BATON ROUGE, La. — Monday’s LSU press conference is the official kickoff to a new era of Tigers football.
Athletic Director Joe Alleva and interim head coach Ed Orgeron are meeting with the media for the first time since the university parted ways with 12-year coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on Sunday.
LSU, which opened the year ranked No. 5 in the AP Poll, dropped to 2-2 after a last-second loss on the road at Auburn on Saturday.
Here are the highlights from what Alleva and Orgeron said during Monday’s press conference:
- Alleva: It’s never easy to make a change, especially when that change involves a guy like Les Miles .. he loves LSU. We wish Les (and his family) all the best. We thank him for all he did for us at LSU.”
- JA: This program needed a change. Change is necessary to give the players the best opportunity. At the end of the day it’s all about the players and where they’re going. At this time, Ed Orgeron is the right man to take over this program. His enthusiasm is contagious … I still believe this team has great things ahead of it, that can be achieved in the next 6 games.”
- Ed Orgeron: I want to thank Coach Miles for bringing me here. He taught me a lot of us, competed against him. He walked out and said ‘Ed I want to support you.
- EO: Our players are looking forward to the energy we’re going to bring. We’re going to flip the script to energize this team and the Tiger family.
- EO: This is all about our players, our players feeling good about themselves. They came to LSU to be the very best and they deserve it. They deserve the energy our fans can bring them.
- EO: You can expect a new style of offense, new appointments on our staff.
- Orgeron named DC Dave Aranda the associate head coach
- Steve Ensminger is the offensive coordinator and QB coach
- Dameyune Craig is recruiting coordinator
- Pete Jenkins takes over as DL coach.
- RB coach Jabbar Juluke and DB coach Corey Raymond … stay as is
- Bradley Dale Peveto will deal with only special teams, no longer on defense
- Dennis Johnson is OLB coach. Promoted under Orgeron. He played for LSU and was Orgeron’s grad assistant
- Austin Thomas was promoted to LSU’s GM, in addition to Assistant AD and Director of Player Personnel
- Special Assistant to the Head Coach is Derek Posnansky
- EO: Whatever happened in the past doesn’t matter. We’re going to attack Missouri. Practice with energy, belief in ourselves and having fun playing football and in Tiger Stadium winning football games. We’re sad to see Les Miles go, but happy they have a familiar face running the football team.
- Orgeron said some practices will be open to the media, which was not the case under Miles.
- On offensive changes — Be more creative, find ways the QB can get the ball down the field throwing it. We know people load the ball on Fournette and Guice, so make nice, easy throws down the field and score points.
- On view of this opportunity — This is about our young men. I’ve been with these guys. It’s not something you want them to grow through. Take the future aside, whatever happen will happen. We’re going to come together, one heartbeat. All I want to do is see them win, be happy. It’s a well-respected position I’m holding right now. I understand the expectations at LSU and I fully, fully intend to meet all those expectations.”
- On USC experience — I am glad I have had experience of being interim coach. Every time you go through head coaching job .. you find out what coach you are. The style of coach I’ll let my coaches coach. They’ll be accountable. We want our team to play with energy, take care of the football, go get the football. Being at home and playing in front of the Tiger family is different. Expectations are high, but it’s what I love. It’s a great situation, very similar (to USC). I do believe they’re fired up about what’s going on.”
- On growth between Ole Miss, USC job to now — I went full speed ahead, wanted to do everything, coach QB and WR. I learned from it. When I went to USC, I delegated authority. Had guys experience and played to my strengths, and I got my team to play the way my DL played. I gave them freedom to play the way they wanted to play and we won football games.
- On change — The team needed change. A way in the way we do things, freshness, energy. They love Coach Miles, but things don’t work you gotta change it. We’re going to flip the script, play with energy, more time in the meeting room, less on practice field, hopefully see excitement on the sideline
- It’s easy to look back, hindsight is 20-20. He’s our change. I don’t want to talk about the past. We’ll make mistakes at full speed.
- On relationship with the staff — I look at is as if we’re building a building. Make sure you’re doing your job. IF we all pull together, we’re going to be very successful. There are things I do well and things I don’t do well. We’re going to lean on each other and move forward. Adversity brings us all together. There’s new leadership on the offensive side. We have a very strong staff.”
- On offensive changes at QB — We’re going to be very multiple. I’m a pro-style guy. Spreading the ball around means different personnel. Throw to the TE, something I’m familiar with in the past and have had success. With Steve Ensminger, has had some success putting it all together. It’s about the players we have.
- No change at QB at this time
- On calls he received — The most important call was to Pete Jenkins. I called my wife and I called Pete. He was driving from Destin. I think the world of the man and our players will love him.
- On changes under Orgeron — We’re going to work hard on that in practice, on clock management, on having someone in the press conference in charge of clock and game management. Hopefully we can do a better job. It’s happened to other coaches around the country.
- The rope metaphor — If you play all 11 at one time on football field and all are going in the same direction, you’re usually going to win. You come to LSU and expectations — it’s the greatest job in America. It’s the greatest state to recruit, the best players – we have them. It’s about the LSU Tigers. It’s not about one player and one player can’t win a football team. It takes all 11. It’s my job to get us all pulling on the same side.
- On coaching style — I’ve been accused on being a disciplinarian. Being a DL coach it’s natural. When you coach the whole team you look at each speciifc manner. I also believe that when they cross the line there has to be a disciplinary reaction
- On the need for energy: Everybody has their own style. That’s my style. It’s going to come out. The teams we’ve won championships, we’ve won with energy. It’s an emotional game. The guys want to get fired up. They listen to music, they want to dance around and have fun. It’s the guys we’re coaching now. It’s the approach that we will take.”
- On recruiting: We had a pour hour. We called all our recruits. They were all sad. They were very excited that I’m the interim HC. I know most of them. It’s one area I know we’ll do very well”
- On game vs. Missouri — It’ll never be about Missouri. It’ll always be about the LSU Tigers.
- On Fournette — Leonard is a big piece of what we’re doing. He’s totally in and we expect him to do great things, but to me, it’s all about the team.