New offensive coordinator Jake Peetz gives initial assessment of LSU’s quarterbacks

New offensive coordinator Jake Peetz hasn’t known LSU’s quarterbacks long, but during his introductory press conference Wednesday, he provided an initial assessment of the group.

“We have great skill sets in there,” Peetz said. “I wouldn’t say any of them are the same, which is good, right? That’s a good thing when we can draw different things. We can attack defenses in a different way.”

LSU will enter preseason practice with a quarterback situation even coach Ed Orgeron described Wednesday as “very interesting.” The Tigers return redshirt junior Myles Brennan, but his mid-season injury let freshmen TJ Finley and Max Johnson receive playing time. LSU also signed four-star recruit Garrett Nussmeier, who enrolled early.

Peetz indicated he watched the quarterbacks’ film since he arrived three days ago. He agreed Johnson, who won his two starts, has some mobility, but Peetz said, “if you look at his calmness and his footwork in the pocket, this guy can play pro-style football. Like this guy can play in the pocket. He can sling it.”

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Peetz thought similarly of Brennan, who started three games last season. Brennan completed 60.3% of his passes for 1,112 yards. He threw 11 touchdowns and three interceptions before an injury sidelined him the rest of the year.

“He can move the pocket,” Peetz said. “He has very good balance. He’s a guy that can sling it well. Really like his lower-half.”

After Brennan’s injury, Finley started five straight games. He flashed potential at times, beating South Carolina in his debut and leading a game-winning drive against Arkansas, but he struggled with turnovers against LSU’s tougher opponents. Finley finished with five touchdowns and five interceptions.

Meeting Finley reminded Peetz of seeing Cam Newton for the first time because both players stand around 6-foot-6. Finley doesn’t have Newton’s reputation for running the football, but Peetz saw examples on film of Finley moving well around the pocket.

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“And the thing about TJ is when he escapes, he can attack you at every level of the field,” Peetz said. “He’s like Steph Curry hitting threes from the parking lot with where he can reach you with his arm.”

Nussmeier is more of an unknown, having yet to practice or play in a college game. Peetz pointed out his competitiveness and success in Texas high school football. He wants to see how Nussmeier moves around the pocket.

“All these kids, there’s not a limiting factor to their games saying, well we can’t play this style of football,” Peetz said. “But whoever the quarterback is, and whenever it is that they play, we’re going to play to their strengths.”

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