Jordan Jefferson wasn't getting it done for LSU last night. For those watching at home, in the stands or in the press box, that was quite clear. For former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, the father of a current LSU player and a sports talk radio host, the choice facing LSU coach Les Miles was simple: Stick with Jefferson and surely lose or roll the dice with his other quarterback, Jarret Lee.
Thanks largely to the ferocious defense of the Crimson Tide, Jefferson never seemed certain of his decisions and endured a nightmarish game as his team was held without a point in a 21-0 defeat in the BCS National Championship Game. With Jefferson taking snaps, the Tigers notched just one first down in the first half. The game remained within reach, however, as LSU's defense limited Alabama too just three field goals in the opening half. During the third quarter, Jefferson was booed by the large purple-and-gold contingent at the Superdome in New Orleans. Lee had donned his helmet and even tossed a few warm-up balls on the sideline. Many of those fans at the game -- along with another contingent on Twitter and the author of our live blog -- were clamoring for Lee to take the field. It was no secret that Lee had performed poorly in previous outings against the Tide -- including a showing that saw him pulled for Jefferson back in November -- but it seemed that drastic times called for drastic measures.
Nevertheless, Miles stuck with Jefferson and ultimately that zero beside the Tigers' name remained on the scoreboard as time expired. Would Lee have made any difference? Given his history against Nick Saban's teams and how dialed in the Tide was last night, it is unlikely that he would have. But everyone supporting LSLU would have liked to have found out, especially Hebert, whose son is a fifth-year offensive lineman for the Tigers.
Unlike the legions of disgruntled Tiger fans who headed to Bourbon Street before the game ended, Hebert had himself a press credential and the chance to confront the LSU coach during the postgame media availability. The man dubbed the "Cajun Cannon" during his playing career -- and who hasn't been a paragon of impartiality since joining the media -- did exactly that. When the moderator of the post-game press availability asked for questions, Hebert was loaded for bear.. or tiger.
Here is a transcript of Hebert's exchange with Miles as documented by ASAP Sports.
HEBERT: Coach, did you ever consider bringing in Jarrett Lee, considering that you weren't taking any chances on the field? Now, I know Alabama's defense is dominant. But, come on, that's ridiculous, five first downs. I mean, so it's almost an approach, I'll tell from you the fans' standpoint, that how can you not maybe push the ball down the field and bring in Jarrett Lee? So what if you get a pick six. It seems like the game plan that.. not pushing the ball down the field, considering it's like a Rueben Randle or Odell Beckham, Jr. I know the pass rush of Alabama, but there's no reason why in five first downs.. you have a great defense, LSU is a great defense, but that's ridiculous.
MODERATOR: Do you have a question?
HEBERT: That's the question. Do you think you should have pushed the football more down field?
MILES: I think if you watch our calls that we did throw the football down the field. We didn't necessarily get the football down the field. And I can tell you that the pass rush.. we did consider Jarrett Lee. But we felt like with the pass rush that we were getting that we needed a guy that could move the seat and not sustain that pass rush.
The moderator seemed less than pleased with Hebert's rant, cutting him off to ask if he had an actual question. For his part, Miles took the comment and question in stride and answered as best he could. He sounded spent, defeated and totally honest when he answered a later -- and more civilly posed -- question by saying, "I told my team I did not see it coming."
Perhaps he should have been watching from Hebert's seat.