT.com • Schedules • Depth Chart • Recruits • LSU in NFL • LSU Gear

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ricky Jean-Francois, what were you thinking?

BATON ROUGE - The last thing the LSU football team needed to do was get the Florida Gators mad. Florida is already questioning itself after a home loss to Ole Miss two weeks ago and a lackluster performance Saturday at Arkansas until the very end. Florida coach Urban Meyer has admitted there are some problems on offense. Quarterback Tim Tebow's numbers are significantly down from last season.

The Gators' hides are against the wall as undefeated and No. 3 LSU prepares to roll into town after a refreshing week off.

And LSU defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois goes and tells a reporter from the Orlando Sentinel that he wants to take Tebow out of the game.

"If we get a good shot on him, we're going to try our best to take him out of the game," Jean-Francois is quoted as saying in the Orlando paper in a story by Jeremy Fowler. "With his size and his heart, it's hard to get a clean shot."

When asked what the impact of a clean hit on Tebow might be, Jean-Francois said it would be like "a car wreck without a seat belt," and that, "if he does get hurt, there's a trained medical staff at Florida, so you can go to the training room on Sunday."

Fowler interviewed Jean-Francois on the phone late last week for the story in a very good newspaper. The story has balance. It also quotes defensive end Tyson Jackson, who has taken a few quarterbacks out at LSU and was penalized for a late blow to the head of Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson last season. Jackson said LSU linemen do not play dirty because "that's not our style."

LSU is now saying that Jean-Francois was "misrepresented" and "misinterpreted" in his interview, but it is hard to argue with those quotes. And Jean-Francois has been around. Thiw was not his first interview. He is a fourth-year junior who enjoys being interviewed. He is expressive and usually gives long, interesting and funny answers."

"I don't think he had malicious intent for Tim's health, but I also don't think he was 'misrepresented,'" Fowler told Gannett Louisiana on Tuesday afternoon.

Jean-Francois was just answering questions. But he could have answered them in a different way. He should not have brought up the "trained medical staff."

Fowler also said Jean-Francois' tone was not joking around. He instead said it matter of factly. Even if he was kidding about the "trained medical staff," it was still not a very smart thing to say.

While his comments were not evil, I can see where they would get Florida players and coaches angry and motivated. And the Gators were already injured and backed in a corner.

Not a good move, Ricky. This is probably not a big deal. Bulletin board material rarely wins or loses a football game. But it is also important not to automatically blame the messenger.


Post a Comment

<< Home