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Wednesday, 13 October 2010 13:59

New LSU QB Split Is Reminder To Bert Jones

Written by {ga=EdStaton}
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For the first time since 2004, LSU used dual quarterbacks in a game as Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee split time during the victory over Tennessee. The duo again split time against Florida, each accounting for two touchdowns in the 33-29 victory.

Against the Gators, Lee connected on 9-of-11 passes for 124 yards and two scores, while Jefferson threw for 100 yards and rushed for 42 more and a pair of scores. It's the first time since the 2007 season opener against Mississippi State that two Tigers quarterbacks accounted for a pair of scores in the same game.

That year, Matt Flynn (who may start for the Packers on Sunday) and Ryan Perrilloux each threw for two  touchdowns in the 45-0 victory over the Bulldogs. The dual quarterbacks is the first time for the Tigers since JaMarcus Russell and Marcus Randle split time in 10 games in 2004. Other notable dual quarterbacks for the Tigers include Tommy Hodson and Mickey Guidry in the 1980s; Bert Jones and Paul Lyons in the 1970s; and David Woodley and Steve Ensminger in the 1970s.

Ensminger is on the Tigers staff as a tight ends coach and Woodley led the Dolphins to a Super Bowl.

Jones, who today runs his lumber company in Ruston, played in the NFL for years with the Colts and Rams.

He possessed as strong an arm as any quarterback in college football history and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting in 1972. As a 1972 All-American, he was the first player taken in the 1973 draft (Baltimore)

Jones didn't like the dual quarterback system at LSU because he only got to play half as much.

Question: How did you like the two-quarterback system at LSU and the coaching staff?
Answer: "The LSU coaching staff was  old school and not very smart at either understanding or adapting.

"LSU was playing two quarterbacks all the time, primarily a run-option type quarterback. That just wasn't conducive to my style. They did some things that were not copacetic. They told me that I would be calling the plays, and then I didn't but that wasn't any big deal. I played only half the time while i was at LSU.

Q:  What was their logic there? Were you just shuttling in plays from the bench?
A: "No, you'd go in for a series, and then come out for one or two, and then go back in. It was a weird deal.  I may have one NCAA record. I'm the opnly quarterback in the history of 1A college football who only played half the time and was second string, who made consenus All-Anerican, and who was a first-round NFL draft choice. We had one quarerback who could throw the ball and one qarterback who could run. So, they threw the guy who ran and ran the guy who threw,"

Q: What kind of seasons did you team have?
A: "We were very successful, and we were probably ranked in the top 10 during my three years."

Q: Did you go to bowl games?
A: "We want to the Orange Bowl my sophomore year, the Sun Bowl my junior year, and the Bluebonnet Bowl my senior year."

Q: What did the Colts say when they called you about being their top draft choice?
A: "The told me to come on up and see if I can make their team. That's kind of the perception I had.

"Houston had the first pick, and they had drafted Dan Patstorini two years before, so they didn't need a quarterback. New Orleans had had the second pick, but they traded it to Baltimore for a defensive lineman (Billy Newsome) whom they thought was real good, but turned out to be a journeyman. That was one of the major sins of the Saints back then. They weren't in a position to need a quarterback because they already had Archie Manning, who was in his second year."

Q: Did you have any weaknesses as a quarterback?
A: "I didn't have many. I don't want to sound ugly, but I was probably faster than any other quarterback, and I was bigger than any other quarterback. I threw as well, if not better, than any other player. The motor skills were not weak. A weakness was probably that I was real intense."

Q: How important is blocking by the running backs, for protection of the quarterback?
A: "Blocking by the running backs is vitally important.

Q: It's an often-overlooked aspect of the game.
A: "It's often overlooked, except by the quarterback. If you have two running backs who can block and run, you can kill anybody. But if the defense can lock in on one running back and knows that the other guy is a blocker, then basically you're one armed going into fistfight.

"Having a running back who can block is truly an asset, especially with the mobility of the linebackers in today's game. If you've got somebody who can contain a linebacker one-on-one then it's a home run."

Q: The Colts were going nowhere and you asked to be traded to the Rams, which they did. So what happend that year?
A: "I played only a very abbreviated season with the Rams because after two games there was a strike."

Q: And after the strike what happened?

A: "If it had not been for the strike, I could have played six or seven more years. i wouldn't have had had the career-ending injury. A hit blew my  jaw out, and I called time and told them to fix my jaw, to pull it back in place. Then I went back in and finished the game."

Q: Then what happened?
A: They told me I was going to need a spinal fusion. The operation took a long time. It will any time they're plucking a ruptured disc from in and around you spinal cord. They didn't realize it was as bad as it was. My injury was similar to Darryl Stingley's, but it had a different result. It's just that when I  ruptured and exploded the disc in my neck and fractured the cervical, it didn't interrupt my spinal cord."

Q: How are you physically today?
A: My neck is a little stiff, but I think that's from talking on telephone eight hours a day."

Q: Do you wish you were still out there playing sometimes?
A: "For a bunch of years, being retired from football wasn't a problem, because I remembered what it had been like in the hospital. I remember the doctor saying, 'I don't know why you're not suffering from some kind of paralysis.' And I said, 'Like what?' And he said, 'Like breathing,or moving from the chin down.' 'I said, 'Hello. There's a real world out there, and this is not part of it that i need right now."

Q: How has the NFL changed since you retired?
A: "Since I retired in1982, the game has changed in a lot of ways. For one thing,  the pay is different. I was the highest-paid player in the league for a little while, and I wasn't receiving what a second-string offensive lineman would be getting now.

"The game is more exciting, The players are bigger, faster and stronger and they hit harder. When I played my offensive linemen averaged 245 pounds. Today, they're more than 300. There is less finesse in offensive line work, and there is more throwing.

"There are more rules, which restrict the ability of the defense to attack a quarterback. And if a quarterback is less  vulnerable to injury, you can have  more reckless abandon in your over-all game plan.

"The 'Look at me' attitude is one of the things that made me not miss the game as much when I had to retire. I really despise 'Look at me.'"

Nominations are now being accepted for the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame.


Nominations must be submitted to LSU by Friday, Nov. 12, for consideration at the next meeting of the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame Committee.


Nominations will be accepted for any former LSU student-athlete, coach or administrator who meets the qualifications for induction into the Hall of Fame.


Five new members were inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame in April, including football defensive back James Britt, golfer Jenny Lidback, equipment manager Jeff Boss, head football coach and athletic director Paul Dietzel and head women’s basketball coach Sue Gunter.  Boss and Gunter were inducted posthumously.


To be eligible for the LSU Hall of Fame in the Athlete category, the individual must have been granted an earned baccalaureate, professional or graduate degree by LSU or by some other regionally accredited institution of higher learning, have earned one or more letters in a varsity sport at LSU, have gained national distinction through superlative performance as an athlete, and have established a personal reputation for character and citizenship which reflects favorably on the University.


Former LSU athletes are eligible for nomination only after three years or more have elapsed since the conferring of his or her degree.

To be eligible in the Coach/Administrator category, the individual must have made significant contributions to LSU Athletics in a capacity other than an athlete, have gained national distinction through exceptional accomplishments in his or her field of expertise and have established a personal reputation for character and citizenship which reflect favorably on the University.


Former LSU coaches and administrators are eligible for nomination only after five years or more have elapsed since retiring from the profession for which the individual is nominated.


Nomination forms can be attained by calling the office of the LSU Director of Athletics at (225) 578-3600, or may be downloaded at  Each nomination form must be accompanied by a professional resume’ of the nominated individual and two letters of recommendation.

by Ed Staton

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