DENHAM SPRINGS -- It took a while for it to happen, but LSU play-by-play commentator and Director of Radio Broadcasting Chris Blair finally got his chance to speak at the monthly meeting of the Denham Springs Athletic Association at Big Mike’s Sports Bar & Grill.
Blair, in his fifth season calling LSU athletics, was scheduled to speak at the DSAA meeting in August of 2016, but the Great Flood delayed his appearance until the first meeting of the 2019-20 academic school year on Monday. Blair opened his speech by acknowledging the flood and how the strength the people of Denham Springs had following it made endeared him to Louisiana.
“I was supposed to be here three years ago,” Blair said. “I moved to Baton Rouge in December of 2015. My family joined me late in December and I was excited for baseball to start. I had the dream job. And then I was asked to come speak to this group, and I think (the DSAA) was the only group that asked me to come speak outside of the Rotary Club. But it happened to be during the flood of 2016. Obviously, I didn’t make it here, this building was under water, as was a lot of the area.”
“When the flood happened, I had friends I had in Kentucky, South Carolina and Georgia tell me ‘where in the world did you move to, man? What’s going on?’ But I remember telling all those people who asked me about it, in those days and weeks after the flood, I said this is the only place I’d want to be. When the you-know-what hits the fan, seeing how people react in this part of the country, this is where I want to be when something bad happens. This building, this restaurant, you people are a testament to that. As somebody from the outside, it was impressive the way this place responded and responds to this day.”
After his opening statement, Blair mainly talked about the upcoming LSU football season, highlighting both the depth on defense and the renovated offense under new passing game coordinator Joe Brady.
“I don’t know how deep into the playbook they’re going to go against Georgia Southern,” Blair said. “But even at that, you’re going to see a major difference in philosophy and style. You’re going to see four-wide, five wide, running backs used in the passing game, you’re going to see tight ends in Thad Moss and Stephen Sullivan that makes a defensive coordinator really worried. Because they look like NFL receivers, but they can go out and block.”
“The ball comes out quicker,” Blair added. “You’re looking at 2.5, 2.7 seconds and that ball is coming out. They’re no longer trying to max protect. They’re going to have options and targets on every snap. And that’s going to be the difference against the defenses you’ll see in the SEC.”
Blair also heaped praise on Myles Brennan, who hails from St. Stanislaus in Mississippi, where he was a former player under current Yellow Jackets coach Bill Conides.
“Myles Brennan looks to me like he could go in against anybody at anytime and deliver,” Blair said. “I’ve never seen a kid look as comfortable and as fluid as he has this fall camp. He’s smooth as silk. Joe Burrow is going to be the leader, but have no fear if he gets into a game. He looked incredible last weekend and the week before.”