9/27/16 5:40 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
Yesterday a new era began in LSU football – the Coach O era – as Ed Orgeron was officially introduced as LSU’s interim head coach. Addressing the media for the first time in his new role, Orgeron promised to “flip the script” and energize the team and fanbase. It was a message delivered in a manner respectful to his predecessor that I’m sure will be well received. You can view a video of the entire press conference (18:24) here, and I’ve recapped several of the key points below in the first seven of today’s Dandy Dozen Quick-Hitting Tidbits. Note: pay attention to No. 8, as it’s one that could have a big adverse effect on LSU’s defensive line. Here we go…
Tuesday Tidbits - Your Daily Dose of Tiger News Delivered in a Dandy Dozen Quick Hitters
1. After promising to reenergize the team and “Tiger family,” Coach O asked all Tiger fans to come out to the stadium this Saturday and support the players. “They work long and hard hours and they deserve the success and deserve the energy that our fans will bring 'em and I know that you guys want to see a great product. We plan on putting it on the field.”
2. Orgeron promised a new style of play on offense, while at the same time acknowledging that there is not a whole lot of time to change things. Later in the presser, he said the team is going to spread the ball out a little bit, be more creative and find ways for the quarterback to get the ball down the field throwing it.
3. Coach O (a.k.a. Bébé) introduced his new coaching staff, confirming the changes we wrote about yesterday which include moving Steve Ensminger to offensive coordinator and bringing in Pete Jenkins to coach the D-line. He also mentioned that Dave Aranda now holds the title of Associate Head Coach and that Steve Kragthorpe has been named “chief of staff” and will help come up with ideas on offense.
4. While speaking of coaching appointments, Orgeron said he asked Bradley Dale Peveto to work solely on special teams (instead of also coaching outside linebackers) because that’s an area that needs work. He then said he has some ideas for that unit and promised improvement. Taking over Peveto’s duties as outside linebacker coach will be Dennis Johnson, a graduate assistant who is also a former player.
5. Another area that needs improvement is clock management and Orgeron has ideas for improving that too. He said they will have someone in the press box whose only tasks will be “clock management and game management.”
6. One interesting change already implemented by Coach O has to do with the team’s practices. Orgeron is scaling back practice time while increasing time in the meeting room, something he says will keep players “fresher.” And get this: Oregon opened yesterday’s “walk-through” practice to the media. Here’s a report on the practice session by the Advocate.
7. As for recruiting, Orgeron said he and his staff called every recruit last night. While acknowledging that the recruits were obviously sad to hear of the firings, Coach O said they were excited that he is now the interim head coach and that the response was positive.
8. Now for a bit of depressing news: LSU’s best defensive lineman, Davon Godchaux, was arrested Monday morning for domestic abuse battery/child endangerment and false imprisonment. According to The Advocate, the victim in the case is the mother of Godchaux’s 10-month-old child. Evidently, she and Godchaux got into a violent argument over “infidelity” in their relationship. LSU wasted no time in suspending Godchaux indefinitely, and I applaud them for their swift action.
9. While I know football is on everyone’s mind at this time, there’s some baseball news to report as LSU’s 2016 recruiting class came in at No. 7 in Collegiate Baseball’s recruiting rankings released yesterday. This is the ninth time in 10 years the Tigers are in the Top 10 of the survey. LSU was No. 1 in 2007, 2010 and 2014; No. 3 in 2009; No. 4 in 2012; No. 7 in 2011 and 2015; and No. 10 in 2013.
10. Also some news on the basketball front: A total of 10 former Tigers are on preseason NBA rosters for the 2016-17 season. Heading that list is veteran player Brandon Bass, who will move to a new team this year, and the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Ben Simmons. Here’s the complete list of the 10 and more information on this topic.
11. Jumping back to football news, this exclusive interview of Joe Alleva by The Advocate indicates that Les Miles will be paid a buyout of $9.6 million. In it, Alleva says the next nine weeks are an audition for Coach Orgeron, but that he doesn’t believe he will have a problem attracting a quality candidate to replace Miles.
12. I’ll leave you today with a video from The Dan Patrick Show in which Les Miles was interviewed about his situation. Miles’ comments clearly that show what a class act he is and how he wants nothing but the best for our program. Just as I will forever be a Tiger Fan, I will forever be a Les Miles fan.
Stay tuned as tomorrow we’ll begin looking ahead at this Saturday’s homecoming game between LSU and Missouri. By the way, a few tickets to that game can be found on our Ticket Exchange, which was updated last night.