BATON ROUGE, La. — This season, you can expect to see every full-time LSU assistant coach on the sidelines. Not just coordinators, but all the position coaches too.
It is an unorthodox move to say the least, but that’s always been Tigers coach Les Miles’ modus operandi.
“Here is the issue: Where does (defensive coordinator) Dave (Aranda) and (offensive coordinator) Cam (Cameron) figure to serve us best? To me, I think what Cam gave us (in the bowl game) dealing with the quarterbacks was extremely good, and I think Dave’s really got to be downstairs for the defense,” Miles said. “(Bradley Dale) Peveto is going to substitute our special teams. Ed (Orgeron) is going to substitute the defensive line. So really, the coordinators are the only ones — the coordinators and the secondary coach would be the ones that can come upstairs and the reality is that our guys wanted to stay down.”
For their part, the players feel it is more beneficial to have a face-to-face conversation with their position coaches and coordinators than to try to figure things over the telephone.
“I most definitely find it helpful,” said junior safety Jamal Adams. “The only reason I do is because I can relate to them on the field and ask them anything I need. Maybe they see something on the field that I didn’t. It’s always different from the box than the field. I don’t know, I feel as a coach they would rather be on the field directing traffic and helping us out.”
In Aranda’s case, senior cornerback Tre’Davious White figures if it isn’t broken, why fix it?
“This will be the first time we’ve had a D-coordinator on the field, so I’m pretty open to see what happens,” White said. “(Aranda) did have the No. 2 defense in the country last year doing the same thing. So let’s see how it goes.”
Miles playfully stated that his “second-team” coaches would be up in the press box, which in this case means graduate assistants.
“What we will do is we’ll have a young group of coaches. Those guys that can coach and talk and be upstairs,” Miles said.
When pressed as to whether this was an original Mad Hatter scheme, Miles said that he had previously done it while on Bill McCartney’s staff at Colorado, where he coached from 1982-86.
And if it somehow turns out that the grad assistants aren’t providing a keen enough eye in the sky, Miles will reshuffle the deck and put someone with more seniority upstairs.
“I’m going to take it under advisement and say that they can see the field from there,” Miles said. “And if I find that, in fact, we’re not getting the view of things that need to be relayed from the press box, this will change.”