BATON ROUGE, La. — Ed Orgeron has eight years of experience of working with Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. Dave Aranda has been watching film on Kiffin for less than a week. And with the way he knows his defensive coordinator, Orgeron doesn’t think he can tell Aranda anything about Kiffin that he hasn’t already figured out.
“I did mention a couple of things, but they were obvious things that he saw already on film,” Orgeron said on his weekly teleconference Wednesday morning. “Throughout the course of the week I’ll send a couple of formations and plays that we’ll see and see what he wants to do from it, but Dave has figured it out already.”
When Orgeron and Kiffin worked together at USC and Tennessee, Kiffin ran more conventional, pro-style offenses. In Kiffin’s first year as USC’s offensive coordinator, for example, Trojans running back Reggie Bush shook and shimmied his way to a Heisman Trophy.
But now, as Orgeron said, the Alabama offense that Kiffin helms makes the offenses from his days at USC look like relics of a foregone era.
“He’s gone to the spread offense now,” Orgeron said. “Obviously he still does a tremendous job of mixing up the run and the pass, but it’s all quarterback runs now. We were never quarterback runs at USC, it was all under center. Now it’s a lot of pistol, varying formations, mostly the spread offense now.”
As for the personal relationship between Orgeron and Kiffin, Orgeron said that neither harbors any ill will about the way their second stint at USC ended, with Kiffin getting fired and Orgeron taking over as the Trojans’ interim head coach. In fact, Orgeron said he and Kiffin still speak on the phone two or three times a week, describing their relationship by saying “We’re not coaching friends. We’re personal friends.”
That said, don’t expect the two to be in communication over the next two weeks while LSU prepares to face Alabama.
“You know, I talk to him two or three times per week, but we’re going to take a hiatus the next few weeks,” Orgeron said. “I know he’s going to want to talk to me, but I ain’t answering back. I know how he is.”