Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Bit of Good News

There are two items of good news to report this morning.

First, the deadline for the Houston Astros to sign Chad Jones has come and gone, and Chad Jones will be at LSU this year, playing football and baseball. With Jones not signing a contract, he will be at LSU for at least the next 3 years.

Chad Jones is a great athlete. He's about 220 pounds and is being looked at to join Trindon Holliday returning kicks. He's as big as a linebacker and as fast as a cornerback. He was one of LSU's most coveted recruits last year. He will be an excellent player for the LSU football team, and it appears he'll probably stand out on the baseball field as well.

Second, according to a post on TigerDroppings, Will Arnold talked to ESPN about his health, and it appears that ESPN may have referenced little old me. I was unable to find the alleged ESPN article, but here's what it said.
Will Arnold doesn't cruise message boards for news. He might go for a laugh every now and again, though. LSU's senior guard knows he's got a past checkered by injuries, but some of the tall tales fans write about his well-being are priceless. The misinformed say Arnold has had 18 different surgeries (he's had seven, and five were minor scopes), and that he's fat (he's 319, six pounds below his listed high school weight). Some suggest he's so fragile, the coaches should determine now which games he'll play (their advice: Hold him out of the showdown with Virginia Tech; it's not a conference game).

"If I listened to all those people," Arnold says, "I'd be crazy." To be fair, the guy does offer plenty of fodder for white-coat wannabes. He missed half of last season after tearing ligaments in his ankle, and doctors used a piece of his hamstring to make the joint stronger. But while he's still on the mend, Arnold sees no reason his final season down on the Bayou can't be a healthy one. "I'll always fight it," he says of the injury-prone tag. "All I can do is play." When he does, he anchors the SEC's best line, and Arnold is as good as it gets in the middle. He has drawn just two flags in 23 games, and one was in his first game as a freshman. How sick is that?
(emphasis added). Hey! That's what I said. I also said it at Tiger Forums, but I can't find the post, no matter how much I look. Alright, in not so many words, they are saying I'm full of it.
But hey, at least they're talking about me.

At least the article strongly implies that Will will be healthy enough to play, and that the rumors of him having 18 surgeries on his knees is wrong, although 7 surgeries with two of them serious still sounds like an awful lot. Will Arnold patrolling the line of scrimmage makes our offensive line much better. I still think the coaching staff has to face facts and realize he won't be able to go full speed for a whole season. He hasn't yet, so why would he suddenly be able to do so now?


uberschuck said...

I read the same ESPN piece last night and it made me think of your statement on Will Arnold. Maybe you're not the only one saying that, but I can't blame you for thinking they got that from you. After all, you once got a post from Billy Donovan, so we know he reads this blog.

Richard Pittman said...

Billy's apparently a regular. I wish he'd post more.

Poseur said...

You were full of it. And I said so then. It's not a good strategy to hold a player out for fear of him not playing, because tht strategy brings about the result you are trying to avoid (Arnold not playing).

Hey, Will! I got your back.

uberschuck said...

I disagree with Poseur's logic, but I agree with the conclusion. Pittman's point isn't that Arnold should sit the VT game so that he can play the VT game; it's that he should sit the VT game so that he can play SEC games.

The better counterpoint is that we have a better chance to beat VT with our best OL on the field, and means playing Arnold. Want to win the game? Put your best team on the field. I'm all for saving Arnold once we've put a game out of reach, but let's use him to get the big lead in the first place.

Were I the coach, I'd play healthy Will Arnold every game, and not pull him until the game got out of hand. Let the chips fall where they may.

Richard Pittman said...

If I may elaborate even further, the result I am trying to avoid is not "Arnold not playing." It's "Arnold not playing at the most important points of the season." Virginia Tech, though it's a high profile opponent, is one of our least important games of the season, because it's not a conference game. The same way you take your best players out late in blowout wins (so you don't lose them to injury on unimportant plays), when you have a player who seems to be as vulnerable to wearing down and getting injured as Arnold is, you probably need a strategy that maximizes his availability in the most important situations.

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