BATON ROUGE, La. — In the tradition of “Taco Tuesday” and “Casual Friday,” LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron has a need to give every day of the week its own unique label.
“I think when you come to work, today is about ‘Tell the Truth Monday.’ We are going to tell the truth, good, bad or indifferent,” Orgeron said in his Monday press luncheon. “Tomorrow is ‘Competition Tuesday.’ Wednesday is ‘No Turnover Wednesday’ for the offense, ‘Turnover Wednesday’ for the defense. Thursday is ‘No-Repeat Thursday.’ Friday is ‘Focus Friday.'”
So what does all of that mean?
On Mondays, the Tigers go over film from their most recent game. If you stunk, you’ll hear about it. And if you did something well, you’ll hear about that too.
On Tuesdays, the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense go head-to-head for most of practice rather than the traditional scout team matchup — an old nugget Orgeron picked up from Pete Carroll at Southern Cal.
Wednesdays are pretty self-explanatory — the offense is focused on protecting the ball and the defense on creating turnovers.
On Thursdays, the goal is to not repeat any play, because if you do, something has gone awry.
“When we have to repeat it, the coaches are on you,” said left tackle K.J. Malone. “You don’t have to run or anything, but they’re yelling at you more because it’s No-Repeat Thursday.”
Focus Fridays are about tuning out the outside noise and putting complete attention to the task at hand on Saturday.
While Friday is the designated focus day, tight end Colin Jeter believes every practice is more focused under Orgeron’s new system.
“If you just go to practice and think it’s another day and have a bunch of stuff on your mind, your mind might wander,” Jeter said. “But if you name it, and you have one thing to focus on, I think the whole team comes together and focuses on getting that one thing right. If we can do one thing a day and get through the whole week getting everything right, then we’ll be a strong team on Saturday.”
If giving every day a label sounds a bit corny, well, maybe it is. Running back Derrius Guice gave a hearty laugh when asked about it, but pointed out that if last week was any indicator, Orgeron’s methods work.
“They are pretty funny,” Guice said of the labels. “But it is effective because it goes with the way practice is set up. Whatever the theme is that day, that’s the layout for that practice.”
The new practice system is one of the many things Orgeron successfully changed up leading to LSU’s 42-7 win over Missouri, which was constructed on the fly after Les Miles was fired six days earlier.
“It’s something that, when I had the opportunity to do it (at USC), I believe that it works,” Orgeron said. “There’s a lot of ways to skin a cat, but this is the way that I have seen work, the methods I’ve learned under some great coaches, so I always said, ‘When I get my opportunity to do it, that’s what I wanted to do, and the guys are going to enjoy it.’
“It’s a fun, exciting system. I think it lets the guys play under their own personalities, have some fun and (is) not-so-strict on every little thing. The bottom line is, these guys, I think these football players are the most important people that walk in the building. You know? They are the ones that play the game.”