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Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
There's nothing like a little spin control.
You knew it was coming after the comments of LSU defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois began to circulate. Jean-Francois was quoted earlier this week in a blog entry by the Orlando Sentinel's Jeremy Fowler as saying he planned to "take [Tim] Tebow out of the game" this Saturday.
Jean-Francois, who was interviewed by Fowler last week, was pretty explicit in the way his comments were reported in saying the Tigers were going to go after Tebow and hurt him. He even used the analogy of a car wreck without a seatbelt.
He told the Orlando Sentinel: "If we get a good shot on him, we're going to try our best to take him out of the game. With his size and his heart, it's hard to get a clean shot. If he does get hurt, there's a trained medical staff at Florida, so you can go to the training room on Sunday."
Give the LSU folks credit. It didn't take them long to react.
By Tuesday, Jean-Francois had issued a statement through the LSU media relations department clarifying his comments. Naturally, Jean-Francois was off limits to the media.
"We never go into any football game trying to hurt a player from the other team," Jean-Francois said in his statement. "My comments in regard to Florida quarterback Tim Tebow were misinterpreted and were intended to reflect the style of football that we play at LSU. We have great respect for Tim as player and a competitor. By taking him out of the game, I meant, as a defense we are going to try to make him ineffective. I'm sorry that my initial comments were interpreted another way."
Interpreted another way?
When you start talking about car wrecks and trained medical staffs being able to deal with injuries, how else is it supposed to be interpreted?
Something tells me it will be interpreted exactly the way it was reported in the Orlando Sentinel when Jean-Francois hits the field Saturday night at the Swamp.
To Tebow's credit, he downplayed the whole thing and said any kind of trash talk just raises his level of intensity -- which is already through the roof.
Should be interesting.