Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The media looks at our 3rd string quarterback

And of course, the media gets it wrong. I swear I'll get back to my Recruiting 101 series, which already has the next two installments written, but things with more immediacy keep coming up, and I'm not interested in turning this into a multiple-post-per-day affair quite yet. Anyway, I give you your sports media:

Matt Hayes

Perrilloux hasn't come close to reaching expectations; he struggled to connect with former offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher and had little grasp of the offense.
What were Perrilloux's expectations? Was he expected to win the starting job over a guy who would become the #1 overall NFL draft pick? Was he expected to beat out another very talented quarterback who had been in the system for two years longer than he has been? Maybe Perrilloux expected to do that, but I don't think anyone else did.

He also apparently "had little grasp of the offense". How does Matt Hayes know this? Did he glean this from the 4 passes that Perrilloux attempted at the end of blowout wins last year? Does he have "inside sources"?

I wish I didn't have to play the "race card", but people make it so easy when they talk about black quarterbacks. Here are some things I have never heard said about a black quarterback, except among people who follow the person closely:
  • He grasps the offense quickly
  • He reads defenses well
  • He makes good decisions in the pocket
  • He's a pure drop back passer
  • He's a coach on the field
  • He's a "field general"
  • He's heady
Notice any patterns? Notice how Matt Hayes' comments fit into the pattern? Ryan Perilloux has spent his career at LSU stuck behind more experienced players who are also very talented. I'm sure it has been frustrating for him at times, considering throughout his recruitment he was considered a can't-miss immediate impact player. Well, a team can only play one quarterback at a time, and Perrilloux fell behind two players who who were very very good (#1 overall NFL draft pick) and more experienced than him. Quarterback is a position that takes a long time to truly learn, and Perrilloux has been behind guys who had more time to learn it.

We don't know how good Perrilloux will be, but even if he turns out to never be a starter for LSU (doubtful), Matt Hayes will still be wrong. He's wrong because he's talked about things he knows nothing about, and he's heard from "inside sources" (I'm guessing), things that completely jibe with quarterback racial stereotypes. And he believed his "inside sources" despite a complete lack of first hand knowledge of the situation.

Hayes doesn't stop there. He shows further ignorance by saying:

Meanwhile, LSU signed star recruit Jarrett Lee last month, and coach Les Miles says he will recruit two more quarterbacks next season. In other words, it's now or never for Perrilloux, who will begin spring drills behind senior projected starter Matt Flynn.
He's right that Jarrett Lee is a "star recruit", one of many star recruits signed by LSU on National Signing Day. The strong implication here is that Miles recruited Lee because he was disappointed with Perrilloux, and needed a fall-back quarterback to be available.

Left unmentioned, though highly relevant to the issue of why we recruited another quarterback, is the fact that right not Perilloux is the only quarterback on the roster who isn't a senior. We have 5th year senior Matt, walk-on senior Jimmy Welker, and that's it, except for maybe some other walk-ons. If we didn't recruit a solid QB for the 2007 class, we would not have a single QB who had been through a Spring Practice other than Perrilloux available for the 2008 season. Our backup quarterback in 2008 would necessarily be a true freshman, which is a recipe for disaster if Perrilloux was to get hurt.

If you want to know if Les Miles is confident in Ryan Perilloux's ability to be a starting quarterback, consider this. Perrilloux was the only quarterback signed by LSU over the 2004-2006 period. In 3 years, LSU recruited one quarterback: Ryan Perrilloux, putting us in the position of having Ryan Perrilloux as the only quarterback on the roster who will have been on the team longer than a year at the start of the 2008 season. Do you think Les Miles, who is a smart coach, would allow this to happen if he didn't have confidence that Perrilloux was learning the system at an expected rate?

This isn't saying that Jarrett Lee will not come in and beat out Perrilloux. It is certainly possible that this will happen, though I think it's unlikely. Of course, if Perrilloux eventually falls behind Jarrett Lee, Matt Hayes will take the credit for bringing you the inside scoop. If Perilloux becomes an all-conference performer after Matt Flynn graduates, Matt Hayes will say either
  • nothing, or
  • that LSU fans should be thankful that Perrilloux managed to "turn it around", even though for all Matt Hayes knows, he was doing fine all along.
One of the common theme of this blog will be that the sports media is generally pretty foolish and unaccountable. Consider this the first installment of that series.


Poseur said...

Another irritation is a little more subtle: how the media will constantly compare white QB's to white QB's and black QB's to black QB's even if their style of play is nowhere remotely similar. It pisses me off.

JaMarcus was compared to Daunte Culpepper and Randall Cunningham. Aside from the fact those two are pretty dissimilar in their own right, it ignores that Russell is a big QB with a cannon arm who has a rep for poor decision making (deserved or not). Is it me, or is that pretty much a perfect description of Jeff George?

Richard Pittman said...

Yes, they definitely do that. They do that at every position though. I don't think I've seen a white wide receiver in the last decade who wasn't compared to Ed McCaffrey.

Incidentally, I'm thinking about asking you to do some "guest blogging" here. Your "stat geek"iness would come in really handy.

Poseur said...

Any time you need the numbers crunched, I'm here for you. Any question ou have, I'm happy to try and find the answer in the numbers.

For example, its baseball season and I'm already curious about how Manieri is stacking up.

Richard Pittman said...

What statistics would you look at to see if Manieri is stacking up?

I'm thinking more along the lines of you just writing about whatever comes to mind, and bringing your stat geekiness to the party. I'm thinking once a week or every two weeks on average, but with no set schedule or anything.

I've already written a post about the "Passer Rating", and I know you have strong feelings about that. It's just one potential topic.

Poseur said...

As you know, I've developed my own passer rating system. Simply put, mine is better. Not because I'm a genius, but because the current system is so terrible I can't help but improve it. Though I do think my system is pretty good.

Richard Pittman said...

I'll email you the one I designed off the top of my head. You can give me feedback.