BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU introduced Steve Ensminger as the Tigers’ next offensive coordinator on Thursday, promoting the long-time LSU assistant from tight ends coach.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron introduced Ensminger in a press conference before leading to Ensminer himself speaking. SEC Country was on hand and typed Orgeron and Ensminger’s words as they said them.
Below you’ll find an abridged transcript of Orgeron and Ensminger’s words.
What LSU coach Ed Orgeron said:
- What a great day for the LSU football team. I’m so proud to introduce Steve Ensminger as our next offensive coordinator. He’s a Tiger through and through. He’s a great family man, a Baton Rouge native and 100 percent committed to LSU. But he’s not just one of ours. He is also the best coach to lead LSU’s offense in the next coming years. I do believe that in my heart and I’m 100 percent convinced of that. How he leads our offense, how he coaches, Steve Ensminger is no doubt in my mind the best guy to be our offensive coordinator.
- At LSU, we must and we will develop championship quarterbacks. We have three outstanding quarterbacks coming back. Steve is equipped to run the offense to our skill sets. We’re going to adapt to the best offenses our players can run. We can put our players in space and get the ball downfield. We will have quarterback runs. We have an excellent pure passer in Myles Brennan. We will have a short, quick, controlled passing game. In my research, there’s no one better than Steve Ensminger, as well as the staff we’re going to provide him.
- His play calling ability is second to no one. His ability to command a staff and do the things we want to at LSU makes Steve Ensminger the best guy for the job.
- I can tell you our recruits and their families love the hire. When I introduced him [Wednesday], our players stood up and cheered.
- I want you to think about 2016. When he took over and didn’t have much time to prepare, he put together one of the best offenses LSU has ever had. We had a great rushing attack, multiple individual and team records were set. He brings confidence, he brings poise and he brings excitement to our offense.
What LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger said:
- Let me say this: I’m so excited about this opportunity. It’s a tremendous honor to be named offensive coordinator at LSU. It’s been offered before and it didn’t work out for me. My time being back here and coaching tight ends has been special. But this is what I’ve been working my whole career for.
- Playing quarterback for Charlie Mac, I’ll tell you, that’s why I chose this profession. I want to make a difference in young people’s lives.
- 2016 working as offensive coordinator for Coach O, I’ll tell you, that was the best experience of my life. Seeing the way they were happy spreading the ball around and the tight ends and the receivers and the quarterbacks, it was the best time of my life. We’re going to do that again. I can promise you.
- I’ve been doing this a long time in the SEC. I’m ready for this.
- It’s kind of like riding a bike. You don’t forget how to be a quarterback. You don’t forget to do a 3-step drop or a 5-step drop or throw an out route. It’s my job to develop them and do what’s best for them.
- Coach O has put a great staff together. The first time we sat and had a discussion about our personnel, I walked out of that meeting excited. I’ve worked all my life to have this opportunity and I look forward to it.
- To the players: When Coach O talked about this, was there any hesitation? No. I’m the one guy who knows our players, our receivers, our quarterback and our offensive linemen. I’m the guy to lead them. We had a big meeting [Wednesday] and it’s all about trust. That’s what’s going to happen.
- I want to thank our leadership, president Alexander and [athletic director] Joe Alleva for putting the trust in me to lead this team.
- Just imagine growing up a kid and all you do is go to college football games. It’s a great career. But I was laying in bed last night and the movie Miracle was on. Before the big game, the coach said this: Great moments are born on great opportunities. This is my opportunity. I embrace it. I look forward to it. And I look forward to making this state proud.
- Why now?: Last year, I was hesitant because it wasn’t my offense. I understood. But I just had to tweak some things, so I was hesitant to do it. But now it’s my offense. It’s my offense, my terminology. I was a coordinator for 18 years. It’s not the biggest challenge. The biggest challenge is the terminology and what you do with the team. I understand what I think you have to do to win with this team.
- 2-QB system: When I played under Coach Mac, I didn’t understand it. But he taught me to understand it. If we have to play two quarterbacks, we’ll do it. But I look forward to spring putting those quarterbacks in the places to win. Those things have not been determined yet.
- Play at the next level: I think we have the talent to play at that level. We showed that the last few years playing Alabama. But [Wednesday] was the first time we had a chance to get together as an offensive staff. And we spent the whole day evaluating our talent. But the thing I realize is we have very talented receivers. We have depth at receiver which we haven’t had in a few years. I think we have to put three and four wide receivers on the field. I think we have to be an RPO team. I think we have to go no-huddle. That’s the direction we’re going. That’s the decision we have to make. And I think we have to put the best talent on the field and that’s going to be three and four wideouts.
- Gap between offensive coordinating: I had a guy called me last night and said ‘Did you see the paper?’ and I said ‘Hell no, I haven’t read the paper in 20 years!’ All I can do is what I can do. I can’t let any outside influence say I can’t do something. Bull—-. I’ll do it.
- RPO offense: You look at my first game that Coach O asked me to play. We had more RPOs in there. We had a regular personnel and all of a sudden they had a corner covering a fullback and a linebacker covering our receivers. You can’t do it all. But you can run out of three wides and still throw the ball deep. Every personnel we get in, I plan on being able to throw the RPOs and throw intermediate pass routes. You have to be able to do it all out of that personnel. Defenses are too good nowadays. It doesn’t matter what personnel we’re in. We’re going to throw the football, we’re going to run the quick game and throw it over their head.
- Quarterbacks: I had a chance to keep up with Georgia. They had great running backs so they had a chance to develop [freshman QB Jake Fromm] Early in the year they didn’t depend on him to make plays. He had a whole season to get better. I think we can do that. We do have good running backs. None of them are proven yet. But our strength is wide receivers. Going through spring and everything else, we’re going to put the pressure on the quarterbacks and see what he can handle. Then we’re going to adjust from there.
- Staff member: My opinions were considered. But the thing about it is, people say ‘OK, how are you going to run it, what’s your terminology going to be?’ To be honest, I haven’t even studied it because I want our staff to be a part of it. Are you comfortable with this cadence? Are you comfortable changing our passing system to a number system so we’re all involved? Instead of saying: Here it is. Learn it. Let’s go. [Wednesday] was amazing. I’m looking forward to putting this together with them. I’ll lead this thing. But it’s our offense and they need to be a part of it.
Questions for Ed Orgeron
- Recruiting duties: He’ll recruit quarterbacks in and out of the state and I’ll keep him in Shreveport. He had Dallas before and I’ll take him out of there. He needed help.
- Why not make Steve OC last year: I thought about it. I did. I remember my statement: I’m going to go out and find the best offensive coordinator in the country. And I did. I did all I could to fulfill my promise to the fans. Things didn’t work out. But we’re moving on. And I knew deep down in my heart that I had Steve. I researched a lot of guys. After my research I still believe that Steve Ensminger is the best coordinator for LSU.
- Trust?: I feel like we’re a team. I trust Steve and Steve trusts me. Really, at the wide receiver position, we’re going to bring in another guy that’s an expert at it. Everyone on my staff I’ve worked with before and I totally trust them. It’s a great atmosphere. Our receivers are a prime example of that.
- Quarterback focus: We have a pocket passer right now and we have two dual-threat quarterbacks. We’re going to fit our offense to their needs. You find a great quarterback that might not be the type of quarterback you’re looking for your offense. You have to be open-minded. Obviously we would like to have a quarterback who can extend plays with his feet. But we also see that a pro passer can take you to a championship. Are we going to go out and recruit one type of quarterback? No. We’re going to get the best guy available and fit his needs.
- Offensive scheme: Players are resilient. They’re tough. Steve’s an excellent teacher. His style is going to be simple to learn. The good thing about a lot of our players is they were with Steve when we had success with our offense. They’re with him.
- Tee Martin: Someone called me. Tee and I are very good friends. I received a call if there was any interest. I said that although I do respect Tee and will be a good coach somewhere, I have my guy.
- Ball security: I think you need to be smart. With some offenses that Steve and I have been successful in the past, it always starts with protection. Obviously the short, quick, easy throws are calculated.
- What do you want from this offense?: I’m only going to talk about the future now. We need to score points. A lot of times Steve scored over 40 points. We need that. I think we need to play off each other. I think we need to be very efficient in the red zone. Steve had an 89 percent efficiency rating when he took over in the red zone. That is amazing. He has a plan for every part of the field. Those are very important for us moving forward. He can adapt for talent. Steve’s a great game day play caller. He’s not stuck on one thing or another. And he is the best candidate for the job.