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Mike Detillier on Joe Brady and the 2019 LSU Offense
From talking to folks that have worked with Joe, they have lavished praise on his work ethic, his attention to detail, his knowledge of the spread offense and RPO factors, and his willingness to change and adapt to difference personnel packages. Sometimes as we get older in life, and it applies to coaches too, you don’t want to change and you keep what you know.
Can’t fear change in life. The most successful people in any business stick to core values, but adapt to change. That is what makes them from good to great. And for the most part, change is good and you have to adapt to different things players-wise, coaches-wise, and organization-wise.
Brady has learned from good people at Penn State, with the Saints with Sean Payton, Pete Carmichael, Curtis Johnson, and you pick up things from those guys to insert in an offense. I do know with Payton you are not going to work at 7 a.m. and knocking off at 5 p.m. You get to work real early and you work late and it’s about attention to detail.
The RPO factor will be there more with Joe Burrow this season because of Joe Brady. Not everyone can just hang in the pocket and you have to put pressure on defenses with the threat of the run and the call to run. We saw some of it last season and Steve Ensminger was that type quarterback at LSU too. He likes that element and would have called it more, but the injury to Myles Brennan delayed that. That will be more of a factor with Joe, who is one tough dude out on the field and a good downfield runner.
But what I believe you will see much more of is a “spread the field” with three wide receivers and a flex tight end to spread defenses out. You’ve got to cover those guys and it opens up the running game from not having seven or eight men in the box.
You will see more quick/short passes out in the flat to receivers and sort of an extended hand-off, but as a pass. LSU has a lot of talent at wide receiver and big receivers and you have to use that element more. That’s what Joe Brady brings having seen what Sean Payton has done with the offense with the Saints and how successful it has been.
Now, here is the issue. Plays being called with the Saints had Drew Brees make it work many times and that won’t be the case all the time with Joe Burrow or Myles Brennan. Brady understands and Steve Ensminger also, you have to call plays that work best for Burrow and Myles.
Brees is unique as a player, but he has a mindset in knowing what works best for him and he lets the coaches know. Joe and Steve have to have that same mindset with Burrow and Brennan and find out from them what works best for them individually. Myles and Joe are not the same type quarterback. There are different things each of them do better than the other.
The running game and the power running piece of the puzzle will always be there under Ed Orgeron. He knows you need to have it and when to use it. That part will stay the same, but this LSU team needs more balance and a better passing attack and Brady is a young coach, but he has a lot of experience with some of the best offensive minds in the game in throwing the football.
So, in a nutshell, you will see more short/quick passes to the wide receivers, more involvement with the backs coming out of the backfield in the passing game, and also using the tight end more. Stephen Sullivan is the perfect “flex” tight end in an offense Ensminger and Brady have pieced together. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a really good receiver coming out of the backfield and so is freshman John Emery. Don’t go by what you saw in the spring. They showed very little of that offense, but the key will be finding what fits Joe Burrow best offensively in the passing game and using that short to intermediate passing area more. That helps the deep ball too.
Steve has talked about getting at least 3 to 4 deep passes and making them work. You got to hit on those deep throws. Many times you see wide receivers wide open and you have to connect.
The talent, size and playmaking skills of an area (wide receivers) that is thick for LSU has to be used better, and now you have the experienced quarterback to make it happen. Joe Burrow is the key offensively because of his talents and what he does to make defenses adjust to those skills. It's the same on defense when you have or don't have K’Lavon Chaisson or Grant Delpit. They make plays others can't make.
To be continued...
Mike Detillier, based in southern Louisiana, is editor and publisher of Mike Detillier’s NFL Draft Report. He’s also the college and pro football analyst for WWL 870 AM Radio in New Orleans, a sports columnist for several newspapers and Web sites, and a frequent guest on radio and television programs across the country. Visit Mike’s website at mikedetillier.com and follow @MikeDetillier on Twitter.
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