Was defensive analyst Kevin Coyle hired with LSU’s future in mind?
SEC Country reporter Alex Hickey will answer your LSU Tigers sports queries each weekday in our LSU Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryLSU, @bigahickey or by email to Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question of the Day: Tuesday, March 13
LSU has been aggressive in adding analysts to the off-field coaching staff this season, with former Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle being the most recent hire.
One curious reader wondered whether Coyle’s hire is an insurance policy. Here is our email from regular reader Scotty:
I was just wondering if Kevin Coyle may be the heir apparent to Aranda? Our defense is going to be top notch again this year so I believe it’s only a matter of time before Aranda is offered an NFL position. Your thoughts?
The latter half of Scotty’s statement rings true. At some point, an NFL team will be wise enough to hire Dave Aranda as its defensive coordinator. But the addition of the 62-year-old Coyle is not a look to the future. It is a look to the present — and the past.
First, the present. The Alabama machine is built with a boatload of support staffers. That is the model Ed Orgeron is hoping to replicate at LSU. He has grown fond of adding NFL veterans who can break down film and help free up time that full-time assistants can devote to recruiting and other essential duties.
Of course, two of those analysts — Greg McMahon (special teams) and Jerry Sullivan (passing game coordinator) — were added to the full-time staff this year, perhaps prompting Scotty’s question.
As noted, Coyle is more of a connection to Orgeron’s past than any potential future without Aranda.
Coyle was Syracuse’s defensive coordinator under Paul Pasqualoni from 1991-93. Their paths didn’t cross at Syracuse — Orgeron arrived in 1995 — but Orgeron’s respect for Pasqualoni is well known. It is no surprise he would trust someone from that coaching tree.
In the wake of offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s messy departure, it is clear that loyalty and trust are huge factors when Orgeron adds members to his coaching staff. That is what Coyle brings to the equation in his analyst role.
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