DALLAS — Marcus Spears says LSU needs to stick a Brick in that hole in its football staff.
The former LSU and Dallas Cowboys defensive end said Saturday that the school should promote defensive line coach Brick Haley to replace the departed John Chavis.
“They need to stop messing around and hire Brick,” said Spears, who was in attendance at CFP National Championship Game media day. “He knows the organization and he’s been a defensive coordinator before.”
Haley, who arrived at LSU along with Chavis in 2009, was defensive coordinator at Baylor from 1999-2001.
It was initially thought Haley would follow Chavis to Texas A&M. But with LSU’s search for a replacement dragging on well into its second week, there is growing speculation Haley could be in line for a promotion.
Miller a no-show
Injured Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has also been the subject of speculation that he may transfer to LSU.
But if Miller is having those thoughts, he was keeping them to himself, a no-show for Saturday’s media day.
Miller, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in August throwing a short pass, apparently didn’t attend Sugar Bowl media day either.
Pellum dodges LSU talk
During Oregon’s media day session, Ducks defensive coordinator Don Pellum, whose name has been connected in some reports to the Tigers’ vacancy, brushed off questions about whether he’s been contacted by LSU.
“I’m just trying to win a football game,” Pellum said.
Pellum appears to be a long shot to leave Oregon because he never has. He played for the Ducks and has spent his entire career as an administrator and assistant coach in Eugene.
Just as sweet
Spears, who just completed his first season as an analyst on the SEC Network, still lives in the Dallas suburb of Frisco.
He said rarely does a trip to Baton Rouge go by without someone talking to him about his 20-yard interception return for a touchdown off Oklahoma quarterback Jason White in the 2004 Sugar Bowl — the difference in LSU’s 21-14 BCS-clinching victory.
Spears said the 41-yard pick-six by Buckeyes defensive end Steve Smith against Alabama reminded him of his play.
“He dropped into coverage just like I did,” Spears said.
It’s time to move on
Oregon coach Mark Helfrich bristled at repeated questions about the suspension of wide receiver Darren Carrington for a positive marijuana test.
“It will not be a distraction,” he said. “The only thing that I’ll talk about from that standpoint is confirm that it’s an NCAA policy that is in play here, and he’s ineligible for this game.”
After several other attempts to get him to comment, Helfrich snapped, “I appreciate the question again, but let’s go. Let’s move. We’re going to waste a lot of time here.”
Carrington, a redshirt freshman, is Oregon’s fourth-leading receiver with 37 catches for 704 yards and four touchdowns.
Fan with a plan
Dallas resident and New Orleans native Chris Plauche had his objective in sight at Saturday’s media day and fan day activities at the Dallas Convention Center: former Florida and Heisman-winning quarterback Tim Tebow.
Tebow was several yards away doing a segment on ESPN. Plauche patiently waited behind a barrier, a Heisman helmet with Mark Ingram and Ricky Williams’ autographs already on it.
Being as he was surrounded by happy Oregon and Ohio State fans, Plauche wondered how far away LSU was from getting back to this national stage.
“I have been (concerned) for a while,” Plauche said. “I love Les Miles as a recruiter, but I always question his in-game management.”
As for the Saints and their disappointing 7-9 season, Plauche said: “I think it was just an off year. You would think it’s something behind the scenes. But I still believe in Sean (Payton) and Mickey (Loomis) and I think they’ll do it.”
His pick for Monday’s game?
“I think it comes down to whoever gets the ball last, but my gut tells me Oregon.”
Both teams will hold closed walkthrough practice sessions at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, while Helfrich and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer meet the media one last time before kickoff.