Good morning and welcome back to the Bayou Bengal Briefing where, to borrow a phrase from Ed Orgeron, things “will always be about the LSU Tigers.” We’ve got a lot to get to in today’s Briefing, including thoughts from Monday’s practice, disappointing news about a key cog on the LSU defensive line, updates from the NFL and even some presidential debate analysis, LSU style. Let’s get to it.
Pay attention to the men behind the curtain
Monday was Ed Orgeron’s first official day as interim head coach at LSU, and he didn’t wait long to enact some of the changes he had in mind. One of the most major changes is what he’s done to the practice structure. Orgeron has tweaked the structure that his predecessor, Les Miles, laid out, eschewing longer, physical practices in favor of short practices with more time in the film and meeting rooms.
That was evident immediately Monday, as LSU’s players practiced without pads on and put very little focus on actual contact. Rather, the focus was on making sure players knew where to line up and how to execute their reads and assignments.
As you may have figured out, one of the other major changes was the Orgeron is allowing media to view certain periods of practice, unlike Miles.
When Coach O was promoted Sunday, the most commonly used word to describe the change was “energy.” As you can see from that video, Orgeron has no shortage of that. Thee 55-year-old coach, wearing the white t-shirt and purple shorts, can be seen running to the end zone and back with his players at the end of drills in the clip. And this wasn’t the only time Orgeron did this, repeating the feat at least four or five more times in the 30-minute period the media was allowed to view.
If the change from Miles to Orgeron was made to inject a spark into the team, Orgeron certainly has the personality to do such a thing. Case in point: LSU dictates its practice schedule according to set periods of time, counted off on a scoreboard in the facility. When the buzzer on the scoreboard goes off, it’s time to head to another station. The first time the buzzer went off Monday, everyone stopped dead in their tracks. Then there was about a one-second pause. No one knew what to do. Then Orgeron started barking out directions. No one hesitated, running to their next place on the field.
Also worth noting: Running back Leonard Fournette was not practicing with the team Monday during the media period. It’s possible that Fournette joined the team later on as it began to install more Missouri-specific packages, but at least for the first half hour of the night, Fournette was absent.
The Davon Godchaux situation
Orgeron was quick to admit during his introductory press conference Monday that he’s been accused of being a little too much of a disciplinarian. And as it always seems to go, it only took a couple of hours into his tenure as head coach for him to have to prove it.
Defensive lineman Davon Godchaux was suspended indefinitely Monday after he was arrested on misdemeanor charges of false imprisonment Monday morning. Godchaux was released shortly after he was arrested after posting a $3,000 bond. He was also given summons for domestic abuse battery and for child endangerment for his involvement in the alleged domestic dispute.
Godchaux ranked fifth on the team this year with 20 tackles, and third with two sacks. His most likely replacements on the defense are Frank Herron, who has eight tackles this year, and Deondre Clark, who has yet to etch his way onto the stat sheet.
Though Godchaux will need to be replaced, the more important thing at this situation is for the justice system to carry out due process for everyone. That said, Godchaux was an important fixture on the LSU defensive line who played a very good game against Auburn, and with the team entering into a new era with a new defensive line coach, whoever steps in for him will be someone worth monitoring.
Your weekly NFLSU update:
Because of all he Les Miles hullaballoo Monday, we never got the opportunity to catch you up on the action of former LSU players in the NFL from this weekend. Now that Monday Night Football has finished, we figure it’s as good of a time as any to share some stats with you, and just as a treat, we’ll throw in some context where we can for making you wait.
Falcons LB @BigDreams_Bo showing out in his hometown.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) September 27, 2016
- Our highlight of the week also is a heartwarming one. Atlanta Falcons rookie linebacker Deion Jones is a New Orleans native who was playing in the Superdome for the first time in his life, and on the day that the Saints honored the famed Hurricane Katrina “Rebirth” game of all days. Jones opened the day by wearing cleats commemorating Katrina, and then just about closed the game with that 90-yard pick six, securing a win for the Falcons.
- In what is becoming a weekly occurrence, Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry is continuing to tear through NFL defensive backfields. The third-year pro out of LSU caught seven passes for 120 yards and a touchdown, extending his receiving yardage on the year to 314 yards, the most in the AFC. Landry is tied with All-Pro Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown for the NFL lead in receptions with 24.
- Not one to be outdone, New York Giants wide receiver and fellow third-year Odell Beckham, Jr. saw Landry’s stat line and raised him one. Beckham also caught seven passes, but instead of going for 120 yards, he went for 121. Beckham has the eighth-most receiving yards in the NFL this season, but has yet to catch a touchdown pass.
- Though his Cincinnati Bengals ended up losing, running back Jeremy Hill played a very good ballgame Sunday against the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos and their vaunted defense. Hill carried 17 times for 98 yards and two touchdowns. He is one of the 10 players in the NFL to have rushed for multiple touchdowns so far this season.
- When the Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals faced off Sunday, the two teams combined to intercept five passes and force six fumbles. So obviously, some LSU players were involved. Former LSU defensive tackle Kyle Williams, now with the Bills, notched his first sack of the season, while former first-round pick and Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson came down with an interception for the second-straight week. Also in that game, linebacker Kevin Minter and safety Tyrann Mathieu finished the contest with four tackles apiece.
Decision 2016: LSU Edition
As the United States heads into its presidential election this November, it’s only natural that, from time to time, we’ll touch on what’s going on in politics. But only if there’s a reason to. Don’t worry.
Monday night was the first of three presidential debates between Republican nominee for president Donald Trump and Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton. And just like you, probably, some of LSU’s current and former players took to Twitter during and after the debate to voice their opinions on what they just saw. Here’s a very brief smattering of some of the better entries.
— Zach Von Rosenberg (@ZVR09) September 27, 2016
Lester Holt right now pic.twitter.com/tRZhBCdVaJ
— Reid Ferguson (@SnapFlow50) September 27, 2016
— Willie Allen (@WillieA35498392) September 27, 2016
I think you pretty much summed up the reactions of most Americans, Willie. Good job having your thumb on the pulse of the nation.